The Complications of Co-Occurring Disorders

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are what it is called when someone has both a mental illness and an alcohol or drug addiction. In most cases of co-occurring disorders, either the mental illness or the addiction led to the other disorder, which means that to treat the addiction properly, the mental illness will need to be addressed as well.  


Is There a Difference Between a Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders?

According the the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Co-occurring disorders were previously referred to as dual diagnoses. According to [their] 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 7.9 million adults in the United States had co-occurring disorders in 2014.” That being said, in the rehab center industry the terms “dual diagnosis” and “co-occurring disorder” are interchangeable. The reason that the government decided on this shift to co-occurring disorders is likely to more accurately reflect that there can be more than two diagnoses happening at the same time, be it a mental illness paired with addictions to two substances, two mental illnesses tied to a single substance addiction, or multiple mental illnesses accompanying multiple substance addictions.


While the official stance is to call these types of cases a co-occurring disorder, most patients and rehab centers are more likely to use the older term of dual diagnosis. Either way, a dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders are the exact same thing.


How is a Co-Occurring Disorder Treated?

When going into a rehab center in Pompano, the patient will go through their detox phase and then join the general population at the facility. During their time in rehab, the addiction is addressed first and foremost and the rest of their cognitive behavioral therapy sessions are spent focusing on the mental illness and how it can be dealt with to avoid relapse in the future.


If you believe a loved one has a co-occurring disorder or you think you do, please reach out to 1st Step Behavioral Health as soon as you can – the earlier rehab is entered, the more likely the patient is to avoid relapse in the future.


Finding the End of Your Dual Diagnosis Drug Addiction

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

In the rehab world, a patient’s case is referred to as a Dual Diagnosis when they have a mental illness and an addiction at the same time. Sadly, this affects many more people than you might think. The prevalence of dual diagnosis addictions is because having either one of the conditions means being at a higher risk of developing the other. Substance abuse and addiction often leads to mental illness, and vice versa, and it can happen to anyone. People from every economic level, race, religion, creed, and education have been afflicted with a dual diagnosis. Like many illnesses, cases of mental illness combined with a substance addiction are democratic in nature – that is, they’re just as likely to happen to anyone as they are anyone else.


Difficulties in Treating a Dual Diagnosis

As you have probably assumed, treating a dual diagnosis addiction is more difficult to treat than an addiction without an accompanying mental illness. When a rehab patient has “just” an addiction to a substance, then only the addiction itself needs to be treated. That patient will go through detox, if deemed necessary, then spend their time in rehab focusing on learning how to live life without using the substance.

On the other hand, when a patient has a dual diagnosis, they will go through detox like a non-dual-diagnosis patient, but the rest of the rehab experience is notably different. The time spent in rehab will have their focus on both rehabilitating from drug abuse as well as treating the mental illness. Nevertheless, both of these hypothetical patients will have the same goal – to live a long life of sobriety, it can just be more difficult or take longer for those with a dual diagnosis.


If you or a loved one has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, contact us immediately to receive proper treatment as soon as possible.


America’s Addiction to Opioids – It’s Not Your Doctor’s Fault

Our Country’s History with Opioids

The United States has a very long and complicated history of opioid use that goes back much further than most people would expect or assume. In fact, its use goes back even further than even the founding of the US – laudanum (opium mixed with alcohol) was used as far back as the 1500s. Regarding this country, we have been using opioids since at least as far back as the early 1800s, where morphine was used as a painkiller during the Civil War.

Because of the intense addictiveness of morphine, research was conducted during the 1800s to find an alternative opium-derived painkiller. From that research, heroin ended up being created in 1874, which actually led to even more widespread use and addiction. This ended up being a pattern with opiates, which led to stronger and stronger drugs.


A Very Real Epidemic

With many opioids developed from opium through the last two centuries, it wasn’t until very recently that opioid addiction became a particularly widespread problem thanks to synthetic opioids, which first hit the market in 1984 as Vicodin. Like the way and why new opiates were created, these synthetic narcotics continuously led to even more powerful and dangerous opioid pharmaceuticals.

However, many of those medicines were believed to be non-habit forming, much less addictive. At least that’s what specialists (hired by the pharmaceutical companies, of course) said. Even the FDA was complicit in a number of these claims. Because of what they were told, many doctors believed these new opioids weren’t addictive and were told by their superiors to prescribe and continue prescribing these drugs with about as much thought as they put into giving aspirin. That being said, it’s easy to point fingers at our doctors as the culprit, but it was the manufacturers and the government who are really to blame for your addiction.

It wasn’t until around the mid-2000s that opioids were recognized as being a very serious problem in the US, and addiction -or at least reported cases of it- continues to rise all around the country.


There’s Hope – Opioid Addiction is Treatable

Thankfully, opioids are like many other addictive substances in that their addiction is treatable. However, the withdrawal symptoms and the severe addictiveness of opioids make rehab the best way to end an addiction and keep people from returning to the drugs.

To start down your path to rehabilitation, give us a call or contact us online and we will be glad to answer any questions and help to finally get those drugs out of your system for good.

How the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Works

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

When placed into or after choosing to go into a partial hospitalization program, you or a loved one will receive very similar care from what inpatient rehab addicts receive, but once scheduled meetings and appointments are done for the day you will leave the rehab center and resume your life as normal.

First Step is dedicated to helping anyone end an addiction at our Pompano Beach rehab center, and, as such, our partial hospitalization program is quite rigorous regardless of the fact that you would be living at home. When you are placed in our partial hospitalization program, you will come to our Pompano Beach rehab center to go through cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, group addiction meetings, life skills classes, and more. Patients in a PHP usually come to the rehab center five to seven times a week and they often stay on site for up to eight hours.


Who is a PHP Best For?

The partial hospitalization program is in between inpatient rehab and the intensive outpatient program as far as time spent on site is concerned. That being said, PHP is a good option for those who have spent some time in inpatient care and are ready to live at home, and patients who are just starting rehab but have responsibilities that make inpatient care impossible.

Still, the partial hospitalization program is best for those who have excellent restraint as living at home will mean having a way to access the drugs and alcohol.


Other Types of Outpatient Care

Technically speaking, our partial hospitalization program for rehab in Pompano Beach, FL, is an outpatient addiction treatment program, but it is not the only type of outpatient care. Some of the other types of outpatient rehab available include:

And although they might sound like the same thing, intensive outpatient rehab and the partial hospitalization program are substantially different from each other. In PHP, you can expect to spend 30 or more hours a week at the rehab center. On the other hand, patients in out intensive outpatient program will usually spend less than ten hours a week at the rehab center and will only go to the site three or so times a week.


To learn more about our partial hospitalization program or any of our other types of outpatient care, contact us today.


How to Participate More in Addiction Group Therapy

If you have trouble talking to a group of people or talking to people when you do not know them, being asked to share your experiences at group therapy for rehab. Not being able to express yourself during a situation like that can make a group therapy session come to a halt. When that happens, you can experience symptoms that only make talking up that much more difficult, which usually come from anxieties.


Coping with Anxiety

However, not all situations like this come from clinical or diagnosed anxiety, which means no access to medicines that can help treat anxiety attacks. If this sounds like you and you are expecting to go into a group therapy session sometime soon whether from going into an inpatient program at a rehab center or during outpatient rehab, there are some methods that you can use that may help you open up easier to better participate in group therapy. For the most part, these methods are focused on calming yourself and they can usually be done almost anywhere, even if other people are around. They include: :


  • Take Deep Breaths and other breathing exercises (i.e. foursquare breathing exercise)
  • Count backwards from ten (start at larger numbers if you’re feeling especially anxious)
  • Close your eyes to minimize external stimulation
  • Shake your body like an animal
  • Pectoral door stretches
  • Unclench your jaw to relieve tension and headaches
  • Give yourself a hug (wrap arms over your chest and reach for your back


Though using these methods might not work in every scenario for every rehab patient, they are very effective for most people. If the idea of  talking in front of your group therapy session causes you to to go quiet or panic, giving the strategies here a try may go a long way in helping you cope with the symptoms of anxiety.


To get started with inpatient or outpatient rehab, there are a few ways that you can contact us. You can do so either by clicking “contact us”, by calling us at (866) 319-6126, or by visiting our Pompano Beach rehab center.

Kinds of Therapy in Addiction Rehab

There are many misconceptions about the way rehab is conducted, especially when it’s in regard to the different treatments offered at rehab centers. For the most part, these misconceptions come from the way rehab is shown to be in TV and movies. Whenever rehab plays a role in a movie or show, they almost always show group therapy as the only thing that happens in the rehab center. While the multitude of people who attend group therapy means more interactions to put on film, rehab uses a lot more tools than just talking to a group of people. .


Rehab Therapies

Addiction therapies in rehab at our Pompano Beach facility come in a variety of forms and have varying goals. And, though it’s not necessarily the complete list of therapies that you might encounter during rehab, especially since rehab is so fluid to ensure each patient’s addiction therapy needs are fully met. Some of the most common forms of addiction therapy you may encounter in rehab in Pompano Beach include the following:


Individual Therapy

In rehab, patients will spend a significant amount of time with a therapist to participate in individual therapy sessions. Still, within individual therapy, there are a few different types of therapy used to reach various goals. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help patients better understand and control their thoughts and actions, and motivational enhancement therapy is used to get patients to believe therapy sessions are worth the time invested and that they’re effective.


Group Therapy

Although the introduction on this page might sound critical of group therapy, it is not. In fact, group therapy plays a huge role in rehab. Patients get to know each other and hear others’ experiences about their addiction and more. Likewise, when a patient discusses his or her own stories, it is usually very therapeutic.


Family Therapy

Family therapy is used by rehab centers to help treat relationship issues between the patient and the rest of their family. The issues focused on a generally those that arose during or because of the patient’s addiction.


To get treatment for yourself, visit or contact us to treat your addiction as soon as possible.


How Alcoholism Changes Your Life in Pompano

Usually, alcohol use disorder (usually referred to as alcoholism) means having some big changes happen in the addict’s life. Some of these changes are more obvious than others, but they all end up having negativity and difficulties with them.


Relationship Problems from Alcoholism

Though many alcoholics believe nothing is changing in their life because of their drinking, their personal lives often suffer tremendously. More than a few divorces and break-ups could have been prevented had alcoholism been treated. Even worse is how frightened children become of a parent who constantly drinks and has alcohol-fueled mood swings. Neither of these changes are worth sustaining an addiction to alcohol,


Alcohol Abuse and Work Performance

Along with the possibility of ruining otherwise perfectly good relationsips, an alcohol addiction often means a severe degredation of a person’s work performance. And unless the manager, boss, or whoever is in charge is forgiving and understanding, the unkept appearance, constant unreliability, and smell of alcohol associated with alcoholism can quickly lead ot losing a job.


Physical Dangers of Drinking

Inebriation or being drunk is often the goal when someone drinks alcohol. However, that drunkeness is also the cause of an uncountable number of injuries and deaths every year. While everyone has already been told time and again to not drink and drive, there are big risks in doing anything when enough alcohol is consumed. Even walking down the sidewalk becomes a risky endeavor since falls are so prevalent when drunk. With impaired reaction times, a fall like that can quickly lead to literally falling face first into concrete.


Quitting for Good

Having your last drink and putting an end to an alcohol addiction is notoriously challenging due to some of the most intense withdrawal symptoms from any substance. Because of this, a case of addiction to alcohol in Pompano should be monitored and treated in a rehab center. While in rehab, alcohol addicts will remove all of the alcohol from their system, learn many strategies to prevent relapse, and have individual and group therapy sessions.


Going to rehab is certainly a huge change that alcoholism can lead you to, but it’s a positive step forward after an addiction that may have caused much turmoil in your life. Contact us today and get started with rehab.

Health Insurance Coverage for Rehab Services

Is Rehab Really Expensive?

For some, the only people they ever hear about going to rehab are celebrities. Because of this, they end up believing that the cost of rehab in Pompano or anywhere else is prohibitively expensive. The thing is, though, that there are actually quite a few ways to help an addict pay for substance abuse treatment services, and there are options available to everyone who is looking for help quitting drugs or alcohol.


Will My Health Insurance Pay for Rehab?

Many insurance companies will certainly pay for the cost of your rehabilitation, and this is probably the best way to cover the financial part of rehab. Not every health insurance company or plan will pay for rehab, though.

To find out if your health insurance plan allows for rehab and what types of rehab services might be available to you, contact First Step Behavioral Health directly – we have much experience dealing with insurance companies and may be able to get approval from companies that have previously denied you coverage.


What are My Options if Insurance Won’t Cover Rehab?

If health insurance isn’t working for you, there are still a handful of ways you can pay for rehab. These options include paying for services out of your pocket, making monthly payments, or receiving grants.


Out of Pocket

For those with the financial means to do so, paying for rehab out of pocket means getting the care you need without having to worry about any further financial responsibility. In most cases, people who need rehab won’t have the money immediately available to pay for rehab. Still, it’s not uncommon for large families to pool their money together to help a family member get treatment for his or her alcohol or drug abuse.


Monthly Payments

The majority of rehab centers will offer financing for rehab where the addict’s treatment is paid for through payments made over the course of a few months or years. While this does make rehab much more affordable in Pompano, this option should only be used if every other payment option is unavailable.



Alcohol and drug addiction is a major concern for both local and national governments. Because of that, there are grants available from them that helps people cover the cost of rehab. To apply for a federal grant for substance abuse treatment, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants page. If that grant isn’t available to you, give us a call and we will discuss Florida’s grants for rehab and how you can apply for them. Many people look for Alcohol Detox centers near me, and we can help you find one. 


End Your Opioid Addiction at a Pompano Rehab Center

An Epidemic of Epic Proportions

Though some people seem to scoff at the idea of a drug addiction epidemic spreading across the United States, opioid abuse and addiction affects more people than anyone would have ever imagined.


The spread of opioid painkillers is so wide, in fact, that practically everyone (who isn’t themselves addicted to opioids) personally knows someone who is addicted to these kinds of narcotic pharmaceuticals. Those who don’t think the epidemic is real are either in total denial of reality or someone in their life is trying hard to hide the addiction from them.


The opioid epidemic truly is a real thing happening across the country right now. As an issue it is serious enough that multiple presidents have talked about it and new legislation is being considered, drafted, and enacted to help everyone.


Don’t be Another Statistic

Looking at the country’s opioid problem as a whole is fairly easy to digest, oddly enough. It’s when you realize you or a loved one is addicted to these painkillers that it starts being difficult to accept.


Nevertheless, if you or a family member is addicted to one of these substances, it’s vital that you seek out a Pompano rehab center immediately. Not only do opioids have some particularly nasty symptoms when abused, more than one of them can lead to death. This includes

  • Delayed reflexes
    • Can cause dangerous falls and car crashes
  • Seizures
    • Total loss of control of the body momentarily
    • Falling full force without trying to stop the fall or protect face or neck
    • Easy to choke during an episode


Along with delayed reflexes and seizures is death that isn’t caused by anything other than abusing opioids. That means if you take too much, temporary symptoms might be bypassed completely and you may just end up dying. Yes, opioids really are that dangerous.


When you’re ready to talk to someone about the opioid addiction that’s snuck into your life through you or a family member, contact us right away. We’re here to support you and treat any of your addictions, and quitting opioids goes much better when you have a team on your side.


Epidemic leads to Drug Rehab Spike in Pompano FL

If you have been paying attention to the news over the last couple of years, there is a good chance that you have heard about the growing number of cases of opioid addiction and death from opioid abuse that has been plaguing the nation. And though Pompano Beach, FL, is an incredible place to live, the city has also been heavily impacted by this wave of opioid addiction. Because of the addictiveness and danger of opioids, there has been a huge surge in the number of people going to Pompano drug rehab centers.


The Opioid Crisis

It might be easy to hear that news and believe the media is overreacting (as it so often does – can you recall the last time a news channel didn’t have “breaking news” scrawled across the bottom?), but the opioid crisis truly is at critical levels. In fact, over 100 people die every day because of these narcotic pharmaceutical drugs. Rehab centers in Pompano Beach, FL, are receiving more and more patients every day because of opioid drugs including but not limited to the following:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone


How This Became an Epidemic

While placing blame on doctors for prescribing so many opioid drugs in the first place, they are not to blame for how huge this issue has become. Pompano drug rehab programs are seeing this huge spike in opioid addictions because pharmaceutical companies either lied to doctors or misled them. If not one of those, then the drug companies (and our Food and Drug Administration) neglected to test opioids properly before they were released to the public.


One of these situations has to be the truth because in the late ‘90s, doctors were told that opioid painkillers were in no way addictive. Obviously we know better now, but back then and into the 2000s, doctors were prescribing opioids for practically any kind of pain that their patients had, even to many children. They just didn’t know any better at the time.


Once the addictiveness of these medicines became understood, the medical community began limiting the amount of opioids they would prescribe. Many patients who had been taking opioids for pain relief over a long period of time suddenly saw access to their medicines vanish, but their addictions were too powerful by then. They started turning to other sources to satiate these addictions and would simply purchase opioids on the black market. And when pharmaceutical narcotics weren’t available, many of these people turned to one of the most notorious illegal drugs in America: heroin.


Pompano Drug Rehab

Drug rehab centers in Pompano Beach, FL, like 1st Step are well equipped to help addicts and their families through these difficult times. While there has been a huge spike in the number of patients that these facilities are receiving, the drug rehab centers Pompano Beach, FL, has available have taken steps to ensure that there is enough room for everyone who needs treatment.


If you are addicted to opioid painkillers or you suspect a family member has an issue with opioids, contact a Pompano drug rehab center as soon as possible.