Paying for Rehab Without Insurance

How to Pay For Rehab Without Insurance

There are ways for someone to pay for rehab without insurance. It is possible to pay out of pocket with the right amount of research or planning. Besides, there are ways to make the payment process less painful. Paying out of pocket doesn’t have to leave you in debt.

First, there are payment plans that enable the full amount to be broken into smaller parts to be paid off in a more extended period of time. This would be similar to paying gradually by using your credit card, which is also a good option. Both of these choices allow you to receive treatment even before it’s been paid for. But the former isn’t always available and would depend on the clinic or center chosen. The latter, however, can be done by anyone with a credit card.

Another great option many don’t know about is rehab grants or scholarships. These can either be funded by state or federal government, or even the rehab itself. They are used as an encouragement for those who can’t afford treatment to still get the help they need. Some of these can help payment either partially or in full.

Other Options for Paying for Rehab

Many states have programs that fund rehabilitation services. Hopefuls must meet the criteria to be eligible for help. Applicants must qualify according to their income status, or by proving their addiction status and/or need for intervention. In order to apply, you can contact a local or state mental health agency and substance abuse agency. A directory provided by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can help you find out who to call.

Another way to afford rehab that some might resist is getting a loan. You can take a private loan, a personal loan, and use home equity in order to pay for rehab treatment. To get it, it is required that a person has good credit. Loans need to be paid in time to avoid extra charges, so if you choose it, make sure to have all your finances planned out.

Additionally, an option that has become popular, thanks to social media is crowdfunding. A lot of people use online donation platforms to ask others for help paying for treatment. It would require effective online reach and a lot of people helping, but it has worked for many, even if partially.

Medicare and Medicaid – Rehab Coverage

Medicare and Medicaid are state- and federal-funded programs, created in 1965. Both of them can be used to help pay for rehab treatment in Florida and any other state.

However, both Medicare and Medicaid suffer some yearly changes, as they are government-funded. This is especially important for eligibility, since depending on the changes, more or less, people might be eligible for aid. Nonetheless, it also means that you need to check on your coverage benefits every year. These changes are required to avoid economic issues and debt. 

It is not usual for people to confuse Medicaid and Medicare. While being created at the same time, its differences include coverage of services for rehabilitation, like mental and behavioral treatment. Some people do qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, but they are entirely different.

Medicaid Drug Rehab Insurance

Medicaid benefits people that can prove low income and can’t afford a majority of the plans available. The income maximum varies depending on the state. You will need to check what the eligible amount is on your state to see if you’d apply. The standard might also change from one year to the other.

Residents of Florida can get coverage for rehabilitation treatment through Medicaid. Even non-citizens with medical emergencies might be able to do so.

Medicare Drug Rehab Insurance

Medicare was created to help those over 65 years of age and people with severe disabilities. Unlike Medicaid, the eligibility for Medicare has nothing to do with income. It will not require proof that you have a low income to get help. 

Some requirements for Medicare coverage, even for rehab, are: being over 65 years old and having paid Medicare taxes for 10+ years; being married to a person who paid Medicare taxes for 10+ years; having a severe disability (at any age); suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease. 

The drug rehab insurance that is provided by Medicare includes outpatient and inpatient treatment programs. Medicare is divided into parts A, B, C, and D, and each of them covers different stages and services of rehab treatment. But there are limitations to each setting you need to be aware of before starting treatment. 

For example, part A of Medicare only covers upwards to 190 days in any psychiatric hospital. And this is not per year; this is the lifetime coverage a patient will get. When it comes to prescription medications, part D does not cover buprenorphine or methadone. These and other details should be checked so you can avoid any surprises when it is time to pay. 

The Problem With Not Having Insurance

If you choose not to get insurance, you should know a bit about the consequences of not having it. First, not having insurance will put you at risk of having to pay high medical costs. If you need an emergency visit or any type of unexpected procedure, they might not be so cheap.

Back when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was created, people who chose not to have insurance were charged penalties for not having insurance. While this was officially repealed in 2019, those who didn’t have coverage until 2018 will still be penalized come tax time. Even though it was repealed, some states will still charge a fee in their taxes for those who don’t have insurance.

If you’re wondering how to pay for drug rehab without insurance, maybe you’re asking the wrong question. Perhaps you should wonder how to make rehab more affordable, or how to get help paying for it. Insurance plans are important, and not just for coverage for rehab. There are many cheaper options out there that can make quite a difference when the time comes. 

Affording Insurance And Other Insurance-Required Benefits

There are many affordable insurance options and ways to make treatment more affordable. You don’t need to pay for expensive plans in order to get insurance and coverage. By getting an insurance plan, there are other benefits you’ll have access to that can make treatment more affordable. Many of these benefits require that a person has insurance to be eligible.

To get insurance, you will need to apply in a specific marketplace. Marketplaces, also called “the exchange,” have different health care providers available. They can be state, federal, or private insurance, and each has its advantages. The benefits a person will get depends on the provider and the plan chosen.

The plans available usually fall under two categories, HMOs and PPOs. There are some key differences between the two, which are:

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – HMOs charge lower monthly premiums. A patient will have a primary care physician of their choice. Therefore, they’d have only one doctor coordinating their healthcare services. HMOs require individuals to get a referral when they need to visit a specialist. Except in the case of proven emergencies, going to a professional without a referral will not allow for insurance coverage for the services provided.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – PPOs charge high payments for premiums. However, a PPO plan gives the individual a lot more independence over their health choices. In this case, the person can choose which professional they will get treated with, and they won’t need a referral. Still, they will only get coverage if they want an in-network option.

Apart from picking cheaper health insurance options (which are usually HMOs), there are other forms of help for rehab treatment. There are even laws that help protect workers and people with disabilities. Some of them are FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). But one of the most popular programs is Obamacare.

Affordable Care Act/Obamacare for Drug Rehab

The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, covers drug rehab insurance in the entire U.S., including Florida. Obamacare health insurance plans cover substance abuse disorders. The ACA actually stipulated that mental health should be covered as part of the 10 essential health care benefits. This includes substance abuse disorders as well. 

But when it comes to how much is covered, that changes from person to person. Through ACA alone, no one will have 100% coverage for treatment. Therefore, some costs for rehab will need to be paid by the patient. This goes for inpatient programs as well as outpatient ones. The percentage of coverage a person gets depends on their cost-sharing.

To find out how much would be covered, the person will have to check with their insurer and their plan. But even though ACA provides only partial help, it can cut costs drastically. Any other expenses will be dictated by insurers and will depend on someone’s plan, but they have to provide parity protections.

Get Help At First Step Behavioral Health

If you or a loved one need rehabilitation services but don’t know if you can afford it, we can help. First Step Behavioral Health has partnerships with many insurers, and we can discuss what your options are. We understand that programs might not be cheap and that they need to be as accessible as possible.

You can make an insurance verification right on our website, or by calling us today. We will help you find out how you can check for benefits and coverage, and see how we can best serve you. Rehab does not have to be expensive, and those that need help deserve it. Contact us for more information, and don’t let finances get in the way of your healthier, addiction-free self.

vitamins for anxiety

No More Benzos: 5 Holistic Treatment Options for Anxiety

Anxiety can overwhelm your day-to-day life and get in the way of the things in life that really bring you joy. Many may be tempted to throw medication at the problem without actually doing any self-work. Holistic treatments are an incredibly effective, natural way to combat anxiety. Keep reading to find out how these all-natural treatments for anxiety can help you today.

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States. Although there are many different forms of anxiety, there are core aspects of the disorder that generally stay the same. If you or a loved one has anxiety, you may find yourself overwhelmed by your thoughts – unable to turn them off.

You may find it difficult to relax, maintain healthy relationships and participate in fulfilling activities. Anxiety tends to create a monster in your head out of nothing, convincing you things that you feel like you have no control over. However, there are many treatments available to help with anxiety. Keep reading to find out some of the many natural ways you or a loved one can alleviate the pain of dealing with anxiety.

1. Exercise

The physical benefits of exercise have been proven to us time and time again. We’ve heard it from our physicians and we’ve read more articles on it then we could count. Nonetheless, a lot of people still choose to stay inactive. We encourage you to at least try and see the mental benefits for yourself. 

Exercise is considered vital for maintaining one’s mental well-being and reducing stress. Studies show that it is very effective at not only reducing fatigue but also improving concentration and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially beneficial when stress has taken your energy away.

If your body feels better, so does your mind. Physical activity produces endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. This can also improve your ability to sleep, which in return reduces stress.

In fact, scientists have found that consistent participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and even increase your self-esteem. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

Psychologists studying how exercise alleviates anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as effective as a 45-minute workout. Other studies show that exercise can work at a quick rate to improve a depressed mood in many people. All of these characteristics make exercise a great treatment option for anxiety.

2. Meditation

Understanding anxiety is the first step in working through it and finding treatment. Once we take time to learn about its chaotic nature; we can also start to heal ourselves in a way that corresponds with the feelings of anxiety triggers.

Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate emotions. The beauty of this fact is that treating anxiety means giving yourself the power back. You hold the power to regulate your emotions and choose how to respond to situations – you just need to learn how! 

We understand that it may sound like something that is easier said than done, but we also want to encourage you to see that pain is temporary. Discomfort is temporary. You (or a loved one) have so much potential to get better and improve. 

Research shows that a consistent meditation practice reprograms neural pathways in the brain and, therefore, improves our ability to handle unpleasant emotions. Through meditation, we make ourselves comfortable with anxiety-inducing thoughts and storylines. We learn to see them, sit with them, and let them go. When we do this, we learn two important things: thoughts do not define us, and thoughts are not real. 

Once we learn this lesson, we are able to slowly but surely change our relationship with anxiety. In other words, it allows us to differentiate between what is an irrational episode and what’s true.

Another positive of this skill is learning body awareness, which teaches us to bring our attention to any physical sensations felt in the present moment. In exploring these feelings and sensations, you sit with your senses in the same way you sit with your thoughts. This go-to technique can provide a safe place that can be consistently used whenever anxiety turns it’s head around the corner.

3. Natural Vitamins

It’s a proven scientific fact that what you eat can significantly impact your mood. Nutritional deficiencies can worsen mental health disorders, while a nutritionally complete diet can help improve symptoms and in this case, act as an anxiety treatment option. While many natural vitamins can be taken supplement form, they’re more effectively absorbed by the body when ingested by eating whole foods.

Some of the most general natural vitamins for anxiety include:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These acids are vital for cognitive functioning. In fact, Harvard studied have proven that they improve symptoms of depression, which is often also closely linked with anxiety disorders. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines and anchovies.

  • Probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms known for their benefits to digestive health. However, recent research has revealed that probiotics can also have a profound impact on mental health. A healthy balance of bacteria in the body can boost the body’s ability to cope with stress, improve overall mental health and bolster cognitive functioning.

You can find probiotics in sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, miso and pickles.

  • B Vitamins

B vitamins are vital to a healthy nervous system functioning. Their role is crucial in many aspects of mental health, such as attention, energy and cognition. They can also have an intense impact on two key factors of anxiety symptoms: stress management and mood. You can find B vitamins in wild salmon, shrimp, tuna, halibut, yogurt, eggs, cheese, lamb, venison, turkey, grass-fed beef, carrots and green, leafy vegetables.

  • L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that can improve focus, reduce stress and promote relaxation. You can find L-theanine can only be found in a few foods and drinks, including black tea, green tea, and bay bolete mushrooms.

4. Natural Supplements 

Consuming supplements and vitamins as an anxiety treatment can target the three most significant biological factors that contribute to anxiety and panic attacks: serotonin deficiency, low vitamin B6 levels, and low iron levels. When used with methods like talk therapy, building a strong social support system, meditation, journaling, and prescription medications (if necessary) – supplements can provide a significant amount of relief.

Some of the best supplements and vitamins used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety include:

  • GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter located in the brain that is vital to serotonin production. Since serotonin is one of the nervous system’s most powerful, “feel-good” neurotransmitters, GABA affects mood regulation and relaxation in a very impactful way.

  • Passionflower

Passionflower is a calming herb typically used as a household treatment for anxiety. Its been proven to promote positive moods, enhance sleep quality and alleviate nervousness.

  • Valerian Root

Although valerian root is generally known as a sleep aid, this herb can also be helpful for reducing anxiety. Once consumed, valeric acids found within the herb turn into calming, “feel-good” neurotransmitters in the body, regulating stress and relaxing the body and mind.

  • Licorice Root

This herb also carries a multitude of health benefits for people with anxiety because of the effects it has on the adrenal glands. Inside the body, the adrenal glands produce stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Licorice aids in regulating the production of these hormones, buffeting the body’s defenses against stress and lessen anxiety symptoms. Licorice root can also calm gastrointestinal upset, which many people with anxiety experience.

5. Journaling

Journaling is a powerful way to regulate your emotions and become more attuned to your thought patterns. It can also act as a great treatment option for anxiety.

Journaling helps keep your symptoms in check and improve your mood by:

  • Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and worries
  • Keeping track of any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better regulate them
  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors

When you have a problem and you feel a little chaotic, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can work on a plan to come up with a solution and reduce your stress.

Look at your writing time as personal “you” time. You can de-stress and wind down, taking a few moments to be self-aware of what you feel. Write in a place that’s comfortable and soothing, maybe even with a cup of tea. Find the excitement in your journaling time. Cherish those moments you have with yourself and you’ll learn to appreciate the peace within what feels like chaos sometimes.

There are many wonderful, natural treatment options available for those struggling with anxiety. Here at 1st Step, we don’t see the road to recovery as being a linear line – it’s not just about therapy or medication. It is crucial to look into someone’s habits and lifestyle as well and improving their well-being from the ground up. We would love to be the ones to help you do that. 

You can talk to one of our specialists today by calling us at (866) 319-6126 or contacting us here.


A Florida County’s Addiction Problem In The Spotlight

While First Step Behavioral Health aims to help people with it’s south Florida drug rehab center and alcohol treatment facilities, the story of the epidemic of addiction for the whole state is a concern that is important to follow. Even though Broward County drug rehab serves a distinct and defined area, geographical boundaries are of no concern to the illness of substance use disorder no more than the flu respects street signs.  So it is of concern when Florida Today recently ran a story showing that Brevard County addiction that is known may pale in comparison to the unknown amounts of citizens there that could be suffering.

Brevard already ranks rather high in the amount of addiction cases and overdoses within the state, so news that the problem may be deeper than the surface numbers is concerning. The opioid crisis in general has hit Brevard rather hard, which has responded with policies that heavily restrict even prescription dispensing by physicians. Ordinarily, prescription drugs tend to be filled on a per-month basis, but opioids have been singled out into allowing only three-day lengths of time with some special cases allowing up to seven-prescriptions on a case-by-case basis.

Brevard County Opioid Abuse Task Force’s organizer Stanley Brizz, who himself lost his best friend and brother to opioid addiction, will be appearing at a fundraising event in association with Florida Today’s award winning podcast, “Murder on the Space Coast”.  Brizz background in psychology and crisis intervention, along with twelve years experience working with Eckerd Connects youth and community services, will be explored along with the uniquely Floridian version of the addiction crisis that the entire country is tackling.

“This issue affected my life personally before I even thought of starting up Brevard’s Opioid Task Force, but the task idea came from what I saw Orange County’s Drug Free Office doing with their task force,” Brizz remarks regarding his organizing his own opioid task force. His best friend died at 25 of an overdose while visiting a friend and his brother was paralyzed by police when he was twenty when he was shot in the back while trying to rob a pharmacy for prescription medication.

“This is just not a problem for ‘poor’ people or people experiencing homelessness that you see on the street,” warns Brizz. “It affects everyone in a community and the problem is worse in Brevard than many think and many times it begins with legitimate use of pain medication that unexpectedly turns into addiction – for children and adults.”

His appearance on the podcast will be presented live at Surfside Playhouse in Cocoa Beach while the archive will be posted for listening later for those who cannot attend or tune in as it is broadcast.

As Brizz notes, addiction is not a problem of individuals, but a problem that communities must face together.

Substance use disorder is a serious chronic illness that requires professional treatment. Call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for treatment options.

Senior Substance Addiction

For many people, the idea of south Florida detox is a place where young ‘goons’ go when they’ve been bad, that Broward County drug rehab is only a place for wayward kids with no parents and discipline. Unfortunately, statistics and measurements exist and they are in the process of painting a completely different picture. Addiction doesn’t care about a person’s age, sex, location or any other arbitrary personal attributes. Religious or atheist, productive or slothy, it actually plays absolutely no role in whether a person can develop substance use disorder.

That said, it should also be both surprising and of no surprise at the same time that the increase of addiction in people age 60 and older has jumped by six-hundred percent in the last ten years. In 2007, there were around 582 recorded addictions to some kind of painkiller in seniors. In 2018, that number is an astounding 2,520 and shows very little signs of slowing down. Many experts believe this is a ‘tip of the iceberg’ moment and that the actual numbers of seniors addicted to some kind of opioid prescription may be far higher.

One reason for this could be a generational understanding of addiction that contradicts the more modern perception of it. For decades upon decades, any kind of addiction, whether it be to drugs or alcohol, was socially believed to be an individual’s shortcomings, an indicator of morals (or lack thereof) and general absence of discipline. Someone with an addiction, even in psychological fields, which have come a long way since the 50’s, used to be considered clinically ‘psychotic’. Then using these primitive and mostly wrong ideas of addiction and drug use, the US Government created the policy called the War On Drugs, which furthered these views by literally criminalizing those who might be suffering from addiction, making no distinction between user and seller; they were equally terrible in the eyes of the law.

Since then, medical research and psychological research has learned an enormous amount about the mechanics and fundamental nature of addiction and drug use which completely contradicts how the country has traditionally treated the condition, often ostracizing and passing harsh social criticism on those suffering. This could be contributing to the belief experts have that the number of seniors checking into treatment centers could be just a drop in the bucket compared to the actual number of seniors who are silently fighting their substance use disorder.

Even today, it’s estimated that there are over two million Americans, young and old, who show signs of substance use disorders who go untreated for their addiction. Stigma only plays a small part in this scenario today with the real hurdle for people affected is often related to access to mental and physical health care. The stigma still exists, but for those who understand addiction to be an illness, finding treatment is still an exercise in futility for many.

No matter your background or age, substance use disorder needs professional treatment by south Florida rehab centers like First Step Behavioral Health.  Call (866) 319-6126 for treatment options today.

It Takes A Village

One of the most concerning aspects that South Florida rehab centers have concern for with people who go through treatment is the long term ability for a person to remain free from their substance use disorder. While south Florida detox, and by extension residential detox, focus on the short term, rehab differs in that it’s goals aren’t for the now, but for the future. For many people coming into treatment, they’ve often created a situation which leaves them isolated, void of a social network outside of that which serves the addiction they’ve developed. Finding a new network that encourages sobriety and helps a recovering addict focus on their goals instead of abusing a substance is a challenge, and oftentimes the biggest challenge.

An old proverb states, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but in reality, it takes a village to obtain results which benefit the individual as well as the group or community they belong to. Forming bonds that show by example how to handle problems and passes education and encouragement in a bidirectional motion is one of the most important tools a recovering addict can ever receive.

While in treatment, therapies of all kinds, including mental health and emotional well being, in addition to activity therapies such as physical activity and creative activities, are deployed to assist with helping a patient find new outlets to cope with their condition, there is something unique about a community and belonging which helps to reinforce sobriety. While in most cases, it’s rather ridiculous to rely on bronze age thinking for modern problems in modern times with modern research, it’s well known that community has insanely strong influences on an individual’s behavior. We no longer have villages in modern America an idea, but a community is a proper stand-in for the saying; “It takes a community to help an addict stay sober and focused”.

There are several aspects of community building, but often times, the isolation involved and the previous community that reinforces drug use are heavy barriers to overcome. It becomes less a problem of building a community but rather replacing the one that has supported the negative habits and substance use disorder instead. One could think of it as replacing caffeinated coffee with decaf; the surface level observation is very similar, it’s what you can’t see that makes the impact.

If people were serious about combating addiction nationwide, there would be far less judgement of people suffering from substance use disorders and far more reaching out and building relationships and making public invites to more productive behaviors in groups. It may seem silly, but even something as simple as a group that goes to watch movies once or twice a week can do so much for someone, giving them a place to feel they belong and replacing their solitary activity of drug use with a community activity that can take the place of the unhealthy ones that develop from addiction.

If you are suffering from substance use disorder, please call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 to discuss a personally tailored treatment option that works for you.

The Fifth Beatle Was Heroin

Many people who see the other side of a south Florida detox will find solace in music. Even while in a south Florida drug rehab, music can be an important part of the recovery process, often helping people find an emotional release valve for frustrations and challenges when they listen to their favorite songs. Many of us, however, know that a lot of famous musicians and songwriters have struggled with substance use disorder. Some of the unfortunate were taken from their audience from overdose before their time. While John Lennon was unfortunately murdered in in 1980, but his bandmates were alarmed to find out about Lennon’s heroin addiction.

“The two of them were on heroin and this was a fairly big shocker for us because we all thought we were far-out boys, but we kind of understood that we’d never get quite that far out,” noted Beatles bass player Paul McCartney.

He and wife Yoko Ono had developed a habit after a car accident in in Scotland during the recording of the album ‘Abbey Road’. While several of the band’s acquaintances knew that Lennon had tried the drug on occasion prior, it wasn’t until this event that he had a real need for a strong painkiller that didn’t take a long time to turn into tightening grip of addiction that lasted over 10 years. While John never used a needle and prefered snorting the drug, the opiate was still capable of giving him and Yoko strong withdrawal symptoms that tortured them.

During this time, there were virtually no ways to get addiction treatment. Doctors of the time treated drug addiction as a ‘psychotic condition’, which is to say there was neither anything understood about it nor anything medical doctors or psychologists could do with their lack of understanding of it. Lennon and Yoko reportedly quit cold-turkey, Lennon asking Yoko to tie him to a chair during a 40-hour torture session while he dealt with the excruciating withdrawal symptoms. It later lead to the penning of the song ‘Cold Turkey’.

“My feet are so heavy / So is my head / I wish I was a baby / I wish I was dead” the lyrics recall. However, this would not be end of the battle against heroin. Days after writing the wong when he went to play it for colleague Bob Dylan, he was already snorting heroin again. He was open about his addiction when there was nothing truly understood about it.

On a BBC interview in 1969, he would say in an interview, “They’re so stupid about drugs. They’re not looking at the cause of the drug problem: why do people take drugs? To escape from what? Is life so terrible? Are we living in such a terrible situation that we can’t do anything without reinforcement of alcohol, tobacco? Asperines, sleeping pills, uppers, downers, nevermind the heroin and cocaine- they’re just the outer fringes of librium and speed.”

For anyone seeking heroin drug treatment in Broward, please call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

Geographical Boundaries

Substance abuse treatment in Florida is available to anyone who wants it, except when it isn’t. One of the biggest misconceptions about drug abuse and substance use disorders in America is that it’s primarily a problem of cities. Ghettos, crack houses and other cartoonish stereotypes flood a typical person’s head when they think about these things, but addiction doesn’t know what a geographical boundary is nor even what race, ethnicity, income, sex or age are. One of the problems facing the ever growing numbers of people with substance use disorder is lack of treatment access.

In most states, rehab and detox centers, including south Florida detox, typically are found in highly urbanized areas, away from rural towns with lower population density. This can pose many problems for those people, especially addicted to opioids who might have developed an addiction from painkillers prescribed by their physician, to find a reliable treatment facility to help them. Even in states where public transportation is more widespread such as California, though, it can be highly difficult for someone who has a need for rehabilitation to get there.

For functioning addicts living in rural areas Florida, who still have a job but know they have a problem and are facing difficulties with withdrawal symptoms, for instance and need professional help, the drive may simply be too far. If a person living far away has financial issues, even paying for gas or cross country bus (if it’s even available) can place help completely out of their reach. This lack of unified treatment availability has contributed to the exploding numbers coupled to the addiction crisis and to the over 70,000 overdose deaths in 2018, which for the first time in American history has totalled more than car accident fatalities.

Some states have began to implement ways to mitigate the problem, but help is coming very slowly. Some solutions have included basic addiction treatment training for hospitals in rural areas to help in early identification of people who might be developing a substance use disorder and to have available any available medication assisted treatment (MAT) drugs if available for those who find themselves in the ER room under overdose situations. Other states have begun looking at funding transportation to treatment facilities that lie far outside the ability of a patient to travel in hopes that getting an addict to quality facility for treatment will entice and encourage them to beat their addiction.

As the country continues to face the spread of addiction out into the countryside, the medical community has struggling to keep up to offer safe treatment options for those seeking help. While groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) tend to be available in most towns, even smaller ones, their success rate of helping addicts is less than ten percent and doesn’t benefit from the decades of advancement in research available in dedicated south Florida drug rehab centers. Only the future can tell whether the epidemic of addiction will be stunted but it’s clear that the current reach of help is not adequate enough.

Broward County drug rehab is available to anyone within reach, so if you or someone you love is suffering from substance use disorder, First Step Behavioral Health’s doors are always open. Call (866) 319-6126 for treatment options and locations.

Half Is Not Enough

Recently, a poll held in Cincinnati asked the question, “Is addiction a disease?” The responses totaled to just a little less than half of them describing the condition as a disease. The group carrying out the poll was happily surprised; just ten to fifteen years ago, the respondents understanding it as a disease would be somewhere in 5-10%. Much of the public discourse around the subject has been largely formed of myths, biases and miseducation combined with public policy that reinforced those things.

Take for instance the ‘War On Drugs’, an American policy that originated in 1971. The policy treated drug use as a crime, no different than someone robbing a bank or assaulting another citizen because it was believed, even in the psychiatric community as recently as the 60’s, that addictions were the result of a person that was simply ‘psychotic’. Even the term psychotic today carries with it the implication of dangerous. Therefore, it was of a concern for public safety that drug addicts be arrested for purchasing, using or possessing illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin.

The program also included a lot of media proliferation which hammered home the legality of drugs and emphasized that only terrible people would ever think of doing drugs, buying drugs or selling drugs. Programs like D.A.R.E. and the cartoon detective Ruff McGruff were among many messages aimed at children during the 1980’s and 1990’s that were built around this idea of morality and criminal activity associated with drug use and addiction. Those children are now adults and in supervisory and decision making areas of society now, but since then, much has been discovered about the nature of addiction. Effectively, it’s had an effect where not only does it condition people to look down on others who find themselves with a substance use disorder, it makes people suffering from it reluctant through social pressures to seek help.

Even as early as the start of the 1980’s, researchers were not satisfied with the answers science had concluded as to what addiction really is. Those in the areas of medical science which focused on studying the brain experimented with newly available brain-imaging technology which mapped out brain activity began a new search into answers of what addiction is by mapping brain activity of addicts simply being shown images of their favored substance. What they found was that the images were identical as if they had actually used that substance.

Since then, studies by medical researchers, neurologists, addiction experts and other related fields have found piles of evidence that addiction behaves much like a transformative disease such as cancer or HIV, that it is chronic illness that fundamentally changes the body’s performance and behavior. More advanced modern research has uncovered epigenetic changes that occur in addicts, a condition in which the very genetic activity that controls how behavior is carried out in the brain becomes altered in a way that’s measurable.

While the research has still a long way to go in understanding fully the nature of addiction, some early medication-based treatments have been developed with many more likely to be synthesized in the future with greater effectiveness. But this process will be inhibited the longer that the public continues to hold outdated beliefs about addiction.

Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you are searching for south Florida alcohol treatment to control drinking, or you’re in need of south Florida detox facilities to help with a severe heroin addiction, First Step Behavioral Health’s south Florida rehab centers can help. Call (866) 319-6126 today.

Overcoming Opioid Addiction

Everyday, substance abuse disorders such as opioid use disorder continue to chew away at individual’s lives and threatens to kill them as it did to nearly 10,000 people in 2018. That’s more than three people per day. Whether the numbers of people finding themselves with addiction either from temporary poor judgment, environmental factors or simply being prescribed the addictive substance, the rate of increase shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.
For many who are suddenly figuring out for themselves that they may have a problem in the form of an opioid addiction, it may be daunting to think about what happens next, but hopefully this short list of actions can help get on the path to sobriety.
First, try to educate yourself as best as you can about addiction, opioids, the current state of treatment, and related information from trusted sources. One resource that can help is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website at Understanding your condition and how it’s typically handled by the medical field will alleviate any surprises, while understanding the treatment allows you to ask more informed questions of professionals you might seek treatment from. While it’s safe to assume all treatment facilities want to help, sometimes that help could be operating in a manner that doesn’t include up to date information, or possibly has omitted a kind of therapy or treatment that seems worth looking into.
When seeking heroin drug treatment in Broward, especially for opioids, finding medication assisted treatment (MAT) should be considered a priority. Knowledge of how opioids affect the body have advanced to the point where there are now drugs that have been proven to have positive effects on patients looking to shed their drug addiction.
It is also important to understand that detox, rehab, therapy and treatment are all different things. South Florida detox, for instance, is simply the act of safely removing the substance out of the body. For heavy addictions, dependence develops in the user actually becomes physically threatening to that person when attempting to get clean. Detox manages the physical nature of withdrawal for the safety of the patient, but doesn’t constitute complete treatment. Rehab refers to learning how to live more healthy in the absence of drugs, therapy focuses on behavioral and emotional health and treatment tends to refer to either medication assisted treatment or the totality of seeking help for addiction.
Finally, realize that recovery is not an unattainable unicorn flying through the 5th dimension, completely out of your reach. People overcome addictions every day, including severe opioid addictions that involve heavy use of heroin. As much as addiction can damage your life and hinder your ability to exert control over your actions, it’s never impossible to overcome if you are willing to maintain a positive attitude while getting treatment. Studies show that having a positive outlook on more traditional illnesses and even recovery from surgery can help in recovery because the human mind is, indeed, a powerful force.

If you or someone you know is possibly suffering from opioid addiction or other substance use disorders, call 1st Step Behavioral Health, a south Florida drug rehab center, to speak to a specialist about treatment options.

Shutdown Continues to Threaten Addiction Treatment

It’s impossible to remove politics from subjects like drug and alcohol addiction and their treatment. Government policies often dictate how society handles the problems associated with the illness and often times is also part of funding for those solutions. Government actions have a direct influence on healthcare which is partly why the current shutdown may impact some states like Florida and their ability to fund treatment centers and now may possibly affect specific opioid addiction treatments.

Whatever your politics are, the facts are that this is the longest shutdown in US Government history, now inching close to a month of frozen budgets for a variety of government functions, mostly to do with secondary government operations like parks preservation. Some of that budget funds the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which has been closed for the better part of a month and is responsible for approving the administration of drugs like naloxone by qualified doctors.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT) are becoming more and more common for treating opioid addicts as well as for preventing fatalities during an overdose in emergency rooms and treatment clinics alike. Drugs like naloxone can help patients dealing with withdrawal symptoms have relief from the cravings and physical side effects that often come from detox.

For professional physicians who prescribe the drug, they go through the Drug Enforcement Agency for approval to prescribe these medications. For the first year, they are allowed, when approved, to prescribe these drugs to thirty patients for use in MAT. The following year after a follow up review, they may expand to on hundred. With the government shutdown having effectively closed the offices which handle these approvals for the better part of a month, doctors seeking initial approval and those wishing to get the greenlight to treat more patients are both in a holding pattern.

Analyst fear this may have a two fold rippling effect down the line. The first would be that with the increase of opioid usage, fatal overdoses could possibly see a rise as well as patients without the assistance of the MAT with the possibility of rising relapses as well. The second is that once open, the speed with which the doctors will get approved will be slowed down to catch up with the backlog of however long the shutdown ends up being, further delaying the delivery of treatment to those who need it.

As mentioned earlier, the shut down also affects the funding of some clinics and addiction treatment facilities. Annually, federal grants get distributed to subsidize organizations responsible for maintaining public health, with addiction treatment centers being one of them. Depending on how much specific centers depend on that yearly influx of cash to continue running, some facilities could see drastically reduced staffing and housing during the shutdown, should it continue for much longer.

For those who might be affected by this shutdown on the patient side of things, it’s important to stick with your treatment plan as close as possible even if your substance abuse treatment in Florida temporarily closes.. Make sure to have plenty contact information for counselors and sponsors and try to find a place to stay you feel most comfortable and relatively safe from triggering situations and away from easy access to your addictive substance. South Florida drug rehab centers are not expecting to completely shut down, but taking precautions might not be the worst thing in the world.

In the meantime, seeking Pompano drug rehab is as easy as calling 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.