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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:

Can You Protect Your Loved Ones in the Opioid Epidemic?

Can You Protect Your Loved Ones in the Opioid Epidemic?

One of the very real difficulties many families face today is trying to overcome issues with substance use and addiction. With opioid overdose resulting in the deaths of over 33,000 people in 2015, a rate of death that has consistently risen in the past several years, the opioid crisis is a very relevant concern. This issue does not only impact those abusing drugs but drastically impacts their families and loved ones.

Watching someone struggle with substance abuse or dependence can be a devastating experience. When it comes to those we are closest to, it only amplifies the turmoil. It is so hard to know how to be there for someone who is struggling without doing something that could be counter-productive to making their life better.

So can you protect your loved ones in the opioid epidemic? Yes. But how?

What are the things that families members and friends need to focus on in order to keep their loved ones safe?

Understand Proper Pain Management

According to the CDC, approximately 20% of patients who visit their doctors for pain receive an opioid prescription.

Another article on Addictions.com talks about how opioid addictions often begin at home. Some people may still assume that drug addiction begins on the illicit market, but what we have seen more and more over the years is that the opioid epidemic has largely been fueled by prescription drugs.

Many people who struggle with opioid addiction began by using opioid-based painkillers due to a doctor’s prescription. These kinds of medication are not all that strange when dealing with pain management. Powerful prescription opioids are used for:

A lot of times these medications are prescribed for short-term use to try and reduce the risk of dependence after extended use. However, even with short-term prescriptions, these potent opioids can develop a physical dependence with uncomfortable or even painful withdrawal symptoms.

Overprescribing has also become an element in the opioid epidemic spreading through prescription drugs. Having an abundance of people prescribed to opioids also adds to the risk of more abuse.

By understanding these risks, people can better protect themselves and each other from developing a serious dependence. If you are aware of what can happen with opioids, even if legitimately prescribed, you can watch for signs and take action to prevent further risk.

Monitor Your Medicine Cabinet

According to a SAMHSA study from 2015, more than 50% of people addicted to painkillers receive the drugs from family members or friends.

Not only are those who receive opioids for medical reasons at some risk of accidentally developing a dependence, those who live with them can also be at risk of abusing opioids and becoming addicted. The overprescribing of opioids has also created stockpiles of opioids in thousands of homes all over the country. Left-over medications are also making a contribution to high rates of opioid misuse.

Some people who receive an opioid prescription may not actually use the entire prescription, but frequently they hold onto the excess supply of their medications. This is often innocent enough, as people will sometimes want to have something on-hand in case of unexpected pain down the road. Sometimes they might even offer these medications to others in an attempt to help manage a friend or loved one’s pain. However, even with the best intentions, this can be very dangerous.

Not only can giving someone a powerful opioid they are not prescribed be dangerous, simply having this kind of drug lying around is dangerous. Your medicine cabinet can be easily accessed by others within your household.

If you want to protect your loved ones in the opioid epidemic, make sure that you keep opioid medications under restricted access in your home. Do not play doctor and offer these kinds of drugs to your friends or family.

Also, make sure you properly dispose of any unused medications. You can take excess opioid drugs to a drug drop-off. Find nearby locations, which are often at pharmacies or law enforcement agencies.

Look for Signs of Dependence

Dependence and addiction are two terms that are relatively similar, but not exactly interchangeable.

Opioid dependence refers to how the body builds a tolerance to opioids over time. This process leads to the individual needing increasingly high doses of the drug to receive the same effect. Where addiction is more psychological, dependence is primarily a physical response.

Opioid users become physically dependent on the drugs when they require certain doses to feel and function “normally,” while also trying to avoid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. All of these effects can contribute to the development of a more serious addiction. Some physical signs to watch for include:

  • Drowsiness/Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Reparatory depression
  • Loss of consciousness/Nodding off
  • Constipation

Withdrawal signs can also indicate dependence, including minor symptoms such as:

Understanding the signs or addiction, including withdrawal, can be a way to protect your loved ones in the opioid epidemic. If you can recognize the warning signs, you might be able to intervene before it is too late.

Seek Professional and Effective Help

Education is key to prevention, no matter what the situation or circumstances. Whatever the adversity, arming yourself with information makes you more effective. At the same time, seeking help from those with knowledge and experience with treating addiction is invaluable. Having a safe and effective resource that knows how to help your loved one overcome an opioid dependence or addiction can make all the difference.

It can be overwhelming, and none of us can protect everyone. However, you can be part of the support system that works to keep your family, friends and loved ones safe.

If your loved one is already struggling with opioids, the best thing you can do to protect them is to get them the help they need. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Is It My Fault My Loved One is Addicted?

Is It My Fault My Loved One is Addicted?

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

I’ll never forget when I told my mother I needed to go to rehab. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and what broke my heart was when she asked- “What have I done that my child has to live like this?”

This is not an uncommon question, so if you find yourself asking it please do not be ashamed. It is one of the most frequently asked questions from family members and close friends when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. A lot of people have a tendency to internalized the struggles that those they love most experience and wonder if they had some part in creating or adding to the issue. A lot of times mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, or even sons and daughters will see the suffering their loved one goes through and ask- is it my fault my loved one is addicted?

In a word- No.

The reality of addition is that any substance use disorder is more powerful than you or them, and likewise out of your control. As hard as that is to hear, it may be the most important thing to remember in the beginning. It can’t be your fault, because it was never up to you.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is just that; a disorder. The root of this issue lies in the individuals thinking, which is why many in the medical world have defined it as a kind of mental health disorder that develops over time. No one can take all the blame for someone developing a disorder like addiction, no matter how hard it is to set aside that mindset.

Of course as we experience hardships we want to find someone to blame or pinpoint a logically explanation that makes sense to us, but the truth is it isn’t that black and white. Searching for a place to put all the fault is not effective or conducive to recovering.

Now some may examine the facts and read them one way, but it isn’t a fair assessment. We can even look at the idea of addiction coming from the perfect storm of nature and nurture.

The Perfect Storm

The ‘perfect storm’ comes from a unique combination of nature and nurture that create just the right atmosphere for an addiction to develop. So many people want to say it is because of generics, while others want to say it is because of the home, upbringing or life-style. The truth is, it is both, so it can’t be the fault of either.

Every human being on this planet is born with a genetic predisposition to addiction. Different DNA designs will promote different susceptibilities to addiction, and depending on the environment the individual is consistently in they may be exposed more or less. There is no precise formula for addiction that includes it being the families fault.

This is only further proven by the fact that substance use disorder impacts all walks of life:

  • Rich or poor
  • The homeless
  • Successful people
  • People with traumatic childhoods
  • People with nurturing childhoods
  • Men and women
  • Young or old
  • Any race
  • Any religion
  • Every culture

So even a parent who wants to blame themselves and say, “well it was my genes passed down and I raised them in this environment, so it must be my fault,” this is still not the case. All of this connects with how we turn to different coping skills. An addicted loved one makes a choice to rely on a substance as a coping skill, and the storm stirs to the point they have launched into a full-blown substance use disorder.

Guilt and Enabling

Many family members and friends will wonder if some action they took at some point pushed their loved on to use drugs. They will wonder if an event in the relationship had such a significant impact that they drove the addiction further. People are crippled by guilt when they think they had some hand in forcing their loved one’s decision, or maybe thinking they did not do enough. This guilt is incredibly counterproductive. It is not your fault because you cannot control how anyone decides to cope.

The sad part is that some addicts will notice their loved one’s guilt, and they will manipulate their family and friends using that guilt to get what they want. Your loved one may even try to justify their behaviors by blaming you, playing on your emotions to rationalize their harmful actions.

This is just one of many symptoms of enabling, but the reason most people give for supporting their loved one’s addiction and enabling their habits is that they feel responsible for the person. People enable addicts to avoid the guilt of ‘abandoning’ them. One of the biggest hurdles that family members and close friends must overcome is letting go and accepting that they have no control of their loved one’s choices.

We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

   Click for FREE GIFT

Your Own Recovery

Recovery is not just for the individual, it is also for those closest to them. Learning the difference between how to give compassion, love and support vs enabling and minimizing is very important to the addicted loved ones recovery, and also to your own peace of mind. The recovery process for the family and friends means learning more about how it isn’t you fault a relative or companion is addicted. Learning more about the science of addiction and the causes of risk behavior can also take more weight off your shoulders and help you better understand your loved one.

Even if the individual is avoiding or refusing treatment, getting help for yourself may provide you with a better understanding of how to deal with issues that arise. And the better knowledge you have, the better a position you may be in to help.

Having a family member who has suffered can be harder on you than you know. Too many people don’t know how to get the help they need for their loved ones, and too many of our loved ones suffer for too long because they are afraid of the affects that the ones they care about most will face.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

5 Ways to Get Help When a Family Member Goes to Rehab

5 Ways to Get Help When a Family Member Goes to Rehab

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

When a family member or loved one decides to go to rehab, it can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders. Whether you help them find treatment, put together an intervention, or they just decide this step is an accomplishment. When a family member or loved one is sick, we all suffer. So when they are healing, doesn’t it make sense that you work to heal too?

Whether you know it now or not, you need help too. When a family member goes to rehab, you should definitely consider how to support them. You should also know how to take better care of yourself. Remember this is not just about them. These are 5 ways to get help when a family member goes to rehab.

  1. Consult a doctor

Consulting with a medical professional about the health aspect of addiction and recovery is very important to helping in the recovery process. If you don’t have a personal family physician it can seem difficult. Try to find a medical professional you feel confident in consulting about the issue.

If you have a family physician be honest and open with discussing the specific drugs that your loved one most frequently abused. Find out if there are serious complications. Find out the warning signs of other health concerns. In general, being aware makes it easier to empathize with a family member and their recovery.

  1. Look into aftercare

When a family member goes to rehab consider looking into aftercare options available to them, either in your area or where ever they are. Once they have completed inpatient treatment, you may want to help them chose an outpatient and other alternative care programs. Aftercare will help keep your family member on a consistent recovery plan during the transition back into the world.

Sometimes an aftercare plan should consist of a sober living facility- halfway house– for your family member. This is beneficial because they are monitored in a recovery community to support their long-term sobriety. They also get help finding support groups and continued therapy.

So how does this help you? Well it may just be as simple as giving you some peace of mind that they will have a safe and controlled environment after rehab. An effective aftercare plan can also help you establish boundaries.

  1. Attend support groups

12 Step groups such as AA and NA are great, and they even have affiliate programs to support people with an addicted family member. Those with friends or loved ones who struggle through terrifying and trying times also have a safe place to fellowship and share.

Some support groups have their own separate 12 Step program of recovery tailored to the family’s recovery. Being able to connect and share experience with other families who can relate in an intimate way to the same fight you are fighting can be an uplifting and gratifying experience. This helps out a lot of family members and friends too when their loved ones are having a hard time staying clean.

  1. Personal or family therapy

Therapy is a powerful tool for anyone. Finding a clinical professional to confide in and work with can be life changing. Therapy isn’t just for people with trauma or mental health, it exists for everyone. Personal therapy can help you better understand the moods you yourself experience, and the contributions that you yourself make to your family member’s recovery.

Family therapy can be very positive for rebuilding these vital relationships. Even if the addict or alcoholic is still in treatment, the rest of the family can attend therapy to address important issues before the loved one comes home. This kind of help can only bring more emotional stability and acceptance.

  1. Attend a family program

Most holistic rehabs offer the opportunity to take part in the recovery of a loved one through a family program. This will put you in direct contact with the care professionals and clinical teams who are working with your family member to develop a plan of recovery.

Family programs can also give your family member or loved one the much needed inspiration to know that they are not alone in this process. It will allow you to participate in events, educational courses, and contribute to the blue print for new patterns in their future.

Getting help isn’t just for the one who is using drugs or drinking. We all need a little help sometimes. Every one of us needs a little support to get through sometimes.

We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

   Click for FREE GIFT

Having a family member who has suffered can be harder on you than you know. Too many people don’t know how to get the help they need for their loved ones, and too many of our loved ones suffer for too long because they are afraid of the affects that the ones they care about most will face.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Study: Your Friends Know How Long You’ll Live

Study: Your Friends Know How Long You’ll Live

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

Whether you want to admit it or not: your friends know you better than you know yourself. They even know how long you’re going to live. OK, that’s an overstatement. Not to the exact day and time but, there are factors to consider one’s life expectancy and the people who are around us most are more adept at picking up on the signs.

OK, before you start thinking Ouija boards and crystal balls, what we’re talking about here are their psychological traits, such as conscientiousness and emotional stability, that are pretty decent at predicting longevity. What’s more, your friends’ beliefs about your traits are, when averaged, more reliable than your own.

Researchers already know that personality traits affect health. For example, conscientiousness turns out to be a pretty good predictor for risk of death. But where the studies linking personality, health, and mortality fall short, taking a look at a person’s friends can fill in the gap. Because they rely on the participant’s own assessments of their personalities, past studies are skewed, biased.

Of course, there will always be a margin of bias when it comes to measuring relative concepts, such as whether someone has a more sunny outlook on life, but, collecting data from a person’s friends is also privy to external factors which could sway the participant, themselves, such as temporary factors like, the weather that day or how well or poorly they slept the night before.

In order to address this issue of self-bias, researchers decided to ask someone else about participants personality traits: their friends, who see them in a variety of situations and on a daily basis.

Study: Your Friends Know How Long You’ll Live

Joshua Jackson and his colleagues did just that with the long-running Kelly Longitudinal Study, which began as an assessment of 300 young married couples in mid-1930s Connecticut. As part of the study, the late psychologist E. Lowell Kelly asked three to eight friends of each of the couples to answer a series of questions he had constructed to get an idea of their personality.

Jackson and his team analyzed Kelly’s data and cross-referenced it with death records or else confirmed that the original participants were still living. They found that the men in the study who were viewed by their friends as being more conscientious and open tended to live longer. For example, the most conscientious men had about a 30% lower mortality risk compared with the average male participant. Similarly, the researchers estimated that women viewed as the most emotionally stable and the most agreeable had a 15% lower mortality risk.

In general, the study participants’ friends gave ratings that were actually better than their own self-assessments. Men’s self-reports of conscientiousness and openness were still related to mortality, and the effect was weaker. There were no such connections for women.

“These analyses indicate that the superiority of peer ratings was due largely to the aggregation of ratings from multiple peers, which averaged out idiosyncratic tendencies of particular raters,” the authors write.

Before you go asking your pals about your personality, the authors note, it’s worth keeping in mind that Kelly’s 300 couples were not exactly representative of the United States of the time, let alone the modern world. Those 600 people were predominantly white, middle class, and well educated—not to mention they were in their mid-twenties in 1935.

Mood and outlook on life can easily lead to substance abuse and vice versa. Sometimes, the symptoms of substance abuse mimic mental illness or sometimes both issues are present, known as dual diagnosis. In either case, help is available. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist day or night.

Advice from Normies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Advice from Normies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Cheryl Steinberg

Our normal friends, whom we affectionately call “normies,” are generally well-meaning when they try to give us advice. However, it’s important to know when that advice is helpful and when it’s harmful. Here it is, advice from normies: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, the good:

“Be gentle with yourself”

Talking to normies about the things you’re going through can be really helpful at times because they can give you some outside-of-the-program perspective. They will tell you that not everything you experience is because of the disease of addiction, that it’s stuff normies go through, too, and therefore to not be so hard on yourself.

“You’re really just getting started”

It’s not fair to compare yourself to others who have been working at it, as in their career, and life, in general. Appreciate what you have and what you’ve done. Acknowledge the things that you’ve accomplished so far.

“You don’t have to make a big deal out of being sober”

Most people don’t really think it’s such a big deal that you don’t drink – there are actually a lot of people who are not in recovery – aka normies – that choose not to drink.

The bad:

“Just don’t go anywhere there’s a bar, etc.”

Oh my god, seriously? What kind of life would that be? If you had to avoid everything that could even remotely be associated with alcohol or other things? That would mean that you couldn’t go to virtually every restaurant – because there’s a bar, and you couldn’t attend concerts or even watch TV – because of all the alcohol commercials.

“You should talk to So-and-So, they’re totally an alcoholic/addict”

There are three issues with this bit of advice that I can identify. First, there’s the ‘attraction rather than promotion’ tradition of the 12 step fellowships. Then there’s the general consensus among us in recovery that it’s not our place to diagnose anyone else that is, it’s not up to us to decide whether someone else is an alcoholic or addict. Also, how much of a turn-off would it be if that person was told by their loved one to call some stranger about their ‘problem?’

The ugly:

Just smoke weed

This bit of “advice” is uttered quite a bit by people who (obviously) don’t understand addiction and recovery. This is the worst kind of ‘advice’ to give someone with a substance abuse disorder, such as addiction. They might think that, because your DOC was heroin, then heroin was your problem. You can smoke weed or drink alcohol as long as you don’t touch heroin.

“Just don’t do it/just stop”

Control yourself. This is clearly from the point-of-view of someone who doesn’t understand the nature of addiction. Willpower and self-control is simply not enough. Pretty much all of us in recovery got to a point in our addiction that we sincerely wanted to stop but simply couldn’t.

It’s probably been enough time, you can have one drink

Addiction is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder and all three of those adjectives explain why this bit of advice is so completely off-base and detrimental. Someone with the disease of addiction can’t have just one drink. “Chronic” means long-term; “progressive” means that it gets worse over time but also that your addiction basically picks up right where you left off when you had some sobriety (this has less to do with the amount you first start using, due to a lowered tolerance, and more to do with the level of unmanageability in your life); and “relapsing” essentially means that you will always need to be on-guard and that having “just one drink” is a relapse in and of itself.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to answer your questions. You are not alone.

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