Children of Alcoholics

While someone suffering from alcoholism in Pompano is the most visible and most affected by the addiction, there are other people affected such as their friends and family. One of the most obvious yet generally invisible victims of alcoholism are the children of alcoholics. It hasn’t been until recently that research into the effects of children of alcoholics, both adult and adolescent, has gained attention.

Children whose parents are alcoholics tend to take the role of ‘superchildren’, one in which the child becomes the caretaker of the family and sometimes even the parents, ensuring the household continues to function as they best as possible. The role can put them into a guilt over being unable to ‘save’ their parents, leaving long lasting emotional scars that last well into their adult years. Being forced into a position of responsibility combined with little guidance beyond simply picking up social cues from other functional families can lead them to grow up with codependency, which is essentially a maladaptive need for a relationship who has stopped functioning in a self-reliant way, generally due to substance abuse issues of their own.


Growing Up

As an adult, with a codependence tendency, they may find themselves unable to confront their mate or spouse about their problem while insisting on taking care of them, mirroring in many ways their relationship with their parents, where they don’t have the ‘power’ to tell their parent to face their addiction but still put in a position of caretaker. Many adults develop obsessive-compulsive disorder centered around the need to be ‘perfect’ and a frequent disposition of putting others in front of themselves beyond what an average person would consider necessary. If they find themselves in a relationship in which their partner is suffering from addiction, they may even feel the same guilt for not being able to ‘cure’ their illness. As an added complication, they may also inherit genetic traits which also put them into the risk of becoming alcoholic themselves.

Groups such as “National Association for Adult Children of Alcoholics” have been bringing attention to the issue and gaining members fairly rapidly, moving from about 20 members around 2010 and having more than 7,000 members by 2016. It’s estimated that just over forty percent of the adult population has been exposed in some way to some form of alcoholism. That’s approximately 78 million people. Of those, it’s estimated about 28 million of them had at least one parent who was an alcoholic.

While it may be too alarmist to consider these statistics an ‘epidemic’, there does exist a very urgent need to soberly look at this very real part of life for many people. To stop the cycle of addiction, it begins with knowing how it manifests and in this case how it can foster more addiction or even directly create it if the children grow up to be alcoholics themselves.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism or addiction to prescription or illegal drugs, the 1st Step Behavioral Health rehab center in South Florida can help with treatment and breaking the cycle. Call us at (866) 319-6126 to find out about treatment options.


The Future of Addiction Treatment?

There has been more and more research compiled that suggests a genetic link to addiction risk. This link, if proven, makes it far more likely for someone with this genetic makeup to form strong addictions to various substances including cocaine and alcohol. In testing mice, the possibly identified gene responsible for this effect in drug and alcohol use is known as tyrosine phosphatase D, or PTPRD. Mice have a single copy of the gene while humans have two.

A recent report on research into this link involved giving mice a compound an opaquely named 7-BIA, a gummy substance that, even were FDA approved, isn’t suitable for going into normal solutions. The project involved mice who were coerced into cocaine addiction. The mice that were administered 7-BIA before exposure to levers that dispense them cocaine exhibited lowered desire to self medicate on the coca plant extract than the control group which didn’t get the pre-treatment of the experimental drug. The research showed a possible direct link between tyrosine phosphatase as well as a possibility of minimizing the gene’s influence over the use of known addictive substances.


Addiction Research and Experimentation

The research project, led by Neurologist and pharmacologist Dr. George Uhl at the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System is among the leading edge of addiction research and synthesizing of possible medication that can help those at risk or already affected by strong addiction to controlled substances. One of the concerns about such an approach to addiction is the possibility of side effects, another point of testing administered during the research. The mice who had been administered the 7-BIA experimental drug and resisted the cocaine had also displayed no negative side effects or damage as a result of the medication. The tests also compared their behavior after the medication was removed from their diet, which resulted in the mice returning to near similar behavior as if they had never had it.

The results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America early November. Dr. Uhl noted that the medication was far from being suitable from human trials. He ‘optimistically’ noted that the soonest a human trial could be performed, which is a mandatory part of FDA approval for prescribing to patients, would be five years. The research team is just one of many at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in New Mexico which sees 600,000 veterans yearly addicted to drugs and alcohol. The last fiscal year saw their expenditures into treatments like this at approximately $60 million.


Finding Help for Addiction in South Florida

Addiction is far reaching problem with many side effects that aren’t seemingly related but can affect everything from economic strength, health care costs, generational mental health and other macro concerns on society. If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, call 1st Step Behavioral Health, serving southern Florida in helping individuals recover from the effects of addiction and regain control over their lives and health.  (866) 319-6126

Signs of An Addiction and Needing Substance Abuse Treatment

It can be scary to realize that your friend or loved one may indeed be suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. When the person you care about starts to present with problematic behaviors and begins adopting bad habits, it is perfectly natural to worry about them. As you learn more about how damaging an addiction to alcohol can be to both the person addicted and the community around them, you may begin to feel betrayed or like the person you love has hurt you through developing the disorder that you believe they may be hiding from you and the other people who love them. It is common for someone suffering from addiction to hide their problem in the shadows, and it is perfectly normal for those who care about them to hurt because of this. The important thing to know is that you don’t have to feel helpless.

You also don’t have to feel like your friend or loved one is lost to their disease. It is important to know that addiction is a chronic disease. Much like other chronic medical disorders, addiction cannot be cured. It can, however, be held in remission with the correct treatment. When an addict gets help through comprehensive addiction treatment services such as those found at 1st Step Behavioral Health, and follow up that time at a South florida rehab center with relapse prevention in the form of continuing therapy and accountability, the likelihood that they can live a perfectly normal life, with their symptoms at bay, is highly probable.  It may hurt because this wasn’t the plan. You don’t want the person you care about to suffer from this disease, but the secret that so many people don’t know about addicts is that they likely, deep down, don’t want to suffer from the addiction either.

People develop addiction for many reasons, but no one wants the chaos that comes along with the disease. No one intentionally develops addiction and most people do so because they are trying to stop the pain they are experiencing, whether that pain is physical, emotional, or both together. The intoxicant makes them feel less of that pain, if only for a brief reprieve. The first step is reading the following three signs that someone you care about is drinking too much. If you think they are, approach them with compassion and care and offer them your support. Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health to learn more about what can be done to help your friend.


How to Know If Someone You Care About Has A Drinking Problem

Here are three signs that may help you determine whether or not your friend or loved one may be suffering from an addiction.

  1. Are your friends finances suffering? Perhaps their bills are beginning to pile up. Are they asking you for money to make up for their inability to pay rent or a car payment on time? It costs a lot of money to be addicted to alcohol. If your friend isn’t able to make the payments necessary to keep their everyday lives moving forward but are able to get the next round of drinks at happy hour, it may be an indication that they are suffering from addiction. If this is something your friend is struggling with, remember that finances are a touchy subject. Many people become addicts in the face of great financial stress. Approach this subject with great care and compassion, lest you shame your friend and prevent whatever openness you may have hoped for in a conversation about if they are suffering from addiction.
  2. Luckily, there are some more obvious tell tale signs that someone may exhibit when they are suffering from an alcohol addiction. When someone drinks a significant amount of alcohol it is not uncommon for them to smell like old concentrated liquor. The smell is sharp and smells sour. This is a side effect of alcohol consumption that is quite difficult to hide. Once you begin to smell the alcohol like it is seeping from their pores and on their breath, you can be pretty sure that they are drinking way too much way too often.
  3. An altered mood can sometimes be a side effect of drinking too much. Has your friend or loved one started exhibiting signs of mood fluctuation that doesn’t always match the situation at hand? Sometimes alcohol addiction can cause people who are normally very genial and calm to become short with the people they care about most. Alcohol, and addiction in general can make it seem like the person’s personality has changed all together. It can make it difficult to muster the compassion necessary to truly help your friend. But as long as it is still safe and you do not feel at risk, speak to your friend. Let them know that you care about them and that you want nothing more than to support them and help them find help for their addiction.  


South Florida Alcohol Treatment At 1st Step Behavioral Health’s South Florida Rehab Centers

If your friend is having financial struggles, has started smelling of alcohol, or has become angrier and more volatile than usual they may be suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The best way to help your friend is by approaching them with care, with the motivation of showing them love and supporting them through the treatment that they need to get sober. Show them that your interests are to help them however they need in order for them to get help so that they can find their way back to a sober way of living and out of the chaos that addiction instills in the lives of those suffering.

Untreated OCD Can Lead To Addiction

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD is a mental health disorder that is often characterized by thoughts that haunt the minds of the people suffering with anxiety and fears. Those thoughts become obsessions regardless of if these fears are are rational or irrational.  

These anxieties become elements of life that the person struggling with the disorder ends up obsessing over and in an effort to try to neutralize these thoughts, people with obsessive compulsive disorder create habits or rituals, either consciously or subconsciously. These rituals are created to safeguard against the anxieties or fears that plague the person’s thoughts. The person struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder is compelled to take these actions as if it is a survival mechanism.


Is Stigma The Reason People Suffering From OCD Do Not Seek Treatment?

The media has a tendency to portray people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder as a comedy bit or as a villain. Like other mental illnesses the stigma surrounding the the disorder causes it to be represented in t.v. characters and movie roles that are meant to be a form of comic relief. As people who are less educated about these mental illnesses watch these programs and films they see the person suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder as an other, as someone different from them and that is largely because that is the way the character is portrayed. As the character struggles to control their lives by being obsessive about how their space is laid out or the character performs their various, seemingly irrational habits in an effort to calm their torturous anxieties, the audience laughs. If OCD is not portrayed as a joke, OCD might be woven into a story by being a disorder that the villain is afflicted by.  

Not only does this not give an accurate picture of what a person suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder goes through, but it is also not at all the accurate symptoms that come along with OCD. This sort of damaging picture of someone who is suffering from OCD, a portrayal that is so prevalent in our modern day society, makes it difficult for a person who is in real life struggling with dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder. This stigma is likely one of the major factors for the very low numbers of people who suffer from OCD and other mental health disorders who seek treatment.  Without treatment it is very easy for someone suffering from OCD to develop a dual diagnosis, a drug or alcohol addiction.


Treatment For Dual Diagnosis at South Florida Detox and South Florida Drug Rehab Facilities

1st Step Behavioral Health offers comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment at their substance abuse treatment Florida facilities. 1st Step employs a dedicated team of licensed medical professionals and qualified therapists to create a safe environment where a patient can feel confident in their medical detox and rehabilitation, knowing that their dual diagnosis will be uniquely taken into account and each disorder will be treated simultaneously. Call today to learn more about what your personal recovery plan could look like at 1st Step.


The Life Or Death Crime of Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is something society looks down on, and for good reason. The brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. That doesn’t mean we should necessarily raise the drinking age, but it certainly means that allowing the brain to develop as much as possible before people introduce intoxicants into their bodies is optimal. Teenagers are at a greater chance of death under the influence of intoxicants than adult addicts because they have less resources and there is more shame and more obstacles to treatment than there are for adults. In order to get help an adolescent would likely have to speak to their parents about their addiction and for a teenager, building up the courage to talk to their parents about the fact that they have developed a dangerous addiction can be intimidating enough to never ask for the help they so desperately need.

The First Step is Opening A Dialogue

The first step in dealing with a problem is to talk about it. This is why it is so powerful when an addict first asks for help or admits that they have a problem. Starting a conversation about the dangers of underage drinking is the first step to fixing the problem. The fact that adolescents consume so much alcohol in this day and age may seem like it isn’t a problem, especially if you aren’t a parent or family member of a teen, but underage drinking affects everyone in Florida and throughout the country, not just the family members of the addicted adolescents, but the rest of the community as well.  Each year thousands of kids, not even always limited to adolescents, wind up going through some kind of alcohol intoxicated car wreck that they themselves are responsible for. The car accident may or may not wind up killing them, but even if it doesn’t, these incidents often end up killing someone else, either someone in the other car, a pedestrian, or a cyclist. If no one dies, this sort of accident often lands people in the hospital with serious injuries. Some folks chalk teenage drinking up to a typical adolescent rebellion, a phase during which teens act a little recklessly, but simple rebellion doesn’t usually kill people by the hundreds and thousands every year. Indeed, we have a real problem when society takes this issue about as seriously as teenagers themselves do. It is this sort of turning of the head away from such a crisis that encourages the deadly culture of fraternities or sororities, or the reason kids start drinking at earlier ages every year.  


What’s The Solution?

The only way to truly solve this very serious problem in our society is to first start talking about it like it is a problem and second to start educating both adults and children more thoroughly. We must stop telling people to “Just Say No.” and realize that the problem of underage drinking is linked to adolescent addiction to alcohol in which it is not possible to simply say no because addiction is a disease, not a choice.

Why are these kids drinking to begin with? Probably the first drink was a rebellion, but what about the next?  We need to think with our empathy instead of thinking about this as a simple phase that kids are going through. They are establishing real patterns of addiction that will likely last a lifetime if they are not treated and redirected. When kids begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol early they are more likely to start consuming higher dosages or more substantial amounts of the intoxicant and venture further to more potent substances. This isn’t because they are acting out of rebellion, it is for the same reason any addict graduates to a more potent substance, because the weaker one isn’t feeding their addiction enough. They are not receiving the benefits of their substance as it is.

Adolescents must be treated with honesty and empathy. Disregarding their humanity while trying to help them will only push them away. In order to prevent underage drinking teens need to better understand the ins and outs of chemical dependence. We must teach them the way in which alcohol takes over a body, how it creates chaos in an addict’s life and the lives of those around them. They also need to know the legal ramifications for underatge drinking before they are 21 years old and where to get help if they need it. Most of all they need to know they won’t be penalized for asking for help.  

It can be hard to break through the barriers that adolescence sets up. Everyone puts up those walls in some form at that age – it is a natural instinct to distance oneself from the adults in your life as a teenager so that soon you can venture out on your own with confidence. Those walls will almost always be there at that age, but it is important that we don’t reinforce them with a power struggle.

Don’t let your pride or need for domination get in the way of helping the teen in your life who is drinking. . These kids are not too young to understand the stigma around addiction. That and the fear of may happen to them if they come forward with an addiction may keep them silent just long enough for it to ruin their lives. If your teenager is drinking the best thing you can do is convince them that you love them no matter what, and that you will not ever abandon them, that you want them to get help. If you yourself have suffered from an addiction then talk to them about it. Tell them how you’ve dealt with your own struggles and show them that they are not alone. Most importantly, if you are suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs yourself, get help now. You cannot help your teen if you are doing the very thing you are trying to talk them out of.


Substance Abuse Treatment: Florida Residential Detox at South Florida Rehab Centers

You can get help for addiction at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Our South Florida rehab centers offer medical detox to help a person get sober, as well as therapeutic behavioral therapy during rehab to teach proper life skills that can help a person maintain their sobriety in the real world after they leave the facility.

Encouraging the Addict in Your Life

What do you say to a friend who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? It can feel almost impossible – like no matter what you do or say it will never be enough. You might even worry that if you say the wrong thing you could make the person feel worse than they likely already do. The most important thing for someone trying to be supportive to a recovering addict must know is that in spite of how difficult it can be to say something, saying nothing at all is so much worse. There is a great shame at the heart of any addiction someone may be struggling with regardless of if it is an addiction to drugs, alcohol, even gambling addiction. No matter how you cut it, staying silent or avoiding a friend when they come back from rehab will feed the shame they are already struggling to resist. Let them know you are still around and still care about them. Here are some ways you can make your friend or loved one feel encouraged and supported:


What To Say

  • “It’s so great to see you home” The first step to being there for a friend who has been in a residential detox for substance abuse treatment in Florida is to let them know that you thought about them while they were away, and that you are so glad to see them again. It can feel lonely for someone struggling with addiction to go back home. Sometimes people feel embarrassed, or ashamed that they had to seek treatment to begin with. Telling your friend or loved one that you care about them just as much now as you did before they left, and before you were even aware that they were dealing with an addiction can mean so very much to them.
  • “I am proud of you.” For someone to admit that they struggle with any type of addiction is nothing short of heroic in the face of how our society betrays those with this disorder. But going even further by seeking help for that addiction is a kind of bravery that so many people struggling with addiction never find with themselves, either that or they are unable to get to treatment due to inaccessible. It can be scary and it can feel impossible when you struggle with an addiction. The shame inside, the strength of chemical dependence often feels hopeless, like you’ll never be able to overcome. Going through a medical detoxification program and then rehabilitation is  incredibly difficult for anyone. If your friend or loved one just got through addiction treatment, let them know that you are proud of them. Tell them that you know how brave they have had to be to take those steps.
  • “I am here to talk if you need me.” When a person is seeking help for a chemical dependence or any kind of addiction it is so vital that they have a strong group of people who are willing to stay supportive and be in their corner. They need someone who can support them and who can listen to them when they are having second thoughts, or feeling their resilience weaken. That deep shame spiral is bound to drag people down at some point, especially when someone is just getting back from treatment.. As an addict it can be easy to believe that anyone you tell about your disorder will mock you, be appalled by your issues or be completely disappointed by your “bad behavior” or mistakes. Show your friend or loved one that they can count on you to be with them through the good and the bad.
  • “I’ll always have your back.” One of the most important things that a person struggling with addiction needs to have is a consistent friend whom they feel like they can trust. Unconditional friendship, love and genuine care are invaluable. If your friend needs anything right now it is to know for certain that there is someone who isn’t going to abandon them. If the person you are trying to support is someone very close to you, remind them of how important they are, and how much you care about them. Knowing they have someone in their corner will put them at ease and give them more confidence.
  • “I love you and I am so grateful you took the steps to get help.” One of the most difficult things for a human to do is to admit culpability. It is even harder to take the difficult steps to admit that we are struggling with something like addiction to an intoxicating substance, and need help, desperately. It takes an incomprehensible amount of strength and courage to admit that you need help for something like addiction that society says is selfish and the result of your own choices. The intense stigma that comes with addiction can be almost impossible to work past. Let your friend or the person you love who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol know that you understand that addiction is the result of more than just their choices. Let them know that you don’t buy what society is selling when it comes to the way it approaches the pain and suffering of those who are afflicted by the disease. Show them that you know they are getting treatment for a diagnosis not their delinquency.


What To Do

  • “Can we go out for coffee sometime?” Invite your loved one or friend out to get coffee, or dinner and laugh. Help them feel normal for even a short amount of time. Don’t forget that even though they are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and just got back from an alcohol detox facility, so it’s possible they will a break from talking and thinking about addiction. Tell them that you love them and that you’re glad to have them back, but be sure to let them direct the direction of the conversation, if they want to talk about their addiction or their experience at detox and rehab. As they lead the discussion, feel free to engage on whatever subjects they feel comfortable talking about. It is also totally fine to ask straight up what they feel comfortable talking about. They likely would appreciate the thoughtful candor of the gesture, and feel genuinely cared for.
  • “Can I help by watching your kids sometime?” If your friend or loved one who is afflicted with an addiction to drugs or alcohol has children, consider asking them if you could help them by babysitting sometime. It’s very difficult for a parent to find time for themselves when there are children to feed, monitor, and carefor. As a parent your kids’ needs come first, especially young ones, and a person who is just home from detox and rehab treatment may not be able to find the time to get out and take a run, go to the gym, read a book, or do some other types of necessary self carse. Offering to take care of their kids by taking them to the zoo, or out to a movie or meal, so your friend or loved one can take some time for just themselves will do so much good for them. Notably, the children of someone suffering from addiction could probably use that time also. Try to make them feel special and cared for.
  • “Would you like to take a walk or get out for a hike some time?” Getting into nature and moving their bodies is not only great for their wellbeing as well as yours but it is a superior way to hang out. It is a more healthy way to spend time together than eating greasy food or drinking too much caffeine or eating ice cream. First of all, moving your body is an excellent way for your friend or loved one to process anxiety or depression, both of which may come as a result of their addiction but also as a result of the transition of moving on from rehabilitation, and it will help you in the same way. Besides, serenity is easily found in the natural smells and sights of wilderness.


Finding Treatment In South Florida Rehab Centers

It doesn’t matter what you say to your friend, the most important thing is that you do not forget to say it with honesty and with compassion. If you approach your friend with a genuine openness and vulnerability of your own, reconnecting with them should be a welcome and rewarding experience for both of you. It will likely be like no time has passed, like any other good talk with your old friend or loved one.

If you know someone who is seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, or you yourself are looking for help, call 1st Step Behavioral Health. We can answer your questions about treatment and help you make a plan to get sober 1st Step has top quality amenities with a licensed medical staff and a qualified therapist staff ready to create a personalized treatment plan that covers all of your loved one, or your unique needs. Call today to learn more about rehab in South Florida


Drug and Alcohol Addiction, A Common Disease In The United States

An addiction to drugs or alcohol grips a good amount of this country, and this widespread problem spans all the way down to South Florida. Many of the community suffer from this chronic disease. Drugs and alcohol are addictive substances that alter the user’s brain in a way that eventually causes a chemical dependence and a psychological addiction, clutching the person who is struggling from the addiction to a drugs or alcohol in its metaphorical grasp, making it nearly impossible to get free. Intoxicating and addictive substances can range from substances that are prescribed by a doctor to treat a legitimate medical ailment, all the way to a drug made and bought on the street. Some addictive substances are illicit like meth, and others are perfectly legal, like alcohol. Intoxicating substances are administered or taken in many different ways. Some of the means of taking a drug or even consuming alcohol make the substance even more dangerous.


Some common ways drugs are taken:

  • Snorted in the form of a powder
  • Injected into the vein of a user or injected into their muscle
  • Eaten in food that is infused with the substance, such as with a marijuana “edible”
  • Taken as a pill – tablet or capsule
  • Consumed in some kind of liquid form – mixed with water or alcohol
  • Smoked in a pipe, bong, or rolled joint – a cigarette like item
  • Used through subdermal patches on the skin, like a fentanyl patch
  • Through suppositories – absorbed by the anal mucous membrane


These addictive drugs or alcohol attach themselves to the pleasure centers of the brain, intoxicating the user and often offering them a sense of happiness that they fail to find in their everyday life. A person suffering from a drug or alcohol chemical dependency feels not only a want to use the intoxicant, but a desperate need to. This is because eventually the person using the drug or consuming the alcohol experiences a change in brain chemistry that makes it imperative that the addict use in order for their body to continue functioning. The body has adapted to the frequent and persistent use of the drug. The only hope for someone struggling with this chronic disease is to seek comprehensive treatment at an addiction recovery facility.


There’s Hope in South Florida Detox and Drug Rehab

1st Step Behavioral Health offers a tiered approach to substance abuse treatment. Florida has a deep need for drug and alcohol abuse treatment that takes into consideration the unique qualities of each individual patient. At 1st Step you’ll find a caring staff of licensed medical professionals and qualified therapists who can answer questions and who will help you build a recovery plan for you.

Contact us today to start laying down the foundation for that plan.

What’s The Deal with Meth?

Meth is a potent, illegal stimulant that can be extremely dangerous to addicts and to those surrounding them. When someone suffers from an addiction to to meth it often changes who they. The drug effects the addict’s central nervous system, their dopamine and serotonin receptors. With persistent use, meth can do extensive damage to a person’s personality and physical features. The drug can cause violent outbursts, depression, and paranoia. These side effects can ruin the life an addict and, can scare and confuse the people around the addict who aren’t aware of the addiction. This can cause major relationship problems for the user.

Common Questions About Meth

Is My Child’s ADHD Medicine Meth?

Not exactly. Prescription meds like adderall and ritalin, given to kids, teenagers, and adults alike, for ADHD are similar to meth in chemical structure. The two types of drug share a parent category of intoxicant – amphetamine but they are not the same as the illicit and dangerous drug methamphetamine. Adderall and ritalin are strictly monitored by the law, and should be taken according to the doctor’s direction, ADHD medication should be fine for your child or for whomever is prescribed the medication from a doctor.


What are Signs of Someone Using Meth?

If someone uses methamphetamines they experience a side effect of appetite suppression. This causes extreme weight loss. The user is usually full of energy and wide awake when on the drug. Their respiratory system may work faster as will their heart. Another not always obvious symptom is a raised body temperature.


What is Tweaking?

Tweaking is a term that refers to a phase of using meth that happens near the end of a drug binge. When binging on meth the user will take the drug over and over again in close increments to stay high for days sometimes. Eventually it becomes harder and harder to find the optimal high from the drug. As they are  tweaking the meth user will struggle to achieve the euphoria or sense of wellbeing that they usually find in meth. This phase of meth addiction can lead to a dangerous psychosis. The user may be awake for days, without sleep due to the effects of the consistent use of meth over a long period of time. The person may hallucinate and experience extreme itching all over their body. This is the most dangerous time for a meth user and anyone around them.


What is a Crash Phase?

A crash phase is a time in a person’s chemical dependence and addiction to methamphetamine when the addict sleeps for extensive periods of time. Sometimes the people struggling with an addiction to meth spend crash phases sleeping for days.


What are Other Visible Symptoms of Meth Use?

  • Scratching and picking at their skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Facial tics, tremors
  • Increased talking
  • Mood Swings
  • Dilated pupils

Finding Treatment for Meth Addicts at Residential Detox Facilities in Florida

If you’ve read this article and think someone you love is using meth you can find help through substance abuse treatment in Florida. Drug detox is only the first step toward treatment for meth addiction however. A person struggling with addiction needs a tiered addiction recovery approach including detox, followed by programs like those at 1st Step’s Broward county drug rehab facilities, as well as aftercare relapse prevention therapy.

1st Step Behavioral Health is here to offer the answers you’re looking for to the questions that are plaguing your mind. Get help today.

The Rise of Drug and Alcohol Deaths in Florida and the World

It’s astounding how frequently people overdose or die from complications related to an untreated addiction to drugs or alcohol. The world is facing a huge jump in drug related deaths these days, and the United States is a big part of that, right down to the sunshine state.

The reason we continue to see the rising number of drug and alcohol addiction related deaths is because addiction is one of the most persistent diseases.


Addiction’s persistence  can be linked to a few different things.

  1. Stigma: Addiction is a disease, though it is rarely looked at through that lens in society. There is no cure for addiction as it is a chronic disease just like asthma. Though someone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol may go into remission after treatment, continued maintenance is required to remain sober and keep the symptoms of the addiction at bay.
  2. Common Dual Diagnosis: Dual diagnosis are commonly linked to a person suffering from addiction. A dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder is a mental health disorder that the addict suffers from at the same time that they are dealing with addiction. The two disorders work together to frustrate each others symptoms, making treatment more complicated, and making overdose more likely if the addiction and dual diagnosis are not concurrently treated.
  3. Inaccessibility of treatment like South Florida detox and South Florida rehab centers. Though there is no other way to get through addiction without treatment, many people suffering from chemical dependence and addiction never receive the treatment they need. It may be that they cannot afford substance abuse treatment. Florida has seen medical detox and rehab programs become more affordable to the average person and many insurances have started increasing their coverage of this necessary treatment so that people struggling with substance use disorder can reach remission and live out their lives in active recovery, aka sobriety.


There Is Hope To Be Found In Action

The good news is, in spite of the tragedies we see happening throughout the world as far as addiction goes, is that as the drug crisis plays out in the headlines, our state and local governments across the country and in Florida are beginning to take notice that action is absolutely vital. More and more state and local governments are creating regulation around prescription drugs and making funding for treatment more available. While it took us too long to wake up to the severity of this disease it is encouraging to see action being taken.

Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery in Florida

1st Step Behavioral Health offers excellent quality treatment facilities available for those struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. With a licensed and dedicated staff of medical professionals as well as qualified therapists, you can be sure that you will be supported through every step of the difficult process of substance use recovery treatment. Get in contact with us today to learn more.

Heroin, a Killer By The Thousands

The opioid epidemic is killing people by the thousands every year throughout Florida. It reaches all the way from Broward county to expand into the whole entire world. The crisis that is killing so many in Florida, throughout the United States of America and as the World Health Organization shows, throughout the whole world. 118 thousand people dying due to opioid related matters in 160 thousand is a jaw dropping 74% of the people who died due to a drug related incidents in 2016 who succumbed to death because of opioids.


Opioids are a real threat to humanity. For a long time the most commonly talked about, and one of the most dangerous, was heroin. It was a popular drug to start using after prescription opioids lost their luster due to an the way opioids skyrocket someone’s tolerance. After a while someone taking a prescription opioid, especially in cases where the person is misusing the prescription by taking more than they are supposed to or taking them more frequently than they are supposed to be taken will plateau with the medication, meaning the person’s tolerance will outgrow the medication potency.

Opioids are tenacious and brutal in their addictive qualities and withdrawal symptoms, and because a large amount of people who are addicted to opioids suffer from a dual diagnosis or co-occurring mental illness, it is virtually impossible to recover from heroin addiction without seeking help. But because there is such shame attached to the disease, and because mental health disorders and addiction feed one another, people who suffer from heroin addiction, especially those with a dual diagnosis, all too often do not seek treatment, or are unable to get it for whatever reason be it socioeconomic or availability.

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year because of lack of heroin drug treatment. Broward county drug rehab facilities are equipped to deal with heroin addiction and are increasingly affordable to the masses as insurances begin to cover more costs of substance abuse treatment. Florida residents who are suffering from an addiction to heroin should call 1st Step Behavioral Health to learn more about the programs available to help treat physiological addiction as well as psychological drug or alcohol addiction.  


What is Heroin?

Heroin is a narcotic analgesic in the opioid family. That means it is a drug that alters the mental state of the person taking it while it works to lessen pain. Usually the drug comes in a brown to white colored powder that people ingest either by snorting, consuming orally, smoking, or mixing with water to inject into the veins. Heroin therefore comes with complications not just from the drug itself but from the way in which the drug is taken. If injected into the veins it can come with a side effect of collapsing veins or blocking the blood vessel, smoking it can lead to a deterioration of pulmonary tissues, and snorting it can cause respiratory issues. Along with the risks of the way the drug is consumed,there is the possible danger of what the drug is composed of. Heroin is often cut by the drug dealer in order to make the drug stretch, therefore making more money from the stash. Heroin that is cut with more additives is less white and lends itself toward the more off white to brown coloration. Consequently, if the drug is cut with something the effects of the opioid will in fact be less potent. This however does not take away any of the danger because heroin is often cut with truly terrifying substances. Some more alarming than others, however, all there to accompany heroin which in and of itself is a brutal killer.


Heroin is usually cut with:

  • Talcum powder
  • Rat poison
  • Baking soda
  • Caffeine
  • Flour
  • Fentanyl
  • Laundry Detergent


You would think that being frequently cut with substances such as rat poison, laundry detergent, etc would be enough reason for this drug to stop being of interest to the drug scene, however it is still responsible for a substantial number of deaths every year.


Heroin vs. Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a true super villain of the opioid family, killing enormous amounts of people every year. It is really lapping heroin in the news these days as far as the opioid epidemic goes. Fentanyl is so scary that the United States Department Justice Department created and sent out an informational video telling first responders just how to react and manage in the face of a fentanyl exposure. Some first responders have come into contact with the drug on an emergency scene due to an overdose or a crime scene in which the drug played a part. Some of those respondents complained of symptoms or side effects from the exposure such as tingling, and respiratory issues. One group of prison guards and inmates were admitted to the hospital after they breathed in an airborne combination of heroin and fentanyl.


Fentanyl is even more deadly and potent than heroin and was recently used for the first time in carrying out one of the first government sanctioned death sentences in the state of Nebraska. Not only was it the first time Fentanyl was used for this purpose but it was the first death sentence carried out in Nebraska for years. There has been a lot of controversy over the last decade about how deaths are carried out in states that still allow the death penalty concerning the drugs used for lethal injection. Fentanyl appears to have quelled those concerns – at least in that state. The power of the drug is shown in its effortless effectiveness in this matter. And that power is especially disconcerting when you take into consideration that fentanyl was originally developed for the purpose of getting rid of someone’s pain. It certainly should not be doing that by also getting rid of the user’s life as well. 


Even though Fentanyl is having its time in the spotlight, heroin is still in the background with fatal overdose numbers continuing to be devastating. And as prescriptions for opioid painkillers trend upward it is almost sure that the world will see heroin’s fatal overdose numbers climb as well.


Treatment is The Only Hope

At 1st Step Behavioral Health we offer a comfortable setting. When a patient’s everyday needs are taken care of and they have no need to worry over the stressors of everyday life, they are more able to focus on their drug or alcohol addiction recovery. 1st Step also employs a talented and experienced group of licensed medical professionals and qualified therapists to work with a patient as they overcome chemical dependency on a substance during medical detox and then throughout rehabilitation as they learn the life skills necessary to start a new way of living.


Unlike many other modern rehabilitation centers found throughout the country and especially here in Florida, 1st Step Behavioral Health uses only the most effective methods for ending addictions to all manner of substances and a variety of behaviors.

We will work closely with you to determine the best course of action regarding ending your addiction to drugs or alcohol through a customized rehab program whether it be intensive inpatient addiction control with residential detox or outpatient care with occasional group meetings and cognitive behavioral therapy sessions. We’re ready to help you quit the moment you’re ready to quit. Call us today to see what programs can help you break free from substance abuse.