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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:

The Connection Between Chronic Pain, Mental Illness and Addiction

The Connection Between Chronic Pain, Mental Illness and Addiction

Author: Shernide Delva

Chronic pain can be extremely difficult to manage. Pain management involves a variety of treatment options, but one area that desperately needs attention is the psychological impact of chronic pain. According to researchers, about half of adults with chronic pain also experience anxiety or mood disorders like depression.

The findings, published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders, highlight the need to offer treatment and resources to those struggling with the psychological impact of chronic pain.

“The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.

The research examined data to analyze the associations between mood and anxiety disorder and self-reported chronic physical conditions. 5,037 participants in São Paulo, Brazil participated in the interview process.

Among individuals with mood disorders, chronic pain was reported by 50 percent, followed by respiratory disease at 33 percent, cardiovascular disease at 10 percent, arthritis by 9 percent, and diabetes by 7 percent.

Anxiety disorders were also common among those with chronic pain reported at 45 percent, and respiratory at 30 percent, as well as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, each 11 percent.

“These results shed new light on the public health impact of the dual burden of physical and mental illness,” said Dr. Martins. “Chronic disease coupled with a psychiatric disorder is a pressing issue that health providers should consider when designing preventive interventions and treatment services — especially the heavy mental health burden experienced by those with two or more chronic diseases.”

Chronic Pain and Painkiller Addiction

One common treatment for chronic pain is the use of prescription painkillers. Opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet affect specific parts of the brain that reduce the perception of pain. However, along with reducing the perception of pain, these medications also release feel-good chemicals in the brain, often leading to dependence.

With this study, it is clear why chronic pain sufferers are susceptible to opioid dependence due to a variety of factors including the need for feel-good chemicals like dopamine. Chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are lacking in those with depression and anxiety.

Many patients who take prescription painkillers do so without forming any dependence.  In some, opioid use generates negative side effects such as nausea, making them more unwilling to use the drug’s long-term. Still, some individuals are so desperate for pain relief, that they take larger doses than prescribed more frequently. Not long after, a full-blown addiction develops.

It is important to note that there is no way to know whether a prescription painkiller user will develop an addiction to opioids. However, factors like having a family history of addiction, struggling with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, or experiencing a past trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse all increase the risk. Those who have struggled with previous addiction are at a higher risk as well.

Another dangerous aspect of opioid addiction is that it often leads to heroin use. Health officials confirm that this is not uncommon. Because painkillers are more difficult to obtain and more expensive, many users turn to using heroin. Heroin is in a similar drug classification as opioids and is easy to obtain for cheap on the street.

Overall, this study says a lot about the way mental disorders and addiction often go hand in hand. That’s why so many treatment centers offer a dual diagnosis program. Therefore, if you struggle with mental illness, addiction or both, please call now. We want to help.

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Should I Drink in Front of My Loved One in Recovery?

Dug and Heidi McGuirk answer "Should I Drink in Front of My Loved One in Recovery?"

Dug and Heidi McGuirk answer “Should I Drink in Front of My Loved One in Recovery?”

Author: Shernide Delva

Dug and Heidi McGuirk, who run the Revolutionary Family program for Palm Healthcare, recently answered, “Should I drink in front of my loved one in recovery?” in their latest video.  This question was submitted by a parent with a son in recovery.

She asked: 

My husband and I love craft beers and he’s making a wine right now at home and while we don’t drink around our son or mention it, we were wondering if he moves back to town, although he won’t be living with us, does that mean we have to stop drinking for his sobriety, or just not drink around him? It seems strange to pretend that we have given up drinking. I also ask because when we were visiting, my dad drank right in front of him, and he didn’t say anything, but I was nervous since he’s still new to recovery. I thought other parents might have the same question.  I don’t want to treat him differently than any others, but I also don’t want to hurt his sobriety.


This is a common question that many parents and loved one’s of addicts ask especially in the early stages of recovery.

To start off, Dug McGuirk answers that it is important to have an initial awareness of your behaviors around your recovering loved one.

“My initial thoughts are that it’s great that you’re considering it, that you’re being aware, and you have some sensory acuity,” Dug McGuirk affirms. “It’s also fantastic that right now, in early recovery, you’re not necessary drinking in front of him, that’s probably fine. That’s a great decision if you believe in it.”

Still, it’s important to remember that you are not responsible for your loved one relapsing. Your loved one can still relapse regardless of whether you have alcohol around the house or not. Alcohol is everywhere, and eventually, they are going to have to deal with that reality.

“At some point, he’s going to be exposed to alcohol, so what are you going to do? Be co-dependent?” Dug McGuirk asks.

“Being exposed to stimulus doesn’t necessarily make somebody drink,” Heidi McGuirk says. “Your loved one is going to be exposed to the stimulus all the time, and that’s part of life.”

“You could go your whole life and not drink a drop of alcohol in front of somebody, or not have any alcohol in the home around them and they still could relapse,” Heidi McGuirk continues.

Decide What You Believe In:

Ultimately, Heidi McGuirk says it comes down to doing what you believe in.  It is important to keep that in mind when making these types of decisions.

“Everybody’s going to be different,” she says. “Don’t do what you think is going to keep somebody sober. Do what you believe in instead.”

You may decide that not drinking around your loved one is a small sacrifice to make. That decision may give you some peace of mind when they are around. You have to determine that for yourself depending on the circumstances.

For Heidi McGuirk, she says if her father, who wrestled with addiction, were still alive, she likely would not feel comfortable drinking around him.

“If he were still here and he was still in recovery, we would not have alcohol around him. I just– I don’t believe in that. I wouldn’t want that for him,” she admits. “Me, not drinking anyway, it’s irrelevant, but if he were staying in my house, I would just do what I believe in. which is not having any alcohol around.”

Heidi McGuirk says her decision would come from a loving place. She compares it to the way she would behave around someone struggling with managing their weight.

“Just for the same reason that if I knew somebody who was managing their weight and they had a gastric bypass, I wouldn’t sit down to a four-course meal of desserts in front of them because I would find them kind of rude, but that’s me! Could I be a little codependent there? Probably. But that’s how I love,“ she explains.

Everyone is Different:

Heidi McGuirk explains how these decisions may simply come from a place of love for your addicted loved one. However, it also good to note how your loved one feels about it. They may feel offended by your decision to not drink or have alcohol around.

“In my own life, I wouldn’t want for one second for somebody not to drink around me,” she admits. “I have lots of friends, lots of family, who drink in front of me all the time, and I don’t take offense to it, and  I wouldn’t want them to change their lifestyle. So again, it’s not about keeping somebody sober, it’s finding what you believe in and then practicing what you believe in from a place of your heart versus your mind on what you think is going to keep somebody well.”

“The simple answer is that whether you drink or not is not going to make someone relapse,” Dug McGuirk says. “Cause if someone relapses, it has nothing to do with what they’re exposed to. It has everything to do with: Are they working their recovery?

Insights From My Relationship

Personally, I related to this question a lot, and agree with the answer Dug and Heidi McGuirk gave. My boyfriend was five years sober when we first got together nearly two years ago. However, I am not in recovery from drugs or alcohol. In the beginning of the relationship, I wanted to ensure he was okay with seeing me consume alcohol.

It turns out; drinking in front of my boyfriend did not bother him at all. In fact, he felt more comfortable when I did not alter my behavior due to his recovery. However, his drug of choice was never alcohol, so drinking was never a trigger for him to begin with.

If needed, I would have abstained from alcohol while he was around, simply from a place of love. Fortunately, I never needed to make that decision. As you can see, these situations really vary from person to person.

Still, whether or not to drink in front of a loved one is a multifaceted question. Communication is essential. In early recovery, drinking or having alcohol around the house might not be a good idea.  Later on, it may become less of an issue. Overall, if you have any uncertainty about your loved one’s sobriety, please reach out. We can help. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Inside the Packed Opioid Workshop Held In West Palm Beach

Inside the Packed Opioid Workshop Held In West Palm Beach

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

Author: Shernide Delva 

The first of four opioid workshops took place May 1st   in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Florida Governor Rick Scott initiated the workshops as a way of addressing the opioid epidemic, yet he was not in attendance for the meeting.  Instead, 22 public figures attended the workshop ranging from Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley.

Protesters stood outside of the West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room. Some held signs; others held photos of loved ones who had passed. Many wore shirts with the words “Fed Up!!” printed on the front.

A live broadcast of the discussion streamed via the Palm Beach Post Investigations Facebook page. Christine Stapleton, an investigative reporter for the Palm Beach Post, reported live from the event. Around 1:30 PM, Stapleton walked along the front of the building conversing with protesters prior to streaming the opioid workshop which began at 3:00 PM.

Protesters marched holding signs and chatting amongst each other. Some were parents of children who had died from overdoses. Others were Registered Nurses who witness overdose victims on a regular basis. People gathered from all walks of life with one thing in common: they were all fed up with the response regarding the opioid epidemic.

Unfortunately, most felt the workshop they were attending was not the best plan of action regarding the opioid epidemic. Some deemed the workshop pointless. However, it was a much-needed conversation and an opportunity for the community to be heard by public officials.

The timeframe of the meeting was set at only 90 minutes which received massive criticism due to the complexities of the opioid epidemic. Furthermore, Governor Rick Scott was not in attendance which only further lowered the morale of some in attendance.

Protesters Speak Out: Desperate for Action

Outside of the facility, hundreds of purple strips of cloth hung on clotheslines. Behind the strips of cloth is Gaynelle Gozland, a parent advocate whose son, at just 13 years old, became addicted to opioids. She explains to Stapleton how she wishes she had known what she does now about prescription painkillers.

At just 13 years old, Gozland’s son was prescribed a 5-day opioid prescription for a broken arm. Not long after, her son spent his 14th birthday in rehab, addicted to opioids.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” she says in the live stream. “My son, who is 19 now, still says to me ‘thank you for what you did because if you hadn’t, I’d be dead or strung out on heroin.”

As for the hanging strips of purple cloth, they are memorial banners. Gozland says the strips represent those who have passed away due to overdoses.  Gozland’s mother, who passed away from alcoholism, influenced the idea for the purple strips of cloth.  Her mother used to run a clothesline art show stringing up kids art.

“So, I’m stringing up memorial banners, and the banners are basically prayer flags so that as the wind blows, the memory of these human beings are carried on the wind,” she says.

Inside the Opioid Crisis Workshop

At about 3:00 PM, Stapleton walks us into the opioid workshop in which public figures sit in the middle of the room.

Several called on Governor Rick Scott to declare the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis. They believe this would speed up funding.  Why is the Zika virus considered a public health crisis, yet not heroin? However, Attorney General Dr. Celeste Philip says the declaration does not always result in faster funding.

“What happened in [(sic)  Zika — the declaration occurred in February, and funding was not made available until several months later when we saw that the delay in federal funding was longer than we expected,” says Philip.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley summed up the tone of the room:

“I’m angry today,” says McKinley. “We just did this in January in Tallahassee. We held this press conference with the Attorney General. We had this conversation. We laid out a plan of what was needed. Nothing was done.”

“If we were able to move that quickly on (the Zika) issue, why can’t we move more quickly on this (heroin) issue?’’ she asked.

The crowd erupts in applause.

Overall, one thing was clear from the workshop: talk is cheap. People need action. These opioid workshops do raise awareness and grant a voice to the community. However, the plans discussed need implementation. Not much will happen without action.

“I’m (expletive) tired of it. I’m tired of losing my friends,’’ Jordan Meyers, a recovering addict from Boca Raton, sums up in the workshop.

The remaining workshops are to be held Tuesday and in Manatee and Orange Counties and Wednesday in Duval County.


What do you think of Rick Scott’s opioid workshops? Do you feel they are making a difference? The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that should be taken just as seriously as any other disease. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse, reach out. We can get you on the right track. You are now alone in this fight. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Opioid Workshop in Palm Beach County Set for May 1

Florida Governor Believes Community Workshops Will Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

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

Author: Shernide Delva 

The opioid epidemic is a complicated manner with a myriad of potential plans of action. Throughout the country, different strategies are being implemented to reduce the number of deaths

Florida Governor Rick Scott believes community workshops are a part of the solution.  Palm Beach County will be the first of four counties next month to host community workshops as part of Governor Scott’s plan to combat the opioid crisis.

The first “community workshop” is set for May 1, according to the Department of children and families.

Date/Time: 

Monday, May 1, 2017 – 15:00 to 16:30

Location:

West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room
600 Banyan Blvd
West Palm Beach  Florida  33401

United States

Two counties will also have the workshops on May 2—Manatee and Orange counties and Duval County’s workshop will be May 3.

Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the workshops on Tuesday. The state Department of Health and the Florida Development of Law Enforcement will host the conferences, and believe the conferences are a good step moving forward.

“Similar to many communities across the nation, Palm Beach, Manatee, Duval, and Orange counties are facing an increase in opioid-related deaths,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said in an email sent to local officials.

“Community workshops will provide important opportunities for DCF, DOH, and FDLE to directly hear the specific needs of affected communities as well as provide information on existing resources, best practices, and grant opportunities.”

Will These Workshops Help Fight Opioid Epidemic?

The opioid epidemic in Florida has reached number unheard of in previous years.  The main cause for the increase in overdose deaths is related to fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is nearly 50 times stronger than heroin, while carfentanil—another controlled substance— is strong enough to tranquilize an elephant!

These powerful opioids get cut into the heroin supply tremendously increasing the risk of overdose fatalities. A recent report stated every 15 hours; someone dies from an opioid overdose in Florida. This does not include drug overdoses from alcohol or other non-opioid drugs.

Governor Rick Scott says the issue is personal for him.

“I had a family member dealing with drug abuse and he struggled with drug abuse his entire life, and I can tell you wish I had known exactly what to do for him,” said Scott.

“I can just tell you it was devastating. His life has been devastated, and it also had a dramatic impact on my mom’s life. And, she died a few years ago, and I can tell you what bothered her the most is that she could not change my brother’s life.”

In addition to contributing to reducing heroin abuse, Gov. Rick Scott says he is eager to hosting community workshops across the state. Law enforcement agencies are also contributing to the effort.

Scott stated in a news conference that he is directing these state organizations to hold workshops:

  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Department of Health
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement

If you are in Palm Beach, Duval, Manatee or Orange country, please check with your local agency on the location and time for the next workshop.

Do you think these workshops will be effective in generating ideas on how to fight the opioid epidemic? Clearly, it is a complex problem with a myriad of solutions. Furthermore, if you are struggling, we have professionals waiting to guide you. Do not wait. Call toll-free today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Will Clean Needle Vending Machines Save Lives?  Las Vegas Thinks So.

 

Will A Clean Needle Vending Machine Save Lives?  Las Vegas Thinks So.

Author: Shernide Delva

We’ve talked about it all. Whether it is safe needle injection facilities, or prescription heroin, the various harm reduction strategies to reduce the effects of substance abuse continue to raise controversy.

Now, Las Vegas plans to reduce the risk of sharing contaminated needles by installing vending machines throughout the city.

That’s right, vending machines.

Those things you buy snacks and water bottles from will soon be carrying clean hypodermic needles.  Those needles are there to prevent the spread of disease among heroin users.  The ultimate goal is to save lives and help users stay healthy.

Before you argue the pros and cons, let me remind you that this idea is far from a stretch. New York has seen massive success in the use of safe needle exchange programs. The safe needle exchange programs in New York City have been credited with virtually eradicating the transmission of AiDS through contaminated needles. Furthermore, there are already areas in Canada that carry clean needle vending machines, and so far, the results have been favorable.

Las Vegas wants to crack down on disease transmission via shared needles by becoming the first city in the United States to install clean needle vending machines.

But why not create another safe needle exchange program, you ask?

Good question. It all comes down to time and money. Traditional safe needle exchange programs require a tremendous amount of resources — time, money and volunteers willing to hang out in neighborhoods that have high drug use rates.  Vending machines, on the other hand, are inexpensive and more accessible.

The syringe vending machine program is a collaboration between the Las Vegas harm reduction center Trac-B Exchange and the state. The goal is to make clean needles more accessible in order to reduce the spread of diseases like hep C and HIV.  Three machines will debut at outreach centers around Las Vegas next month.

With every purchase, users receive a package that includes alcohol wipes, a disposal container, and condoms in addition to clean needles.  The packages will be free but users must register a swipe card with their birthday and their first and last name to monitor the number of kits distributed per user. There will also be a kiosk nearby to dispose of dirty needles.

Improving Overall Health?

These types of programs do not just reduce diseases like HIV and hep C, they also prevent abscesses, infections, and damage to veins, helping users’ overall health. There is little evidence to suggest that these programs encourage drug use. Instead, plenty of studies confirms that programs like these reduce the spread of diseases transmitted by the blood.

Overall, of course seeking treatment is the ideal answer to those struggling with addiction. However, the reality is we are in the middle of an addiction epidemic, and many are continuing to use. Therefore, programs like these are intended to help improve overall health. We want to know your opinion. What are your thoughts on these types of programs?


Harm reduction programs remain a complex strategy to a devastating epidemic. The best option is always sobriety, but sadly, it takes time for many to commit to that choice. That’s why if you are struggling with substance use disorder, reach out to us. We have professionals waiting to give you the help you desperately need. You are not alone. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

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