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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:

What Causes an Eating Disorder and How Do You Treat It?

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Author: Shernide Delva

Over the weekend, I watched the movie To the Bone starring Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins. The film took us inside the life of Ellen, a 20-year-old woman who has consistently struggled with an eating disorder.  She enters a residential treatment program with several other women struggling with eating disorders.

The film received a plethora of controversy as many thought it was triggering.  However, after watching the movie, I felt it did an excellent job of allowing the viewer to understand the urgent and severe nature of an eating disorder. Often, films only focus on how little the patient is eating or how much weight they have lost. Yet, this is only a small component of having an eating disorder. Eating disorders go much deeper psychologically, and weight is simply part of the problem.

While the movie does an excellent job explaining what it is like to have an eating disorder, it does not explain what causes eating disorders in the first place. Eating disorders are complex with a broad range of variables.

Treatments for eating disorders vary in efficacy. There is no one size fit all treatment. This is elaborated in the movie as we watch Ellen transfer from one treatment center to another. Finally, she ends up at a treatment center she connects to and has a great therapist played by Keanu Reeves.

Often patients deny the severity of their condition at first. The lack of seriousness only progresses the disorder further. For example, in To the Bone, the women struggle to understand why their eating behaviors are considered abnormal. In fact, they believe that their compulsive eating behaviors are necessary to their survival. The idea of eating any other way is difficult to grasp.

Furthermore, patients lie about the severity of their condition which hampers their treatment options.

Most clinicians agree eating disorders stem from a variety of factors:

These factors range from:

Biological Contributors:

It is possible there is a genetic link that causes eating disorder. Significant studies on depression and anxiety allow reason to be hopeful.  Many people had anxiety and depression prior to the development of their eating disorder. Eating disorders can be a reaction to mental illnesses, in an attempt to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Anxiety can be controlled through food restriction and purging. Symptoms of an eating disorder can elevate the mood as sufferers rely on their weight to fit in with society. Since depression and anxiety have a genetic component, there could also be a clear genetic connection to eating disorders.

Neurobiological Contributors:

Neurobiology is a branch of biology concerned with anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. When it comes to eating disorder, individual ones like anorexia nervosa over activate the inhibition control networks and under activate the reward systems. When looking at bulimia nervosa, there seems to be a dysregulation of both the inhibition control networks and reward pathways. These abnormalities are common among eating disorder patients. However, it is uncertain whether these abnormalities are the result of eating disorder behaviors, or if these abnormalities were present prior to the development of an eating disorder.

The Psychology of Eating Disorders

Needless to say, there is a strong psychological component to eating disorders. Most of what we read regarding eating disorders discusses the psychological component. Psychological elements of an eating disorder range from familial, relational, cultural and social. Most researchers agree that eating disorders and psychological disorders are co-occurring.

Some treatment processes focus on behavior and cognitive changes. These treatments include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT,) Family Based Treatment (FBT,) and others.  However, there is more research needed on how to treat the behaviors rather than solely focusing on the cause. In addition, families need to understand the root of eating disorders in order to understand how to best respond to them.

Overall, the reality is there is so much to be learned when it comes to eating disorders. Eating disorders are a result of a variety of factors. Furthermore, just like addiction, eating disorders are not a choice. People with eating disorders need treatment. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, mental illness or addiction, please call now. You do not have to do this alone. 

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Could Pain Management Devices Be the New Alternative to Opioids?

Could Pain Management Devices Be the New Alternative to Opioids?

Author: Shernide Delva

Pain management devices can drastically reduce, or eliminate, the need for opioid pain medication, according to a recent report.  Could this be the shift we’ve been looking for?

I’ll be honest.

The first time I heard about pain management devices is when I skimmed through my Facebook and saw a fundraising campaign regarding a product claiming to help women with extremely painful menstrual cramps. It was touted as “The off Switch for Menstrual Pain” and claimed to be “the new solution for instant pain relief from your period – no more pills, no more nonsense.”

When I read the description of the product, I was intrigued by the idea. I figured it was a better alternative to me taking half a bottle of ibuprofen every month. Clearly, I was not the only intrigued person. The product has fundraised over 1.7 million dollars, raising 1339% of their target goal. Wow.

But how exactly do these pain management devices work?

Looking deeper into it, it turns out that menstrual pain device is basically a fancy version of a TENS device. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS machines operate by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the nerve strands. These pulses prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.

Every pain management device works in a slightly different way. Essentially, these pain management devices send small currents through the spinal cord where the pain is signaled.  Scientists believe these electrical currents interrupt pain signals sent to the brain. The fancy name for this is neuromodulation or neurostimulation.

These devices may work due to The Gate Control Theory.

The reality is that scientists are not completely sure how these devices work, but one theory is The Gate Control Theory. The Gate Control Theory is a theory that states that through closing the “gates” to painful input, you prevent pain sensations from traveling to the central nervous system. Large amounts of sensory information scramble the pain sensors we have and reduce our bodies ability to feel pain.

The device mentioned in the research regarding opioids is a device that is surgically implanted. While the results are promising, not everyone is comfortable with having a device surgically implanted in their body. Therefore, this solution is often seen as a last resort. This must change, according to Nagy Mekhail, a pain physician at the Cleveland Clinic.

Now, the medical community is looking to develop a device that provides the same sort of relief without the need for surgical implementation. One device developed is the Neuro-stim System Bridge which is placed behind a patient’s ear and gives off electrical pulses to certain areas of the brain.

The device has been very effective for helping people overcome the pain of opioid withdrawals, and is now used in 30 states. Patients wear the device for the first five days after they stop using opioids; the toughest part of the opioid withdrawal process.

“This could be a game changer in terms of treatment of addiction,” said Jeff Mathews, who runs the Union County Opiate Treatment Center in Indiana.

Still, not everyone is as excited.

Some are not quite convinced these devices will solve America’s chronic pain problem. Edward Michna, a pain management specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, states more research is needed to understand their long-term effectiveness.

“Have I seen patients do well on it? Yes. But I’ve also seen patients lose the relief over time,” he states.

However, despite the inconclusive research,  the potential for this to be an opioid alternative is a significant first step.

 “We need to stop thinking of pain control as just being about opioid medications,” Michael Leong, a pain specialist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, told Technology Review.

More and more people are aware of the negative side effects of opioid painkillers. With that awareness comes more attention directed toward pain management devices without a risk of addiction.

 “People are afraid of opioids right now. There’s a stigma. Patients don’t want to be on opioids,” Leong said.

We will have to keep an eye out and see if more non-surgical pain management products hit the market in the near future.

Pain management is a controversial topic. People have different pain tolerances and needs. However, there is a serious need to come up with non-addictive alternatives to opioid painkillers.

We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. There need to be other options available. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse, please call now. We want to help.

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What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone?

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone?

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Author: Justin Mckibben

In the fight against opioid addiction many have turned to medication maintenance programs as a means to help them curb their substance abuse. Methadone is one of the more commonly utilized medication maintenance drugs. However, the system is not without its inherent and relatively serious risks. In fact, methadone abuse is common.

While methadone may not produce the same high in the same manner as heroin, it can be abused to cause the same effects as most opiates, including:

When considering methadone, there are a lot of reasons to do your research and make sure you fully understand how methadone is used and what the dangers are. Dosing of methadone will depend on a few factors, including:

  • Age of the individual
  • General condition and medical status of the patient
  • Other medications being taken

It is very important to note that methadone can have side-effects when interacting with other medications, such as:

  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Medicines that can cause drowsiness or slow your breathing
  • Diuretics(water pills)
  • Antibiotics
  • Heart or blood pressure medications
  • HIV medicines
  • MAO inhibitors
  • Rifampin
  • Seizure medication

If methadone is taken with some other medicines the combination can cause serious medical problems. Looking at the side-effects of methadone, one should talk to their doctor about any other medications they take.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Common Side-Effects

Methadone is a narcotic used as a pain reliever, and is also used as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone hydrochloride is the generic form. Common side effects of methadone hydrochloride include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence

Some of these more common side-effects may not be especially dangerous, but they can lead to much more serious complications.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Serious Side-Effects

When experiencing these serious side-effects, immediately contact your doctor or seek emergency medical treatment if you experience serious side effects of methadone hydrochloride including:

  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blurred vision
  • Convulsions
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

One of the most critical mistakes many people make is assuming there is no danger in relying heavily on methadone as a means of recovery from opioid abuse. The reality is, approximately 5,000 people die due to abuse of methadone each year.

Admittedly, this is often more likely when methadone has been mixed with other substances, including alcohol and benzodiazepines. However, it is absolutely possible to overdose on methadone.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Overdose

It is possible to overdose on methadone, just as with any other powerful prescription opioid medication. Again, methadone is a narcotic and many of the overdose symptoms for methadone are the same as with other opioid medications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing/shallow breathing
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Twitching muscles
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • bluish fingernails and lips
  • Coma
  • Death

With drug overdose, especially with such strong substances, death is a possible side-effect. Therefore it is extremely important that all side-effects are taken seriously and that someone trying to utilize methadone consults with their doctor about the risks.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Mental Health

While the physical side-effects of methadone can be very difficult to deal with, methadone also has a tendency to cause some psychological side-effects, such as:

The truth is, these psychological side-effects can be just as serious as physical side-effects, and some people have more difficulty dealing with the psychological aspect of methadone.

Also, people who already struggle with other co-occurring mental health disorders may experience some side effects more intensely. It is important to make sure both mental and physical health is taken into account with every form of drug treatment.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Withdrawal

The reality that makes the use of methadone seem self-defeating is that methadone does indeed come with its own set of withdrawal symptoms that become more severe with prolonged use. These withdrawal symptoms are often similar to those from other opioid drugs, such as heroin. The most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle pain and aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression

Quitting methadone “cold turkey”, meaning abruptly without a safe medical taper or detox, can cause more severe withdrawal symptoms.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Detoxing from Methadone

Detoxing from methadone is safest and most efficient when done under the supervision in a medical detox of a drug treatment facility or hospital. Most medical detoxes provide a tapering off of the drug in order to reduce the severity of withdrawals. Quitting cold turkey is much more painful and difficult to do.

Drug treatment programs like Palm Partners also utilize the combined expertise of therapists and medical physicians in order to design a personalized treatment plan in order to give the individual the best opportunity for lasting recovery, and anyone who has been using methadone for an extended period or developed a tolerance to it should pursue an inpatient treatment option. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Opioid Epidemic Declared a Public Health Emergency by Gov. Rick Scott

Opioid Epidemic Declared a Public Health Emergency by Gov. Rick Scott

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Author: Shernide Delva

It’s the moment many were waiting for…

Today, May 3rd, Gov. Rick Scott issued a statewide public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. This declaration is in response to multiple requests from local officials and residents.  Furthermore, more than $27 million will be distributed immediately to communities throughout the state of Florida to reduce the devastation of the opioid epidemic.

In a press release, Governor Scott said,

“Today, I issued an executive order which allows the state to immediately draw down more than $27 million in federal grant funding which will immediately be distributed to communities across the state to deal with the opioid epidemic. HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price awarded the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant to Florida, and I want to thank the Trump Administration for their focus on this national epidemic. I have also directed State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip to declare a Public Health Emergency and issue a standing order for Naloxone in response to the opioid epidemic in Florida.”

Rick Scott initiated four opioid listening workshops that took place earlier this week.  The first workshop was held at West Palm Beach on May 1st. Three other opioid workshops were held later in the week in Manatee and Orange counties.

The Early Stages

Originally, Governor Rick Scott created the opioid workshops to gather information about the opioid epidemic on a more local level. Both public figures and members of the community joined to discuss potential plans of action.  The meetings were capped at 90-minutes. Those in attendance were uncertain of the action that would take place from those meetings.

Therefore, those in attendance called on the governor to declare the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency in order to expedite funding efforts.

Shortly after the Zika virus entered South Florida, it was declared a public health crisis, yet the opioid epidemic did not receive the same treatment, despite overdose fatalities reaching an all-time high.

“If we were able to move that quickly on (the Zika) issue, why can’t we move more quickly on this (heroin) issue?’’ Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley stated during the opioid workshop held in West Palm Beach.

Now, upon hearing this news from Gov. Rick Scott,  McKinley feels a sense of relief.

“Today I feel relief. relief that the voices of so many were finally heard. For the pain of loss so many families have faced, to those struggling to overcome addiction,” she said.

“I am hopeful that the governor’s direction to declare a public health crisis in response to the opioid epidemic will open the door to a truly meaningful plan to fight this disease.”

The Palm Beach Post published an investigative report titled “Heroin: Killer of a Generation” in which they profiled all 216 people who died of an opioid overdose in its coverage are in 2015. The goal was to draw attention to the magnitude of the addiction epidemic in a way statistic simply could not do.

The Results:

Looking at the statement Gov. Rick Scott released, a few key things are happening:

  • More than $27 million in federal grant funding which will immediately be distributed to communities across the state to deal with the opioid epidemic.
  • Dr. Celeste Philip is ordered by Gov. Rick Scott to declare a Public Health Emergency.
  • Naloxone will receive a standing order in response to the opioid epidemic in Florida

The opioid epidemic is taking away lives throughout the nation. Every 15 hours last year, someone died of an opioid overdose in Palm Beach County. Is this a step in the right direction?  What should the next step be?


This epidemic does not discriminate. Everyone is affected. If you are struggling with addiction, please reach out. Do not wait. Your life depends on it. We are here to help. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

What is Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)?

What is Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

There is syndrome known as PAWS common during the recovery process and trust me; it does not have anything to do with animals. PAWS stands for protracted withdrawal syndrome and is a condition that leaves recovering addicts and alcoholics feeling the symptoms of withdrawal long after the initial withdrawal phase has passed.

No one said recovery would be easy, and for most recovering addicts, detox is just the beginning. The end result is more than worth it. Imagine a life free from the devastating hold your addiction has on your life. You will finally be able to live a healthy life without constantly worrying about where your next high will come from.

That being said, you should be aware of the symptoms that will occur when you stop abusing substances. Understanding the lingering effects of substance abuse is important to prevent a relapse and gives you hope that this too shall pass.

PAWS is the second stage of withdrawal. While you may have fewer physical symptoms in the state, there are much more emotional and psychological symptoms.  PAWS occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain heals, the levels of brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing PAWS.

PAWS can often mimic depression, and increases the risk of relapse.

“I’m certain I suffer(ed) symptoms of PAWS,” recovering alcoholic Amy Parrish said in The Fix. “My sleep cycles were off, my emotions were all over the place; I would alternate between feeling good, really good, and certain, and then like I couldn’t take all the soul searching one more minute.”

Common Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms are:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Variable energy
  • Low enthusiasm
  • Variable concentration
  • Disturbed sleep

When it comes to drugs like prescription opioids, symptoms of paws become more common.

Most addicts know what PAWS feels like. They just did not know what it was called. Many addicts have experienced the experience of quitting a drug and overcoming the initial withdrawal stage, only to relapse because they felt terrible. They feel great initially from coming off the drug, but then several months later, they start to feel down and discontent.

Adjusting to drugs without your DOC is hard but is indeed a necessary part of recovery. The good news is PAWS symptoms do not have to be part of the struggle.  Over the past few decades, there have been many treatments available to help lessen the severity of PAWS.

If you are struggling, there are answers. Some of these solutions include medications that help treat the PAWS symptoms and make them less severe.  Often, doctors may prescribe antidepressants to help alleviate the emotional symptoms of PAWS. Antidepressants like SSRIs are non-addictive and non-habit forming, although they can have withdrawal symptoms of their own.

If you are looking for a healthier alternative, try meditation, yoga, and exercise to help ease the symptoms.

“The advice I would give is to be patient with the time it takes to heal and feel better,” Parrish says. “These tough issues weren’t created overnight, and they won’t disappear overnight. I have learned that when I feel particularly “PAWS-y,” that means I’m subconsciously working something out—this makes dealing with the symptoms of feeling a little crazy and not sleeping less exhausting. It won’t last forever.”


Despite the negative feelings you might have from the initial stages of recovery, nothing compares to the hardship of having an addiction. Hang in there. Things do get better. Do not let yourself go back to your old style of living. We are here to guide you through the process. If you are struggling, call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

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