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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.
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
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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.
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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
If you struggle with PTSD or another psychological disorder, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, you may have turned to alcohol and/or other substances as a way to self-medicate. This is quite common. Especially in the case of PTSD.
Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Treatment for Addiction and PTSD: PTSD Explained
PTSD is most commonly associated with war veterans however it can affect anyone who has experienced some kind of traumatic event. A person might develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if they are exposed to trauma either firsthand or as a witness, such as sexual assault, serious injury, or threats of imminent death. A diagnosis of PTSD is made based on the presence of certain symptoms, such as disturbing and recurrent flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and a perpetual state of fight-or-flight (called hyperarousal), that continue for more than a month after the traumatic event.
Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Treatment for Addiction and PTSD: What is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a clinical term used to describe a person who has both a psychological disorder and a substance use disorder. The relationship between the two is complex, and treating people with co-occurring – or co-existing – issues that involve substance abuse and mental illness can be more complicated than the treatment of either condition alone. Therefore there is great need for dual diagnosis treatment that is specifically designed to treat all conditions simultaneously so that healing and recovery can begin.
Dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD is especially important to treat those with these coexisting conditions who wish to continue to work or need to be at home, such as to care for family members (i.e. children, ailing parents) and other family-related matters.
Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Treatment for Addiction and PTSD: What is Outpatient?
Outpatient treatment refers to a level of care that is the most flexible and that allows you to fulfill your personal and professional day-to-day duties while getting the help you need. Outpatient programs offer either day- or night-sessions that occur for 5, 3, or 1 day a week, depending on level of intensity and that last for about three hours.
Dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD includes a variety of therapeutic programs in which you will attend classes and therapy sessions – both group and individual – at regular intervals at the treatment facility you choose.
The specific types of therapy available in a dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD setting include:
Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Treatment for Addiction and PTSD: Benefits
For some, inpatient rehab is required in order to get them back on the right track. For others, a less-intensive therapeutic environment is more fitting. It’s up to you and your doctor and/or therapist to decide.
Flexibility is important because a more flexible dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD is likely to evolve as your treatment needs change. If someone isn’t responding to one particular type of treatment, these facilities can quickly alter the treatment strategy in order to maximize the odds of success.
Many people seeking dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD want no part of the stigma attached to addiction or mental illness, as both are still highly and negatively stigmatized medical conditions. They want to be able to keep their daily routine as close to normal as possible.
Support is one of the most purposeful elements of dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD. Someone who is trying to recover from substance abuse and mental illness cannot do so without the necessary love and support from family, loved ones, and healthcare professionals, such as the ones who work at dual diagnosis outpatient treatment programs. Clients will learn essential coping methods and tools so that they can deal with the issues related to their substance use disorder, such as temptation, withdrawal, and craving as well as with those related to their psychological disorder, such as loneliness, fear, depression, and anxiety in healthy, productive ways.
Mental illness and addiction quite often go hand in hand. Dual diagnosis outpatient treatment for addiction and PTSD helps those who experience mental illness and chemical dependency so that they can heal and recover while still living their lives, taking care of their families, and/or pursuing their careers. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.
By Cheryl Steinberg
According to large studies that focus on diseases, most people who have a diagnosable addiction problem tend to quit using drugs around their mid-20s and, without treatment. That may be due to the fact that, around your early to mid-20s is the period when the prefrontal cortex finally reaches maturity. This is the part of the brain that’s responsible for good judgment and self-restraint.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” And yet, that is not what these large epidemiological studies are showing.
For example, in a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population, by age 35, 50% of all people who, during their teens and 20s, qualified for a diagnosis of wither active alcoholism or drug addiction no longer do.
Therefore, if addiction truly was a progressive disease, the data would show that the odds of quitting drugs and alcohol get worse over time. What the studies show, instead, that as people get older, a higher and higher percentage end up in recovery.
‘The Clinician’s Error’
Why is it, then, that so many people still regard addiction as hopeless? One reason is a phenomenon known as “the clinician’s error,” which is so frequently reflected in articles and other such reporting on drug use and abuse. Journalists and rehabs tend to see only the extreme aspects of drug abuse and addiction. Those who can quit on their own you probably will and therefore go unknown to treatment programs and other sources of reporting and information.
Similarly, treatment providers get a skewed view of addiction and the nature of addicts: The people who keep coming back are not typical of drug addiction—they’re simply the ones who need the most help. Therefore, to base your concept of addiction only on the chronic relapsers is to create an overly pessimistic picture.
Addiction as a Developmental Disorder
One school of thought is to view addiction as a learning or developmental disorder, instead of the commonly touted disease model. If addiction really were a primary, chronic, progressive disease, natural recovery rates would not be so high and addiction rates wouldn’t peak so prevalently in young people.
If addiction is viewed as a developmental disorder, its association with age makes a great deal more sense. The most common years for full onset of addiction are 19 and 20, which coincides with late adolescence when the cortical development is not yet complete. In early adolescence, when the drug use that leads to addiction by the 20s typically begins, this is when the emotional systems that deal with love and sex are kicking in but before the cognitive systems that regulate risk-taking are fully active.
Therefore, excessive drug use at this time probably interferes with both biological/physiological and psychological development. Biologically-speaking, it’s the impact of the drugs on the developing circuitry, itself, that is brain structure and chemistry. Psychologically – and just as important – if, as a teen, you don’t learn healthy ways of coping with the inevitable ups and downs of life and relationships, you miss out on a critical period for doing so. If you turn to drug use as a way to self-soothe, known as self-medicating, then you are of course more likely to develop a substance use disorder.
On the other hand, if you learn healthy coping skills in adolescence, even heavy drug use later may not be as difficult to kick because you already have a frame of reference for healthy coping methods.
Can You “Grow Out” of Your Drug Addiction: Research and Data
Data supports the concept of addiction as a developmental issue: If you start drinking/using with peers before age 18, you have a 25% chance of becoming addicted but, if your use starts later, your odds drop to as low as 4%. Very few people without a prior history of addiction get hooked later in life, even if they are exposed to the harder, more powerful drugs like opiate painkillers.
How This Can Support Recovery
Merely focusing on clinical samples, those who go to treatment, excludes vital information from the picture as a whole. To better understand recovery as well as how to teach it, it’s important to look at how people who quit without treatment were able to do so – what strengths and tactics they used to accomplish this.
In many cases of successful recovery without treatment, commonalities include finding a new passion in sobriety – whether in work, hobbies, spirituality, religion or other area of life, adding structure to one’s environment (such as going from college-life to a more regimented one of 9 to 5 employment), and developing important life goals that are at odds with continuing heavy drinking and/or drug use. Another really important similarity that was found in the research is that people who recover without treatment tend not to self-identify as ‘addicts.’
There are many paths to recovery—and if we want to achieve long-lasting sobriety as well as help others to recover, we need to explore all of them. That means recognizing that recovery outside of treatment and conventional methods exists—and not dismissing data we don’t like or that doesn’t “fit” with what we’ve read or been told. If you are seeking recovery from substance abuse or addiction, call an Addiction Specialist today at toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We can answer your questions about treatment options and other ways to recover.