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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  

Oxy Manufacturers Target Global Market As Sales In America Decline

Oxy Manufacturers Target Global Market As Sales In America Decline

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

Author: Shernide Delva

In the United States, OxyContin sales are down nearly 40% percent since 2010. The word of the opioid epidemic has resulted in more doctors seeking alternatives to treat chronic pain. However, since the sales declined in the United States, oxy manufacturers have decided to target their marketing strategies overseas.

The CDC issued guideline to encourage doctors to seek alternatives to opioid for the treatment of chronic pain. There is also a wealth of media coverage related to the danger of prescriptions opioids and the amount of deaths seen annually from the use of these drugs. The new surgeon’s general report stated that one person died every 19 minutes from opioid overdoses alone. The drugs commonly seen in opioid abuse are medications like Vicodin, Percocet, and of course OxyContin.

Purdue Pharma, which manufactures the painkiller OxyContin, is a core contributor to the prescription opioid addiction epidemic because the company uses aggressive marketing strategies and withholds information related to the drug’s efficacy.

The recent guidelines by the CDC along with the heavy media coverage have resulted in a decreasing trend of prescribing OxyContin. The amount of media evidence detailing Purdue’s activities has cut into Purdue’s vast fortunes. Since 2015, the company’s net worth has gone down by nearly $ 1billion.

Still, despite the decline, Purdue remains a powerful and profitable company, earning millions of dollars in profits from sales of its products. Nearly $600 million of that profit comes from international companies, which have provided inroads into Latin America, Asia, and other regions.

Purdue Pushes Doctors to Resist “Opiophobia.”

One of the ways Purdue is combating the decrease in sales is by releasing major marketing campaigns encouraging doctors to resist “Opiophobia.” Instead, they encourage doctors to treat chronic pain with prescription drugs and are working vigorously to dispel fears of addiction to opioids. IN some cases, financial discounts and even coupons for free initial prescriptions of OxyContin have been introduced to patients to make drugs like OxyContin seem like a safe, more affordable alternative.

Internationally, the global network of companies operates under the name Mundiphama. Some of the crazy tactics used to encourage prescriptions include hiring celebrities to promote the treatment of chronic pain. For example, in Spain, celebrities were enlisted to pose without clothing, to promote the treatment of chronic pain through doctors who have formed alliances with the company.

The result? A seven-fold increase in painkiller sales has occurred in Spain. After some backlash, though, Mundiphama pulled the celebrities spots from its YouTube channel after the Times submitted questions regarding the advertising campaign.

Purdue’s Promotional Strategies Continue in the United States

Back in the states, Purdue continues to use the top marketing strategies to encourage medical professionals to continue prescribing opioid medications. Some of these include sales and training seminars disguised as l lavish, all-expenses-paid weekends for doctors. The Times cites several medical professionals who are enlisted by Mundipharma to sell Purdue’s products at an international seminar.

All in all, oxy manufacturers like Mundiphama are determined to push the message that the dangers and claims of an opioid crisis are false and argue there is “hardly any evidence” to validate the claims made.  Surgeon General Vivek H. Murphy urged medical professionals in other countries to be “very cautious about the marketing of these medications. Now, in retrospect, we realize that for many, the benefits did not outweigh the risks

Still, in Spain, Mundipharma has caught consumer’s eyes with their racy ad campaigns. Out of those surveyed, 18% stated they had abused painkillers at some point in their lives. Even in one of Europe’s smallest countries, Cyprus, six people were reported to have died as a result of the drug, and requests for rehabilitation treatment have increased.

Mundipharma responded by citing their funded studies in countries like Britain and Germany which claim prescription opioid abuse is “less than 1%.” Their attitude is reflected in a statement made by the managing director of Mundiphama’s Cyprus office, Menicos M. Petrou, who said, “If people misuse drugs, most of the time there is little a pharmaceutical company can do.”

Prescription drug abuse is a serious issue on a worldwide level. It is important these pharmaceutical companies do not direct their marketing to other countries as sales in America decline. If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, do not wait. Call toll-free today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

International Overdose Awareness Day 2016

 

International Overdose Awareness Day 2016

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Today, August 31, marks International Overdose Awareness Day. On this day, the goal is to raise global awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. This day is intended to acknowledge the grief felt by friends and family who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drug overdose.

The Shocking Reality

The tragedy of a drug overdose is preventable.  Today is a day to spread awareness to others about the disease of addiction.  Drug addiction is a global phenomenon; however, the United States, in particular, is facing a major drug epidemic. More deaths were reported from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other year on record. Deaths from overdoses are up among all genders, races, and nearly all ages. This is a disease that does not discriminate.

Out of these shocking numbers, three out of five drug overdose deaths involve opioids. Overdoses from opioids such as prescription opioids and heroin have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses from opioids killed over 28,000 people in 2014. Half of these deaths were related to prescription opioids.

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of drug overdoses increased a total of 6.5 percent. The year 2014 had a total of 47,055 drug overdoses in the United States. These numbers continue to climb as the prescription painkiller epidemic continues to be a major issue.

To spread the message of awareness, International Overdose Day focuses on commemorating those who have been affected by drug addiction. While today is intended to encourage the message of prevention, it also aims to encourage a message of hope.

Principles of Harm Reduction

The Harm Reduction Coalition affirms that “we will not end the overdose crisis until we place people who use drugs, along with their families and friends, at the center of our policies and strategies. “

The coalition aims to accomplish this task by ensuring that those who use drugs and their loved ones have access to information intended to treat and support them without the fear of stigma or arrest.

Furthermore, naloxone remains one of the most powerful tools in preventing opioid overdose deaths. Naloxone is a medication that works to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.  Recently, there has been a push to increase the access the public has to naloxone. In many places, naloxone can now be purchased via pharmacies like CVS, and even in school nurses offices.

Still, according to the Harm Reduction Coalition, the United States is in a state of emergency.

“ We can no longer accept incremental progress; we must demand urgent action to save lives.”

Five Areas Needing Improvement

The Harm Reduction Coalition calls for immediate action in these five areas to increase access to naloxone:

  1. Funding: Congress should fully fund the President’s request for $12 million in Fiscal Year 2016 to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide grants to states to support broader naloxone access.
  2. Cost: The rising cost of naloxone by manufacturers in recent years is a deep concern. This increase threatens to limit the distribution of naloxone, especially by community-based programs that reach those most vulnerable to opioid overdoses. When prices increase, it directly increases the likelihood of more overdose deaths. Therefore, the coalition calls upon naloxone manufacturers and developers to price their products responsibly to ensure the best possible distribution.
  3. Access:Despite improvements in the access to naloxone, access remains limited and inadequate. Prescribers and health care professions play a vital role in ending the overdose crisis. Therefore, there should be an effort by all parties to develop guidance, education and training, resources, and support tools aimed at increasing awareness and access to the drug.
  4. Availability:Many states are working to make naloxone available through pharmacies through arrangements and agreements. These efforts should increase and broaden to ensure the widest availability of naloxone.  In addition, the Food and Drug Administration should develop, facilitate and expedite the regulatory pathways needed to ensure naloxone can be sold over the counter. Over-the-counter naloxone should be available to the market by 2018.
  5. Awareness: Despite the rising number of overdose deaths in the past decade, there still is not a national awareness campaign to educate the public and those most at risk about the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose. Countless anecdotal reports suggest that the lack of awareness is a critical factor in many preventable overdose deaths. Therefore the HHS and CDC must develop broad national awareness campaigns; that spreads information on how and where to obtain naloxone.

Ways to Raise Awareness

In addition to the guidelines suggested by the HHC, the International Overdose Awareness Day website aims to raise awareness through innovative technologies like there overdose aware app. The app raises awareness amongst those who are experiencing drug use and their families. The app shares information on what an overdose is, and the main overdose symptoms.

The website also has an area where those who have been directly affected by drug addiction overdoses can write a tribute to their story and grieve anyone they have lost. These tributes are where many share the impact drug use and overdoses have had on their family and friends.

How are you spreading awareness of International Overdose Awareness Day? If you are struggling with drug addiction, do not wait for it to progress into an overdose. We can help you get back on track. Please call toll free.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

The ‘Parenting is Prevention’ Billboard Controversy

Two Parents Hold Young Man's Arm From Reaching Syringe

Author: Shernide Delva

A billboard in Frederick, Maryland reads “Addiction is preventable. Parenting is Prevention.”

Parents were not happy with the message. The billboard has received tons attention for its controversial message.  After multiple complaints, the billboard was taken down.

Why?

A child’s death from any cause is devastating enough. When a parent loses a child to alcohol or drug use, additional layers of grief are present. Shock, guilt, anger, and depression are normal reactions. Substance-related deaths have unfortunately skyrocketed across the United States. There is currently a prescription painkiller epidemic across the globe. in the U.S, prescription medications are the leading cause of death where substances are a factor.

When it comes to addiction, parents are just as much affected as their child. It can be a long, arduous challenge for a parent to try and get treatment for their child. Even with that effort, it is up to the addict to finally make the choice to recover. Blaming the parents alone for the death of a child is unfactual and wrong.

Furthermore, the spokeswoman for the Frederick County Health Department, who created the billboard, stated they did not intend any harm when creating the advertisement. They were aiming to spread a message of prevention.

“We have heard your comments and concerns regarding the billboard message and, again, apologize for any hurt it may have unintentionally caused.”

Nevertheless, parents who have lost a child to substance abuse want to ensure the public knows there is more than parenting to blame for children who die from drug addiction.  Addiction is a disease that can destroy the lives of families. Blaming the addiction on families is a one-sided way of looking at the addiction crisis. Parents saw the ad as a stigmatizing sentiment. It left many parents wondering, “So, I need to parent better?” or “Is the death of my child all my fault?”

While we have touched on parent enabling and other behaviors that can hinder an addict from receiving treatment, no one should feel they are fully responsible for the outcome of this disease. The billboard continues the stigma that addiction is a crime, instead of a disease.

Controversy and Protests

As a result, a Change.org petition garnered 3,000 signatures in a few days to urge whoever created the billboard to take it down. Many of the signatures came from parents who had lost a child to an overdose. Brenda Steward, the founder of The Addict’s Parent United, was the creator.

Sadly, this is not the first time messages like this spread in the community. Back in 2013, Francis Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, wrote a blog post entitled “Parenting is Prevention.”

Parents responded in rage. Many expressed that they had done everything in their power to prevent losing their child. They felt stigmatized and hurt by these words.

“Wow, I never knew I had such power,” commented sarcastically by Martine Tate, “If I had that kind of power my daughter would still be alive.” Tate’s daughter, Valerie, died at the age of 36 from complications with substance use disorder.

In an interview with The Fix, Tate explained that the “Parenting is Prevention” ideology blames parents for their child’s addiction. We should treat parents who have lost a child to addiction, the same way we would treat a parent that had lost a child to any other illness, she explained.

Another example is Marilee Odendahl, who lost her son Ian to a heroin overdose in 2007. Upon seeing the ad, Odendahl felt the sign was “reprehensible.”

“Implying that a lack of parenting will lead to substance abuse is tired, inaccurate, and ignorant stigmatization,” Odendahl added.

According to research, proper parenting is not enough to reduce or prevent substance abuse. There have been studies that show that parenting alone cannot prevent substance abuse or addiction from occurring.

The Final Conclusion

Eventually, the media attention and petition resulted in the Frederick County Health Department issuing an apology. On July 11, three days after the petition started, they announced plans to take down the billboard.

The voices of parents and commenters were heard. Parents were relieved that the billboard was being taken down. More importantly, the controversy has raised awareness of the stigma drug addiction brings to the families who suffer the most.

Overall, addiction is a disease. Parents should not receive blame for the death of their child. You do not want to risk causing your family the devastation of losing you. Call today. The time is now to seek professional treatment. You do not have to do this alone.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Are Creative Individuals More at Risk for Addiction?

Are Creative Individuals More at Risk for Addiction?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

The list of talented people who have struggled with addiction is incredibly long. It would take way too much time to list them all. Do creativity and addiction correlate with one another? Are creative individuals more likely to be addicts? That controversial question has been debated for decades.

For the most part, researchers have concluded that people whose abuse substances are not more creative or more successful as a result. Neuroscientist, David Linden of Johns Hopkins University, declared in an interview that there was not a connection between creativity and addiction. He stated that suggesting otherwise confuses coincidence with cause.

Addiction is a disease, not a shortcut to success. When looking at famous writers who were alcoholics, like Fitzgerald or Hemmingway, it is easy to assume that alcohol helped fuel their creative process. However, this is just a perception. Creativity does not stem from substance abuse, nor should substances be the source of your creativity.

Substance Abuse = Source of Creativity?

Dependence on drugs and alcohol should not be the source of your creativity. We should not glorify substance abuse as a means to creativity. In the book, “The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent and IQ,”  author, David Shenk states extraordinary talent and achievement come from “the combined consequence of early exposure, exceptional instruction, constant practice, family nurturance, and a child’s intense will to learn.” Essentially, your creativity and intelligence come from your inner will to succeed along with the role models and guidance you have in your life. Behind every successful talent is a teacher, coach or motivator pushing them along.

The problem is highly creative people find their minds are overwhelmed with data streaming in and out of their consciousness. The average person has a cognitive filter that filters this information as a means to survival.  The creative person, however, does not have this filter.  Highly creative people let more of this data in their mind. Therefore, they need to process and organize the increased information flow in untypical ways.

Unfortunately, because creative people think outside of the box and look at the world differently, they look at rules differently.  The term for this trait is cognitive disinhibition which an article describes as “the failure to ignore information that is irrelevant to current goals or to survival.”

The “rules are meant to be broken” mentality both produces creativity and creates destructiveness.  Creativity can result in risky behavior. It is risky because creative people justify their creative behavior when they create while using substances.

“Mind Expanding” Substances

Famous artists were thought to be more brilliant because of their liberal use of “mind expanding substances.”  However, time and time again, it has been proven that creative people are able to maintain their creativity without substances. Those in recovery find that their mind is clearer, making them more able to follow through on their natural creative impulses.

On the contrary, long-term substance abuse can permanently damage creativity. Extended drug use can affect the brain damaging it in ways that may not even be recoverable even after years of sobriety. Scary, isn’t it?
The first time a creative person abuses drugs or alcohol, they may find they can express themselves better. This may cause them to believe they “need” these substances to be creative. However, reactions like this are temporary. Also, creative people may be using substances to self-medicate mental health issues they have not addressed professionally.

Why Are Creativity and Addiction So Prevalent?

Now that we know there is not a direct link between substance abuse and creativity, why do so many creative geniuses deal with addiction? Most of this has to do with the genetics and traits that make someone predisposed to addiction. Those same traits are a prerequisite for creativity.

Studies reveal that 40 percent of addiction is genetically predetermined. While family history is no guarantee that someone will have a problem, there is a strong connection between the two. There are several genes involved in addiction risk. Experts have not identified them all, however, the ones we are currently aware of affect the release of the happy chemical dopamine.

Dopamine Depletion?

Addicts tend to feel pleasure weaker than the average person. Because of this, addicts abuse substances in an attempt to achieve the same level of happiness that others feel natural. There may not be a direct link between drug addiction or mental illness and creativity, but science hints at a connection between substance abuse and traits that are a prerequisite for creativity. A low-functioning dopamine system can make a person more likely to misuse substance and engage in risk-taking, novelty-seeking compulsions.

This same low-functioning dopamine system relates to creativity. Individuals who have struggled with releasing happy chemicals  their whole life may latch on to creative outlets like music, art, and writing to help re-generate that dopamine and process information better.

Overall, your risk for addiction is up to you. You have a choice to use healthier outlets to compensate for genetic factors that may put you at risk for substance abuse. Creativity should not have to be fueled by addiction. You have the ability to be a creative person without the use of drugs and alcohol. 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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