Rock Bottom To Rock Climbing

Often, people in recovery for substance use disorders in south Florida drug rehab will be given a chance to re-discover a part of themselves they may have forgotten, skills in art or athletics. Sometimes, people undergoing substance abuse treatment in Florida will have an opportunity to learn something about themselves they are good at or enjoy and never knew that thing about themselves. One former heroin addict from Massachusetts discovered her knack and enthusiasm for rock climbing.

Robin Agricola had become addicted to painkillers after a continuous series of medical issues had left her dealing with scoliosis, a broken scapula, arachnoiditis and severe spinal pain that developed after a pregnancy when she was 25. By the time she was 28, even though she was a so-called ‘functioning addict’ and holding down a job, she was shooting up heroin. She refers to her bottom as a ‘high bottom’, since she didn’t end up on the streets or in prison, but the very fact she was injecting heroin was enough for her to realise that she had a problem with addiction to opioid based pain killers, which many people are struggling with today in the US.

With the help of her family, she detoxed in a treatment center for 28 days, sharing time with people who had been in detox multiple times. She knows she is lucky to have been able to break the cycle of addiction that is very difficult for some people to overcome. To help her, she discovered rock climbing.

As a former gymnast, she found a love for heights of accomplishment that come with scaling both real cliffs and indoor walls.

“There are so many people out there struggling with the same thing, and there aren’t a lot of places for hope. I hope people can see my life, with climbing and travel and sobriety, and think ‘Oh, I can get out of this, too. I don’t have to live like this. I can create a better life for myself.’ That’s a pretty powerful message to share when you can share it,” Robin says of her recovery and newfound hobby. She currently gives talks and fitness lessons at a rock climbing gym in Randolph, MA while sharing her story on her personal website, No Excuses Just Crush, while travelling to speak at treatment centers to people currently in recovery for substance use disorders.

“I feel so lucky. Every day, I’m so grateful,” she says of her rise out of the dark valley of addiction. “I feel like the more people who know my story, the more avenues it gives someone who’s struggling. I’ve built this life in sobriety and they can, too.”

Whether it’s rock climbing, pinball, travelling or stamp collecting, finding a new healthy hobby can be important for recovery and can be a positive change in habits and focus that helps keep someone sober after treatment and getting clean.

If you or someone you know is need of a south Florida detox facility, call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

Technology for Recovery Has a Blind Spot

While more and more people are finding they are needing oxycodone treatment, with many people in south Florida seeking relief and heroin drug treatment in Broward, some individuals with good intentions are offering technological solutions to assist in the battle of addiction that killed more people from overdose in 2018 than car accidents. Removing any kind of ulterior profit motive out of the picture, which has also started creeping into the growing epidemic that is largely due to inefficient government policy ill equipped to deal with the problem, some have started introducing technological solutions with earnest hopes in helping people. The problem is, however, that the help is largely tone-def in many ways, with a distinct limitation on reach.

Poverty and addiction are two conditions which affect many, with poverty going into what one might call ‘extreme poverty’, more commonly called ‘homelessness.’ People who live on the streets, sleeping under bridges or finding a place in encampments where they can dodge police easier for vagrancy aren’t exactly ‘hip’ to technology. They often won’t have a cell phone, and if they do, it’s a burner with highly limited access and usually underpowered to handle much of the online software that is offered.

Take for instance, Brian Mcalister’s app that was recently introduced, which offers a substantial support network, data tracking of many aspects of a person’s relapse triggers, encourages expressing anxiety and depression in journals as a coping mechanism, and more. It’s very well thought out. But it misses the broad target of that addiction doesn’t; addiction doesn’t care about income or technology and will hurt anyone, anywhere and for any reason. One quick Google search of Kensington’s addiction population will reveal that a large number of people afflicted in the community don’t even have a place to get out of the cold or the rain, which makes having a phone look as out of reach as being a number one box office draw in Hollywood.

There’s nothing wrong with these things, however, but even taking Brian’s app and removing the access, the service fee itself is over $250 a year. Anyone who has ever lived paycheck to paycheck, nevermind homelessness, will tell you every purchase they make is measured in bags of ramen. It only serves a portion of the well-to-do community that hasn’t lost everything yet or weren’t born into a house that was broken before they were even conceived. Technology is still a luxury to many people, with over half of the world still having no internet access whatsoever, which the app heavily relies on.

It’s not that there’s an ill intent for any of these solutions, it’s that the approach is ignorant to the larger issues that surround substance use disorders and more importantly who it actually affects. It’s not a disease of the middle class, it’s a disease of everyone because addiction doesn’t care who you are and especially doesn’t care if you own a cell phone or not.

While technology is great for some people, south Florida drug rehab is best handled by professionals at First Step Behavioral Health. Call (866) 319-6126 for treatment options.