The Battle of Drug-based Drug Abuse Assistance

For a long time, there has been a stigma attached to illicit drug use. Many organizations, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) maintain that for someone to be ‘clean’, they cannot take any drugs, even medications, unlike south Florida drug rehab. However, these groups formed nearly 100 years ago, before the medical and psychological communities had much understanding about what later became termed Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

In these groups and others like them that base their treatment methods on the framework that has been administered for over a century, the baseline of being ‘sober’ is absolute; if an alcoholic participates, for instance, in a church’s communion ceremony where a tiny thimble of wine is given for the use in the religious ceremony, that person is considered to have failed, even if that is all they ingest and only in the context of the tradition.

It is this mindset of the old guard that has long reaching consequences which are impeding more effective and well researched treatment options. One of these newer treatments actually involves what is called Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Currently, many news headlines that are reporting on the nation’s increasing opioid use, which largely has been contributed to by prescription drug addictions to medications like oxycontin, have also been reporting on MATs such as naloxone, which when administered properly, can prevent overdose but also can increase the effectiveness of behavioral therapy.

It’s often misunderstood how these drugs actually work. When being an absolutist in the AA and NA camps, taking any drug for a prolonged period of time is considered an addiction. The problem with this diagnosis is that neither AA nor NA actually administer any kind of medical and psychological treatment based on research and instead rely on faith-based treatment measures which emphasize spirituality to overcome substance use disorders. The stigma that has resulted, helped in no small part by the War On Drugs that has been ongoing since 1971, promotes and absolutism to sobriety which doesn’t take into effect what symptoms are being treated, exactly.

Substance use disorder, or addictions, are often categorized as life threatening and inhibit normal functioning in day to day life. For instance, back to the example of the patient who is deemed a failure for participating in communion, that single sip does not inhibit in any way their day to day functioning and if it doesn’t result in a return to abusing alcohol, then there actually is no failure to manage the addiction at all. With MATs, often times the drugs are taken over extensive period of time, giving the appearance of a new addiction, but if those drugs are allowing a person to remain productive in society and resist the substances that do lead to personal physical and psychological harm, then it is, indeed, actively treating the addiction itself.

It’s time to have an honest public discussion about what the real goals of addiction treatment should be and redefine the outdated and unresearched methodologies of a century old religious approach.

South Florida rehab centers utilize up to date modern treatment methods on patience seeking treatment for substance use disorders. Call 1st Step at (866) 319-6126 for treatment options include detox in Broward County.

Psychological Tolls of Substance Abuse

Just about anyone reading this can remember a time in which they didn’t realize they were being a complete belligerent jerk, where they were so short sighted in their actions they either severely embarrassed themselves or even were just a pig headed fool that permanently ruined a relationship. It was possibly over something nearly meaningless. If you haven’t experienced such a situation, maybe therapy for sociopathy should be considered as no one is perfect and we all make mistakes, especially if you’re an alcoholic considering alcohol rehab in Pompano.

For someone suffering from substance use disorder, this event may even be daily. Recovering from addiction comes with it a necessary requirement to really come to grips with the history that has developed around the abuse of a substance. This may be quite obvious with, say, an alcoholic who becomes an obnoxious loudmouth who says very venomous things randomly while intoxicated to people they would normally never think of being mean to, or less obvious such as secretly stealing funds from a relative or friend to make purchases to support their addiction. Regardless of what these actions may take the form of, they will exist and they can make recovery very difficult to even face.

Just thinking about hypotheticals, just imaging trying to reconstruct friendships and make apologies for, say, yelling at friends because they don’t understand what you do, that grass is always red and then learning later you were the one in the wrong, this can be a devastating experience. It can completely change the entire context of your existence with just a single realization. It is worse when you realize that there could be a large portion of events like this, where arguments and dramatic relationship altering events happened that can’t even be remembered, have to be faced possibly for the first time.

These unfortunate actions that result from substance use disorder can be even more savage psychologically to examine and repair. A parent coming to grips with the damage they may have done to their child’s psyche can often be a weight that will forever hang around their neck. Likewise, everyone is someone’s child and having to face one’s parents to apologize, even for the smallest mistakes, can be like chewing on glass, and so having to face a parent after terrible actions under the influence of a substance might seem undoable.

For those who have friends, family, children, parents, whomever that is trying to recover from their condition of substance use disorder, it’s okay to be angry and hold the person accountable, but be sure that you consider the opening paragraph here, that we are all fallible, no one is perfect and that it’s likely that you already have done something that didn’t even have the layer of substance abuse to blame. Offering understanding and forgiveness and support for a recovering addict can be the difference between not only their success at staying clean, but also at simply repairing a real connection that maybe should have never been severed.

Detox in Broward County as part of south Florida alcohol treatment is available for those seeking treatment. Call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

Strange Addiction Treatment May Be the Future

Recently, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston embarked on an experimental treatment process for people addicted to cocaine and crack. Their approach, in an effort find ways to reduce relapse during the treatment process, was to assess whether changing memories would lead to fewer ‘environmental’ and ‘emotional’ triggers, which cause psychological cravings, even after the user has been successfully detoxed.

The process of treatment is very important during the first year as this will be when a user is most likely to have a relapse. A relapse is when a patient who has completed the treatment process for their addiction uses the drug again. These instances are fueled by many factors; depression, anxiety, nostalgia and other feelings may induce a person to have ‘just one more go’ with their drug of choice. The researchers in Charleston think this might be a process which can be manipulated through the use of memory-altering drugs.

While this idea may seem counterintuitive and possibly science fiction along the lines of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “The X-Files”, the researchers, according to Mike Saladin who lead the study, hope to deactivate the power of memories that cause specific behaviors and habits. His ultimate goal with the research, which has had around ten human test subjects so far over the last 10 years, is to ‘turn down the volume of cues that excite drug use’ within someone’s memories.

When addiction is fully in control, it spawns new habits that benefit the addiction itself. For some people who have a tradition of taking a shower every morning, a drug user may, instead, start their day with using their drug of choice. For others, it may be linked to seeing certain places, seeing certain people or remembering specific events. Those involved with this angle of addiction research warn that there’s more to it than simply ‘erasing memories’ by reducing crave-inducing environmental cues.

“We can’t treat addiction just by using extinction, in which someone is repeatedly exposed to drug-related cues until the cues cease to induce craving because extinction doesn’t generalize outside the environment where it occurs,” said David Epsten of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The treatments are partially inspired by similar treatments which have had some success in reducing panic attack in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers. The behaviors tied to memories have a link that is slowly severed so that modern memories overwrite the older ones, leading to reduction in anxiety spikes in patients. The same effect is what researchers hope to achieve with regards to reducing relapsing of patients who break the chemical and physical elements of addiction to remain in control of their actions.

Currently, though, treatment still requires specialists and counselors like those at 1st Step Behavioral Health, a south Florida drug rehab center which offers drug rehab and detox to Broward County, including Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Beach among many other places. Call (866) 319-6126 if you or someone you know suffers from the illness of addiction.

About The Marchman Act Petition

Rehab centers in Florida occasionally receive questions from members of the the public about the Marchman Act Petition. Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes relates to this type of proceeding. Reportedly, it permits a judge to require an individual to submit to treatment for substance abuse.

Parents, children, spouses, or siblings of addicts in Pompano Beach sometimes believe they must compel a loved one to receive detox in Broward County, for instance. Most addiction treatment centers prefer voluntary commitments by patients. However, under some circumstances a concerned family member may choose to file a Marchman Act Petition seeking to compel a suspected addict to obtain treatment for substance abuse.

About Marchman Act Petitions

Most experts recommend anyone considering filing a Marchman Act Petition seek licensed legal representation first. An experienced Florida attorney offers a valuable resource in prosecuting this type of case. The person filing the Marchman Petition must act in good faith. This type of proceeding requires the petitioner to go before a judge in a adversarial legal hearing and present evidence and witnesses establishing that an alleged addict requires assessment and treatment for substance abuse. This type of proceeding may prove costly to maintain.(2)

Courts considering Marchman Act Petitions in Florida select a public defender or an appointed attorney to represent the alleged substance abuser. The trial occurs within 10 days of the initial filing. Petitioners must locate a facility willing to accept their addicted loved one for treatment, but they cannot access confidential medical records. Additionally, even a finding in their favor may not result in prompt treatment. In some cases, a provider may simply add an addict’s name to an extended waiting list and the addicted individual may need to report for treatment on a voluntary outpatient basis. Ultimately, the judge and the services provider determine the details of this process. Addicts who fail to show up for court-ordered treatment may risk incurring a criminal record.

Voluntary Compliance: Usually a Preferable Option

For all these reasons, most families discover persuading addiction impaired loved ones to consider voluntary treatment represents a preferable option. The filing of a Marchman Act Petition may prove both expensive and potentially ineffective in producing desired results. While this step does assist some households, it also often imperils already frayed personal relationships. Taking this course may represent a last resort when all other types of intervention methods have failed and the addict’s life stands at risk from addictive behaviors.

The 1st Step Behavioral Health program in Pompano Beach, Florida offers a variety of comprehensive substance abuse programs and aftercare options. We strive to serve the best interest of patients seeking detox assistance with addictive behaviors, including alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Contact us also to assist with intensive outpatient rehab for oxycodone, fentanyl, meth, cocaine, or other substance abuse problems. Our main office at 3773 N Federal Hwy in Pompano Beach offers caring, confidential assistance. Call 1-(866) 319-6126 to speak with a service representative.

Trauma and Addiction: Why It’s Vital to Consider Both At Broward County Drug Rehab

Human trauma is everywhere and at some point in their lives most people suffer from some form. Everyone from the poor, the rich, male, female, gender non-conforming persons, people on all levels of the sexuality spectrum, throughout different cultures and races around the world, those persons well known and those whose lives go on without the notice of the wide world, whose lives go on everyday outside of the spotlight. No matter what kind of person or what type of life they choose to live, everyone is effected at some point by a difficult event that personally hurts or damages them personally, if not them specifically they will most likely witness another person suffer great loss or pain.  The Center for Anxiety Disorders says the following about trauma:

“In general, trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. When loosely applied, this trauma definition can refer to something upsetting, such as being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. However, it can also encompass the far extreme and include experiences that are severely damaging, such as rape or torture. Because events are viewed subjectively, this broad trauma definition is more of a guideline. Everyone processes a traumatic event differently because we all face them through the lens of prior experiences in our lives. For example: one person might be upset and fearful after going through a hurricane, but someone else might have lost family and barely escaped from a flooded home during Hurricane Katrina. In this case, a minor Category One hurricane may bring up traumatic flashbacks of their terrifying experience.” 

The point they are making at the Center for Anxiety Disorders is that the way in which trauma affects a person is directly related to their own lives or their previous life experiences leading up to the traumatic event. It doesn’t matter what a person is experiencing they always come to a new situation with all of their previous ideas and memories present in their minds as a way to see and understand the new experience.

Common Types of Trauma

  • The death of someone close to you
  • Going through divorce as either one of the people espoused to one another, or as a child of parents divorcing
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Domestic abuse as a child or an adult
  • Chronic pain
  • Neglect
  • Homelessness
  • Emotional abuse in the workplace
  • Emotional abuse by a partner or parent
  • Natural disaster
  • Witnessing a violent act against someone else

Trauma Facts

For a bit of a more simple definition, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or the SAMHSA defines trauma as “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

Facts from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration About Trauma:

  • Between 15% to 25% of women experience a lifetime history of sexual abuse be it in childhood or adulthood, or tragically throughout both stages in life.  
  • Within the different definitions and forms of domestic abuse, domestic violence among women in the United States ranges from 9% to 44%. At this point it is pretty clear that non-male persons are at a higher risk for sexual trauma than men are. Though men can and do experience sexual abuse and many other devastating forms of trauma.
  • When RAND Corporation did a study in 2008, they discovered that almost 19% of veterans who returned from their tour of duty in the military reported that they suffered from some of the signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Almost 19% of the men in the United States, and more than 15% of women in the United States report having experienced a natural disaster at some point in their lives.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration informs the public that the cost to the public of trauma such as domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence ends up adding up to 8.3 billion dollars in 2003. The price tag includes treatment for any medical care and treatment or needs of the victim such as treatment for mental health rehabilitation for the traumatized victims as well as the lost productivity of the persons who experienced the trauma. Billions of dollars being spent on this sort of trauma is something that is hard to ignore. Perhaps humanity would be well to consider why it takes billions of dollars funneling out of our pockets to notice the suffering of the traumatized.

This expense clearly shows through the calling out of loss of productivity and other community expenses incurred because of  trauma, that it devastates the lives of more than just the person who experiences the trauma to begin with. Indeed, the trauma extends to the community at large, both in social and economic ways trauma instills a sense of terror or danger in the community, and consequently robs the people of a voice and the sense safety that is most helpful in raising movers and shakers, leaders to fight for the community. None the less there are those have been traumatized who are able to move forward in the efforts to fight for their communities and the underprivileged and torn down. This sort of persistence requires a singular person and communities should not have to wait for someone to come forward. In fact there should be treatment available for those who need it.

Trauma and Addiction by their very natures are linked to one each other. Someone who goes through trauma may be struggling for any scrap of peace, something, anything to ease the pain of flashbacks, shame, the desperation and deep anxiety that often comes with trauma.  

Addicts and Abuse: How Untreated Trauma Is Linked To Addiction

It is virtually impossible to argue with the numbers. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network shows that trauma and addiction are basically inseparable in their white paper: Making the Connection: Trauma and Substance AbuseA person with a history of childhood trauma is five times more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol and almost fifty percent more likely to develop an addiction to drugs. Studies show that up to 76% of adolescents struggling with drug or alcohol addiction developed their chemical dependency after they have experienced some sort of trauma. Many of those who have experienced trauma also develop some kind of mental health disorder, often post traumatic stress disorder.

They may also end up developing any variety of other disorders such as anxiety and depression based mental health mood disorders. The same studies state that trauma may make it virtually impossible for an adolescent to cease using the addictive substance because post traumatic stress disorder, when combined with substance abuse is a dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis must be treated simultaneously with addiction if there is any hope that the treatment will actually be effective. Post traumatic stress, and any other types of mental health disorders present, and the drug or alcohol addiction help the other disorder thrive as they bolster each others symptoms, plaguing the victim with what may feel like impossible pain to work through.

Sober Living in Florida is Possible for Trauma Victims Struggling with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Dr. J Douglas Bremner says that “Traumatic stressors such as early trauma can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects about 8% of Americans at some time in their lives, as well as depression, substance abuse, dissociation, personality disorders, and health problems For many trauma victims, PTSD can be a lifelong problem. The President’s New Freedom Commission Report highlights the Importance of providing services for mental disorders related to early trauma.” 

According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, traumatic stress can change someone’s brain chemistry. “Brain areas implicated in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these brain areas. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors.” Bremner goes on to say that trauma can shrink different regions of the brain, it can increase various hormones and some chemicals within the body, and even change the way memory function. Trauma is a serious medical emergency and should be taken as such instead of ignored or shoved aside.

1st Step Behavioral Health offers addiction and trauma treatment at their South Florida rehab centers that can work to treat both addiction as well as mental health disorders at the same time. We believe that it is important to treat the patients individually because we know that it is the experiencing the trauma of addiction and any other trauma the patient comes to us with is impossible to heal from without help. Our licensed medical professionals qualified therapists will be there with you to support you throughout your journey at our rehab centers and detox. Broward County detox and rehab at 1st Step can help you on your way to sobriety as well as piece of mind. Contact us today to get started

Steps to Recovery Treatment at South Florida Detox & Broward County Drug Rehab

There is not a single step of the recovery process that is easy for the person who is struggling with an addiction to illicit drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. From the beginning of the recovery process a person seeking relief from a life lived in pain and likely in secrecy must be aware that recovery is not a walk in the park. But it is also the most rewarding thing an addict will ever do for themselves. The hardest part is always breaking the inertia and getting started. The well known steps to getting sober are taking the step to detox and then go to rehab, but there are steps both before and after that are requisite to the recovery process.

Before detox and rehab comes the step where the addict admits to themselves that they have a problem and the next step before detox is telling someone, communicating to someone they trust that the addict is suffering and needs help. Sometimes being honest with ourselves and the difficulty of being out of our comfort zone is enough to stop us from doing the hard things, but like so many other difficult processes in life, the processes of addiction recovery build on themselves and as they do the addict’s ability to deal with the next daunting step gets easier and easier. After the addict garners the courage to admit to themselves they have a problem, telling someone else is, while gut wrenching, still easier.

Telling another person, voicing the words, or writing them down for another person to hear or see puts the addict in a position of solidifying their own understanding of their relationship with their intoxicating substance of choice. This step is vital.  There is nothing more important for an addict, other than being dedicated to their own wellbeing, than having a trusted support behind them while they go through such a vulnerable time. Finding people the addict can trust and whom they can rely on for help and encouragement can mean the difference between success and relapse. An ally who can help the addict deescalate, remind the addict of their growth and motivations is invaluable.

Soon after talking to a friend about their addiction the person struggling with chemical dependence and psychological addiction should begin to seek out a recovery program. It is important to keep in mind that the very best addiction treatment programs will offer a kind of recovery treatment that is built around the unique struggles and life of the person who is seeking treatment. An addict should be very sure to not settle for a program that does not do this as it is the granular struggles of an individual’s life that become inflamed to support and feed an addiction.

Each addiction recovery treatment facility is different even if it appears the same from the onset. Sure, most programs incorporate detox and rehab as high level tiers of treatment, but most facilities have little nuances such as the type of facility a patient will reside in, the types of therapies offered, what kinds of professionals the facility keeps on hand, the variables are many.

The important thing to do is for a person who is ready to confront their addiction along with a friend or loved one they can trust, to do some thorough research and find the program that will mold to their personal needs. They should consider their own personal struggles with mental health, trauma, family situations, and anything else that will need attention throughout their recovery process. Recovery from addiction begins with self acknowledgement, moves on to telling someone an addict can trust about the addict’s need for help and then it is time to find some professional help at a South Florida drug detox or alcohol detox facility.


Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox or Drug Detox Centers in South Florida

When a person begins their pursuit of sobriety at a treatment center they almost always start with some type of medically supervised alcohol or drug detox. As previously stated, an addict should never attend a treatment program that does not shape according to their needs and this is a particular danger with a detox program.

Detox, even more than with rehab, can sometimes feel like a step in the process that should look the same for everyone. No matter who comes to detox, no matter what drug or alcohol they are addicted to – illicit or prescription – this moment in recovery is the same for everyone. This step in the process sees the patient abstaining from their drug or alcohol of choice while their body rids itself of the toxin. It’s as simple as that; afterall, we are all human and our bodies are all more or less the same, right?  

Not exactly.

Even though it can sometimes be hard to understand the particular differences between programs it is in the patient’s best interest that they do the necessary research to fully understand the treatment they will be getting before committing to a program. One way to do this is to call and talk with the facilities they are considering to better understand what the detox programs look like. The smallest aspects of a program can make it easier or harder on the person who is already struggling through so much to be in the recovery process to begin with. In order to engage with a program that can help the addict successfully make changes to their behavioral tendencies and restructure their lives to support their new sober lifestyle, they must be treated with care and specificity from the very beginning of detox.

One of the most important reasons why it is important for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol to go through detox at a medical detox center rather than trying to administer their own detox is to make sure they are safe and as well as possible while they suffer through the withdrawal symptoms that inevitably come along with halting their consumption of the intoxicant their bodies have become accustomed to. Withdrawal symptoms are one of the aspects of detox that makes it necessary to go with a program that treats the addict as a unique individual rather than a carbon copy of the other residents of the program.

Withdrawal symptoms vary based on many different aspects of a person’s life. The substance taken will of course shape the types of withdrawal a person goes through and how intense the symptoms are, but the other aspects that could change the experience for someone is the dosage they were taking of the substance, their physical fitness, the mental health of a patient, such as any dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders that may be strengthening their addiction, chronic pain or other chronic health issues, and others.


The Top Rated Drug Rehab Centers Offer Addiction Treatment in South Florida

Rehabilitation starts with removing the person with the addiction from the environment that they were in when they started developing their addiction, or at least the environment from which they have been supporting their addiction, and placing them in an environment full of medical clinicians and licensed therapists, and most importantly a whole support network of others who are also struggling with similar afflictions.

These aspects of the patient’s everyday life that stress them out, engender fear and shame in them, or make them feel alone or abandoned are all removed and replaced with a sense of safety and care.  Without these triggering aspects of a person’s life it is easier to resist temptation and nail down a resolve and strength that can help to carry them through the recovery program and into a life of sustained health, out from under the powerful pressure of their addiction.   

Rehab is usually designed around some sort of behavioral therapy and other therapies. Some of the forms of therapies that facilities may offer can come in the form of individual therapy or group therapy, yoga or creative therapy, whatever it is these therapeutic experiences can rehabilitate the addict and lead them deeper into an understanding of themselves and the structure of their coping methods. Therapy can help them come to the sort of clarity about themselves that will also lead them to better know how to care for themselves and make their behavioral habits in their own image rather than allowing their behavior to default to a harmful and shame driven response to life.  

Many people find themselves in rehab and feel like it is the hardest part of recovery because it is where they have to put mind over matter and allow themselves to be vulnerable, but rehab is where an addict can begin to build the infrastructure that will hold up their new life; the hard work is not only important to the person’s healing, but it is what they will build on for the rest of their lives to remain sober.


Aftercare Therapy and Relapse Prevention

After detoxification and rehabilitation so very many people make the significant mistake of thinking that all of the work they need to do is in the past. They got through the program! They’re cured! And if they aren’t then their treatment must not have worked, huh? No.

Again, this is a huge misperception and of great consequence. Addiction can never be cured. After someone leaves a rehab center and ventures back into their lives it is absolutely imperative that they seek out relapse prevention in the form of some kind of therapy.

Addiction is a chronic disease. This means that the addict’s best hope is for their addiction symptoms to go into remission. It is one hundred percent possible to keep these symptoms at bay through this kind of consistent therapeutic treatment that can be done in the form of 12 step programs, individual and group therapies, yoga, and other sorts of therapeutic programs.


Addiction Treatment With South Florida’s 1st Step Behavioral Health

With 1st Step Behavioral Health a patient who struggles with addiction to alcohol or drugs will encounter a safe and accepting environment. Our dedicated staff of licensed medical professionals and qualified therapists are there to care and guide our residents so that they can successfully transition into a life of sobriety. Call 1st Step today and take your first step toward a healthy and long life.

Motivational Interviewing Therapy, A Kind of Behavioral Therapy

Motivational interviewing therapy is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to engender a sort of intrinsic need within the mind and heart of the person who is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol to focus all of their efforts on changing their damaging behavioral habits and learning the kind of life skills that they will need for in order to succeed in the outside world and thrive in active recovery in Florida. It’s a therapy that is less common in residential detox centers but used in some and to good effect. This kind of therapy begins with a behavioral therapist sitting down with and interviewing the patient.

They ask about the reasons why the patient has decided to find help with the addiction that has infiltrated their lives. Why now?  What are the patient’s motivations behind working toward this goal of behavioral change in their actions. As the therapist begins to ask questions and the patient vocalises their answers, it reaffirms to the patient their own motivations and solidifies within their mind that their motivations are real and valid and that these goals of sobriety are reasonable and attainable even after they leave rehab and detox. Broward County drug rehab usually offers some form of behavioral therapy whether motivational interviewing or not, it is almost for sure that you will encounter some form or another of behavioral therapy. Motivational Interviewing, like the others have a few different steps to work through.


Step One


The first step during motivational interviewing is for the therapist. The therapist will approach their patient unconditional compassion and unwavering support. The therapist is to act as a steadying force to fight against the chaos that the patient may be experiencing in their own mind.  The therapist will be sure to treat their patient with respect and dignity in order to be sure that the patient feels cared for and above all, the therapist will be sure that the patient feels listened to and believed.

The therapist will never push back against the patient in these kinds of sessions because they are really there to offer the patient a safe place to explore and solidify their own feelings and motivations in hopes that they can set them clearly in stone. Motivational interviewing for some becomes a memory that they can go back to in their tough moments, so that they can remember their purpose and what is driving them on the road to a sober life.

Step Two


The next step on the short path of motivational interviewing therapy is a portion of therapy where the therapist takes the patient through their own motivations and the story of the recovering patient. This once again helps to solidify and reinforce the user’s hunger for solid change within their lives.

This reminds the patient of that hunger and makes it obvious to them again and perhaps from a different angle and sobering perspective that there is an absolute call for action within themselves, and they have to make the choice to agree to said change. Saying yes to that road to change and to that struggle with addiction recovery affirms to the patient that they are determined and strong enough to do it. Throughout this process something happens within the patient’s brain allowing their psychological needs to change and focus on recovery rather than their own destruction. This kind of therapy is a brief program by nature, however the benefits of doing the motivational interviewing therapy can last for a lifetime.  It is the type of life skills like breaking down goals into meaningful and manageable steps and finding the energy to complete each small goal leading up to the big by remembering motivation and having a focus on the reasons behind one’s goal, in this case sobriety. Mining for motivational energy that helps the patient learn how to self evaluate and can lead to sustained sobriety and success in recovery.


Some common reasons motivational interviewing may be utilized is because the recovering addict has

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Compulsive Gambling Addiction
  • Illicit drug abuse or chemical dependency
  • Prescription drug abuse or chemical dependency


The most important elements of motivational interviewing therapy:

  • The patient will be working with a therapist
  • The engendering of intrinsic self care and safeguarding against apathy. Intrinsic motivation building and using that central desire to to dedicate oneself to creating a safe and practical sobriety moving forward.
  • Autonomy is encouraged for the user in motivational interviewing therapy by making certain that the power in the conversation during therapy stays within the control of the addict themself. The recovering user is in the end the person who is responsible for laying out their own story and revealing their own motivations in the way that feels most real and true to them so that their therapist has the best chance to help them understand themselves and their addictions and motivations in a way that allows them to feel the power that they have over addiction.


If you’re ready to get help for yourself or a loved one, contact us today.

Staying Sober in The Heyday of a Drinking Culture

Even when someone in Florida notices that they have been reaching for the bottle a little more often than they used to it can be hard for them to admit that they have a problem, but after the person gets the courage to go to a Broward County drug rehab and alcohol detox they may have cravings and triggers that are difficult to resist. And the way in which alcohol is ubiquitous in this culture, it is practically everywhere, may make it feel impossible to be able to successfully keep a hold of one’s sobriety. But the best way to stay sober in the face of this culture is to go into social events with a strategy in hand.


    1. You Don’t Have To Drink. It is always okay to say no to a drink. You do not have to tell the person offering that you’re an alcoholic, you don’t have to explain anything at all. No one can penalize you for not drinking. If you are looking to fly below the radar, non there are plenty of non alcoholic beverages you can have that look just like cocktails or beer.
    2. Order a mocktail. When you go to a bar, knowing that you can order any number of a non alcoholic beverages that will keep the questions about why you’re not drinking at bay, can help you maintain a sense of calm, and avoid the anxiety that comes along with having to divulge more than you may want to when you are not comfortable doing so. A lime and fizzy water is just one example of a refreshing beverage that looks for all the world like a vodka tonic.   
    3. Be the designated driver. Our society being what it is, almost every party or get together needs a designated driver. This gives someone who is trying to avoid drinking an easy way to both help their friends or loved ones and a way to go out and have a great night with friends but not feel weird about abstaining from intoxicating themselves.
    4. Tell Your Story. When you go out for happy hour with co-workers, or even at the Thanksgiving table with your family, people may not always be the most sensitive about your addiction and the lengths you had to go through to get sober and changing the way you live to remain that way. Sometimes they may push you hard to drink, not thinking about how it could change the new life you’re establishing for yourself. In these moments it is sometimes best to tell your story. If you feel comfortable doing so, let the people you are with know why you are refusing alcohol. Tell them about your addiction and how difficult it is to get the courage to get help. Be confident in your journey and ask them to please respect the boundaries that you put into place for yourself so that you can decide who you want to be rather than letting the alcohol decide. Often when people try to pressure someone to drink they don’t know the history behind the person’s relationship with alcohol. Telling your friends or loved ones a little more about your experience may open their eyes.



Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at South Florida detox, Broward County Drug Rehab

Regardless of the strategy you choose, the important thing is that you go in with a plan. If you already know what you are going to do to resist any pressure you feel to turn in your sobriety for a less awkward social atmosphere, you are more likely to actually resist temptation. Making the sometimes daily choice to say no to a drink when it is offered by a co-worker, friend, or family member is hard and on-going work, but it is vital.  If you went through the struggle of treatment at a facility like 1st Step Behavioral Health, you know that getting treatment for alcohol addiction is harrowing. It isn’t something one does lightly and it is something that changes your life, or that should. So think through your strategies before your social engagements. Be ready to make the right choices to protect your sobriety.

Or perhaps you’ve just realized that you have a problem with alcohol and you want to start reducing your alcohol content. These strategies can help with that goal as well. However, if you find that you struggle to avoid drinking when something seems stressful, or if something in your life starts to feel off – if you are using alcohol as a coping mechanism to get through life then you are self medicating. You are quelling your anxiety and fear with alcohol, then you should consider seeking out help.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health we offer quality treatment with qualified therapists and medical professionals who will monitor your wellbeing and make sure that you have a treatment plan molded to your specific needs and the unique struggles that come with any trauma you may have experienced or any dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders you may have. If you have any questions about treatment for alcohol addiction in South Florida call 1st Step to learn more.

How An Alcohol Addiction Can Change The Face of Your Career

With alcohol being a staple at every social function these days, it is hard to believe that it could become a problem in one’s life big enough to alter their career. What a cruel joke.

Companies these days, particularly startup tech companies, frequently keep a stocked bar and even kegs available for their hard working employees, to take the edge off, or celebrate big wins at the office. Maybe you have seen it happen; the moment someone starts drinking too much –  filling up their cup over and over again, drinking too much – and they begin to slip on their responsibilities, or their performance at work dips, the higher ups are likely to see that as the person’s personal failing, not as a result of the environment that the company provides for its employees.

Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing, pouring just a bit of rum in your coffee when no one’s looking to just get through the early morning meeting. Maybe you’re drinking it in your coke at lunch time. What is the risk? It wouldn’t be there if it weren’t to drink. But becoming an alcoholic can drastically derail the trajectory of your career. If you were a promising shooting star in your industry before, becoming an alcoholic can take you down in no time and leave you as a pion instead, with little prospects of ever recovering your career. Though drinking is something that your office encourages, even facilitates, you can be sure that the moment you become sloppy, unable to walk straight, smelling of liquor or beer, unable to interact civilly with those who get in your way or frustrate you at work, the moment your behavior will become tiresome to your employers.


Finding Treatment For Alcohol Addiction Through Residential Detox

1st Step Behavioral Health offers comprehensive drug and alcohol detox. Broward county drug rehab facilities in South Florida run by 1st Step employ a highly qualified staff of professional medical clinicians and licensed therapists to support our patients throughout their time in medically supervised detox and on to a behavioral therapy driven rehab.

Our programs are shaped to meet the specific needs of each patient as well as each of their unique struggles. During detox patients will suffer from a variety of different withdraw symptoms, with varying degrees of severity depending on their physical and mental wellbeing, the amount of alcohol they were consuming habitually before going to treatment, as well as if they were consuming any other intoxicants like illicit drugs or prescription medications.

When they get to rehab they may have to deal with trauma that has festered in the back of their minds, or a dual diagnosis (a co-occurring mental health disorder). Our programs are designed to help patients make it through this treatment so that they can get back to the careers they left. If you think you may be suffering from addiction, don’t wait to lose your job for confirmation.

Call 1st Step today and let us help you find relief from your addiction and help you recover so you can live a successful and sober life.


Meth Devastates Small Towns Across The USA

Even though few people are talking about methamphetamines these days due to the overarching opioid epidemic, meth usage is at an all time high in the United States of America. But why is it ravaging the nation now? Experts say the reason meth is trending right now is because it is more available – it is cheaper and it is more potent than it ever used to be. According to a story done by National Public Radio, or NPR, about meth use in a small US town, the manufacturing of the drug has become more sophisticated of late and has started to be mass produced rather than put together in a shoddy diy lab.


NPR tells the story of a small town that has been devastated by rampant methamphetamine usage spanning three generations in some families.


Meth use dipped early this decade after lawmakers cut access to key ingredients — such as the over-the-counter decongestant pseudoephedrine. Siebert says it was about the same time that opioids took hold in the region.

“Now that they’re hammering down on the opiates,” Siebert says, “guess what’s happening? Now the meth is coming back in”


Underestimating Meth is Clearly a Mistake

Someone addicted to meth may show the following signs of abuse:

  • Meth comes with rapid and extreme weight loss, however it is rarely due to change in diet or modification in the addicts exercise tendencies. Rather, by a sudden loss of appetite. This can result in a person’s muscles atrophying, severe malnutrition, and harm to the neural function.
  • Meth users may experience tremors. Muscles rely on specific nutrients to function. Not only do the tremors happen because of musculoskeletal disrepair, but it is also the result of dysfunction of the nervous system.
  • The user may have a deterioration of their reflexes.
  • Insomnia, abnormal sleep habits, and dysfunctional fatigue can also be caused by persistent amphetamine usage.
  • Dehydration in amphetamine users is a common side effect which can result in split lips, skin irritation, low immune system functions and more. With dehydration brain functions can suffers dramatically.


Treatment For Sufferers of Meth Addiction at South Florida Rehab Centers

For those who suffer from an addiction to methamphetamines, there are excellent treatment options at drug detox in Broward County. Drug rehab programs through 1st Step Behavioral Health offer medically supervised detoxification that will make sure the patient is safe and medically stable while they experience the withdrawal that comes along with abstaining from an addictive substance. 1st Step also offers rehabilitation programs for after detox. Rehab teaches the life skills necessary to live a sober life. Call now to learn more.