Your First Day – What to Expect from Rehab

If you’re heading into rehab or are considering it, it makes sense that you would be concerned about what you will encounter on your first day in a drug and alcohol treatment center. For most people who go into rehab, the following topics discuss what they will experience.


Signing Up and Checking In

After you contact us and set a time and date for your entrance into a First Step Behavioral Health inpatient rehab program, the time between that call and checking in to rehab should be spent informing those who need to know that you will be spending some time away to heal yourself.

On the day you check in, you will arrive at the facility and complete some paperwork regarding your medical state, mental health, and more. If you have not already set up a way to pay for rehab, you will do so before checking in. The staff at this time will also help talk to your health insurance to see if they will cover the costs.

Note: in some instances of rehab, the patient will also go through medical and mental health assessments immediately after checking in.


Your Room and the Grounds

Once checked in, the staff will give you a brief tour of the rehab center, which will include important locations that you will need to go to during certain activities and drug addiction treatment therapies. You will also be shown to your room at this time.


Contraband Checks

In your room, you and a staff member will check the belongings you brought with you to rehab to ensure no contraband has been brought through the facility’s doors.



While much of the time on your first day will be spent answering questions and acquainting yourself with the rehab center, you will probably be on site during dining hours. If you have an appetite, you can eat with the rest of the patients during those mealtimes.


Detox Begins

The day you check in to rehab will also mark the day that you begin detox and your life of sobriety. Though detox is a challenge, our staff will help you through it – we know you can make it and better yourself for good.


Types of Treatments Used in Rehab

If you are going into, considering going into, or a family member is on their way to rehab, you are understandably concerned with what types of treatments will be given once at the rehab center. Because of that, today we will be focusing on the treatment options that most people will see when going into rehab.



If the patient’s addiction is severe, they will go through a detox stage before actually spending time on rehabilitation. Unlike other stages of rehab, detox does not focus on mental or behavioral health whatsoever. Instead, the patient will spend those first days at the rehab center getting the drugs out of their system while receiving direct and around-the-clock support for their withdrawal symptoms.


Mental Health and Cognitive Therapies

Every patient who goes through rehab will participate in therapy sessions. There are three kinds of therapy sessions that are most prevalent in rehab, including family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group therapy.

In family therapy, the patient rebuilds the relationships to those closest to them. If successfully implemented, their family will help support the patient after rehab, and the patient will feel a sense of accountability toward the family.

On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses entirely on the way the patient thinks and acts. In this therapy, the patient and therapist work together to help develop a new way of thinking and acting that won’t lead back to substance abuse.

Group therapy is exactly what it sounds like. Multiple patients gather together and discuss the ins and outs of their rehabilitation. This helps the rehab process by showing patients that there are others who have and are going through the same things they are. Patients then help support each other in rehab and will oftentimes create connections that help support their progress and avoid relapse after rehab.


Seeking Rehab

For those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, going through rehab is the best way to help stop using those substances. To get started with rehabilitation for yourself or for a loved one, contact us online or give us a call at (866) 319-6126 at your earliest convenience.


How and Why Family Therapy Works so Well

Why Rehab so Often Includes Family Therapy

Despite the fact that so many drug addicts and alcoholics put the blame of their addictions on the pressure put on them by their families, the connections to their families is often a huge deterrent from relapse. Understanding that, many rehab centers like First Step Behavioral Health offer some form of familial integration into their patients’ drug addiction therapies.

The most common form of family therapy in drug or alcohol rehab is done by inviting the patient’s family to the rehab center for a scheduled therapy session. During this therapist ran session, the family will discuss how the patient’s actions have impacted them, and the patient will often discuss how they ended up with a substance abuse problem. These sessions are important in helping mend once-broken relationships, which are especially important in keeping people off drugs or alcohol after rehab.


Accountability and Aftercare

The reason that family therapy is so effective as a rehab tool has little to do with the rehab itself. The goal here is to build up familial relationships so the patient will feel more accountability toward their family members. In theory, the stronger the relationship that a person has with their family, the more likely they will want to make sure that they don’t disappoint those family members by relapsing back to substance abuse.

The responsibility here, however, isn’t entirely on the addict. By taking it upon themselves to go to family therapy at a rehab center, the family needs to understand that they are not only showing their support for the patient, but they are showing that they can be relied upon by the patient after returning home from rehab.


Get Help as Soon as Possible

If you have a loved one who has a substance abuse problem or has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol, act early to get them the help they need. The longer you wait before helping them quit, the more risk they will be in for getting hurt or, in the case of severe overdose, death.

Contact us with any questions or concerns and we’ll be glad to help.

Why Should I Go into Rehab?

Your Addiction is Probably Worse than You Think

If you are at a point where you are starting to think that you are addicted to a substance, there is a good chance that the drug or alcohol addiction is worse than you think. This is because people who are addicted often create introspective excuses for why they keep using the substance and so often. More often than not, people tell themselves (and others who will listen) that they are not addicted whatsoever. They say things like, “I can quit whenever I want.”

And if you are challenged in this way and you give that reply, you may hear a question asking you to quit the substance then and there. Your addiction might lead you into saying something along the lines of “I just don’t want to quit right now.”

With that all in mind, if you actually think to yourself that you have a substance abuse problem, it must have caused serious consequences or you feel like you have lost control of your life.


Things May Only Get Worse

A huge problem with addiction is that it is cyclical, and every time you drink alcohol or take drugs means becoming more and more addicted to the substance. For most addicts, their symptoms and addiction only get worse until they either get help by way of family intervention, a huge change in their life, or a program through a rehab center.

Even if you are a “functional addict” right now, that still means that you are an addict, and you should seek help at your earliest opportunity.


When You Should Go to Rehab

Though there’s no line drawn that separates drug and alcohol use with drug and alcohol addiction, the moment that you think you have an addiction is when you should go to rehab. If this sounds like you, contact First Step today.


Drug Overdose – When the Emergency Room Trumps the Rehab Center

How to Tell if Someone has Overdosed

Seeing a loved one go through overdose symptoms can be truly frightening, especially when some of the more serious symptoms strike. Nonetheless, if you do not know what you are looking out for or why, you might simply assume that the person is having some kind of different health issue and you may end up not getting them the help they need for their drug abuse problem.

Overdosing on drugs comes with a plethora of visible side effects. If someone has taken far too many drugs for their body to handle, they will more often than not experience or exhibit multiple symptoms, including the following:

  • Passing out
  • Loss of perception
  • Not responding
  • Seizure
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Irritation
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Violent behavior
  • High body temperatures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blue extremities
  • Drowning sounds
  • Breathing difficulties, including stopped breathing
  • Pupil dilation
  • Chest pain
  • Babbling
  • Severe incoordination


Get Immediate Help for an Overdose

Should you suspect that a loved one has overdosed on drugs, you need to act immediately and get them help. This isn’t a time to worry about whether they will get in trouble for using a substance, especially since overdose so often leads to death when people aren’t treated right away.

For a drug overdose, take the person to the nearest emergency room. Your quick action in doing so may be the difference between life and death for them.


After the Overdose has Been Handled

Watching someone go through an overdose and getting them treatment at the emergency room might seem like the problem has finally ended, but there is a good chance that the person has an addiction to drugs of some kind. Once they are out of the hospital for the overdose, contact us to determine the best course of action. We will help discover if the overdose was a one-time thing or whether a drug addiction is present.


The Best Drug Addiction Relapse Prevention

Why Does Relapse Happen?

While drug addiction treatment through rehab often leads to a long life of sobriety and avoiding substances, the truth of the matter is that addiction is a chronic illness. What that means is that even if you quit using some drug or another that you were addicted to, you may experience cravings for the rest of your life. Over time, these become easier to shrug off or ignore entirely, but those cravings are sometimes just too much for some people. This is usually because someone actively attempted to get the rehabilitated addict to use drugs again. This is one instance where peer pressure is more powerful than any other situation since there is already an underlying problem that’s already difficult for many to control.


What’s the Best Way to Prevent Relapse?

Although it can lead to a few rough social interactions, one of the things that patients learn while in rehab is to stop spending time with people who they used to do drugs with. This can be very problematic for some people because the people they were using drugs with are often friends that have been in the picture for years, if not decades. Still, it is that longevity why the pressure from these people is so powerful against someone who recently went through rehab.

That all being said, and even though it is especially difficult to do, avoiding people from the past who still use drugs is the single best way to keep from relapsing. If you have a loved one who is at risk of relapse, understand that they will be feeling especially lonesome after rehab, and make sure to spend more time with them than normal until they can make new, sober relationships.


What Should I do if Relapse Happens?

Relapse is addiction happening all over again. If the relapse is only a few days, it’s not necessarily a full addiction and the user should seek guidance through their aftercare program. However, if the relapse leads back to a full blown addiction, full rehab should be pursued once again. If you or a loved one has relapsed after rehab, give us a call at (866) 319-6126 to see how we can help today.


What are Bath Salts and are they Addictive?

What are Bath Salts?

“Bath salts” is the street name for a type of drug called synthetic cathinones, which is also often referred to as “flakka”. As implied by the “synthetic” part of its name, bath salts are not a natural substance, though they are designed to mimic the effects of an East African shrub called Khat. Bath salts are a stimulant and they can have a tremendous impact on the user’s mood. They come in crystal form, and they are taken usually by injection, smoking, snorting, or swallowing them.


Is There a Bath Salt Epidemic?

Regardless of what you might hear from media outlets that are trying to grab your attention with sensationalist and exaggerated stories, there really is not an epidemic of bath salts overtaking the country or even South Florida. Still, these drugs can still be a problem for individuals who take them – especially because bath salts have addictive traits. There are a variety of symptoms and signs that someone might be taking bath salts, but there are a few that seem to affect more users more often than others. These include heightened paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, an increase in their sex drive, and they may  become more sociable.


I Heard Bath Salts Turn People Into Zombies….

While some people who were on bath salts have exhibited some truly bizarre behavior, these drugs don’t really turn people into some kind of zombie. These stories are often exaggerated, and they are truly few in number.


Treatment for Bath Salt Addiction

If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to bath salts, contact us to get the help needed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat a bath salts addiction, you are only increasing the danger that you’re putting yourself or your loved one in.


Is My Child Addicted to Drugs?

When drug addiction plagues someone you love, it can feel like a tragedy. However, if your child somehow becomes addicted to drugs, the feelings surrounding that situation can almost feel too intense to deal with at times. The thing is, though, that if your child has developed a drug addiction, you need to take action as early as you can and get them help immediately.

Signs Your Child Might Have a Substance Abuse Problem

There are many symptoms associated with drug abuse, and most drugs have symptoms that are specific to one substance. Nonetheless, there are also a variety of signs and symptoms of drug use that are almost ubiquitous among users of any drugs out there. Some of the behavioral changes include the following:

  • Isolation
  • Making friends with other addicts
  • Anger and irritation after spending a long time with the family
  • Constantly asking for money or taking cash from parent’s wallet
  • Lapses in judgement
  • Responsibilities no longer important


There are also physical symptoms you may notice your child go through when addicted to drugs, including:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Eating much more or less than normal
  • Not taking care of hygiene
  • Bruises, cuts, scars, or “track marks” on the body
  • Constant itching
  • Unprecedented seizures
  • Changes in skin complexion

It should be noted that most of those symptoms can also coincide with changing hormones and simply growing up, which can make determining whether your child has an addiction or not an especially difficult and sensitive topic.


What to Do if You Think Your Kid is Addicted to Drugs

Other than actually catching your child in the act of consuming drugs or if you find obvious drugs or drug paraphernalia, you may never be able to find undeniable proof of an addiction. Still, if you suspect that your child is addicted to drugs, rehabilitation is the best help you can offer them to get your child back to normal. Contact us to learn how


How Can I Tell if My Spouse has a Drug Addiction?

Although most people never intend to become addicted to a substance, addiction is a widespread problem nevertheless. While addiction is particularly widespread these days, those who have a drug abuse problem will try to hide the issue, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people – they’re just embarrassed or ashamed for any number of reasons.


Common Drug Addiction Symptoms

There are many different symptoms that are indicative of an addiction to one drug or another, but there are some symptoms that are more likely to be visible no matter what drug or drugs the person has become addicted to. That being said, if you believe that your spouse has a drug addiction, these are some of the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Eating much more or less than normal
  • Not taking care of hygiene
  • Bruises, cuts, scars, or “track marks” on the body
  • Constant itching
  • Unprecedented seizures
  • Changes in skin complexion


Opioids and Heroin Abuse Symptoms

Addiction to opioids and heroin have taken over many people in South Florida due to the overzealous giving of prescriptions by doctors in previous years. That being said, if your spouse has been prescribed painkillers like oxycodone, Tramadol, fentanyl, or any other narcotic, they are at risk of being addicted to opioids. And if your spouse can’t get their hands on opioids because they have been cut off by their doctor, they may even end up taking heroin. The symptoms of these drug addictions are the same as those mentioned above, but some of them are much more common with opioids like seizures, disrupted sleep, and changes in diet.


Help End the Addiction Without Enabling

Helping your spouse get their hands on opioids is anything but “helping”. Doing so only enables them to continue using and dive further into their addiction. If you think your spouse might be addicted to drugs, contact First Step with any questions and get them into rehab should they need it.


What Symptoms Teens Show When Addicted to Drugs

If you are in a situation where you believe one of your teenage child has become addicted to drugs, you are probably facing a myriad of simultaneous emotions like rage, sadness, disappointment, concern, confusion, and helpless. These conflicting feelings make focusing on helping your teen the right way nearly impossible as most parents’ first reaction to drug abuse is some form of punishment.

However, punishing your child might just push them deeper into their drug addiction. That being said, your child will likely react best to your suggestions if you show your genuine concern and talk with them sincerely about addiction and how it can affect the entire family. When you and your teen are ready to start rehab and get the addiction out of the family for good, First Step Behavioral Health will be here to help achieve you and your loved ones’ sobriety goals.


Signs and Symptoms of Teen Drug Addiction

Since teens are going through so many changes in their bodies,many of the symptoms of drug addiction are actually similar to the way some teens change during those formative years. Because of that, you will need to tread carefully  when trying to find out whether your child is on drugs or not. That being said, there are certain signs you should look for that are strong indicators that they may have a substance abuse problem:

  • You can detect new smells on them, including things like cigarette smoke, marijuana, vapor rub, and others.
  • Finding paraphernalia, pills, or the drugs themselves in your teen’s possession and/or in their room.
  • Detachment from social activities, friends, family, pursuit of education, or lifelong hobbies.
  • Sudden drastic weight changes, especially rapid weight loss


While these all aren’t necessarily definitive signs and symptoms of teen drug addiction, if you notice these, especially in conjunction with each other, you should start paying closer attention to find out what’s really going on. For more information about teen drug addiction and getting help for your child, contact us right away.