Dual Diagnosis PTSD

The Correlation Between PTSD and Substance Abuse: How to Recognize When You Need Help

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects people all over the world. Individuals of varying races, from diverse communities, and with different pasts and walks of life are currently facing the effects of PTSD in their lives.

PTSD is, unfortunately, a commonly seen disorder in our communities. People who have experienced traumatic and life-altering events in their lives are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Children who have been emotionally abused, women and men who have served in the military, people who have been physically or sexually assaulted, and many other individuals know all too well how trauma can impact daily life.

Sadly, many individuals who are dealing with the effects of trauma develop PTSD and, eventually, find themselves suffering from substance abuse and addiction.

PTSD and substance abuse often co-occur, changing the lives of those who are dealing with them.

Perhaps this is the case in your own life. Maybe you’ve been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and have become dependent on drugs or alcohol. If so, just know that you aren’t alone. In fact, over 50% of those who are dealing with PTSD are also suffering from addiction.

You don’t need to face these issues alone. Through professional therapy and addiction treatment, you can overcome the effects of PTSD and substance abuse for good!

Maybe you’re a little unsure about whether or not you need to go to treatment. Many people find it difficult to recognize when it’s time to reach out for help. But, it’s good to learn more about what you’re experiencing and how it’s actually impacting your life. This will help you to make the best decision regarding treatment.

About PTSD and Substance Abuse

Needless to say, PTSD and substance use disorder are both very serious. People who suffer from either of these disorders often have trouble leading normal lives.

The symptoms of PTSD can cause life to become very challenging. Post-traumatic stress disorder is caused by many different elements. The causes vary from person to person.

But, regardless of the many people who struggle with the effects of this particular disorder have difficulty managing and controlling their emotions and feelings. It can be hard to live with the recurring memories of the past.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by things like flashbacks, nightmares, and vivid memories centered around the traumatic event(s) the person experienced. So, it can be difficult to thrive in the present when the mind is constantly struggling with thoughts of the past.

Substance abuse disorder, like PTSD, is often the result of many different factors. After people use drugs or alcohol excessively for a while, they may begin to abuse the substances. Eventually, this can lead to addiction.

Many times, people who drink or use drugs excessively do so in an attempt to cope with the negative effects of stress, physical pain, emotional disturbance, mental illness, and much more. Since the effects of drugs and alcohol wear off after a while, people continue to use them in order to escape from reality.

Sadly, this method of coping is extremely harmful and, in many cases, even deadly. So, it’s important to get professional treatment for dealing with substance abuse.

How are PTSD and Addiction Connected to Each Other?

So, how does a person end up dealing with both substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder? Well, there are several reasons why these two disorders frequently co-occur in people’s lives.

Often, individuals who are living with PTSD suffer from its effects on a regular basis. This disorder often impacts people’s day-to-day lives. It affects people’s ability to interact and connect with others. And it causes symptoms such as:

  • Isolation
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt or shame
  • Trouble focusing
  • Feelings of fear
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Sleep disturbances

People may take medication to help treat some of the symptoms of PTSD. But, sometimes, these symptoms can become extremely overwhelming. Unfortunately, many people struggle to deal with these effects in a healthy way. So, they turn to drug and alcohol use.

As a result, many individuals develop substance abuse and addiction problems. So, in addition to PTSD, they also begin dealing with the harmful effects of excessive substance use.

Do I Need to Get Professional Treatment?

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not always easy to recognize the need for professional treatment in your life. Many people have a difficult time realizing what’s happening in their lives when addiction or any other disorder is in the mix.

Some individuals struggle to understand the symptoms they’re experiencing. It can all be very challenging to work through. So, if you are currently a little uncertain about what’s going on in your life, be sure to be patient with yourself.

But, it’s also important to avoid trying to get through this alone. There is help for you through treatment and therapy. Whether you need to go through residential treatment for substance abuse or therapy to help you deal with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, you can find freedom!

1st Step Behavioral Health Can Provide Treatment for You!

Not only can treatment help people to overcome substance dependence and addiction, but it can also help individuals to deal with and work through co-occurring disorders, including PTSD.

When a person is suffering from multiple disorders, such as alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder, this is called “dual diagnosis”. If an individual has a dual diagnosis, it’s important to go through a professional treatment program that will deal with each of the disorders he or she is dealing with.

Here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we work to help people find peace through freedom from addiction. But, we also understand that many of our clients are also dealing with other issues in their lives. Some of these other struggles may actually contribute to addiction. So, it’s important to also deal with those problems in addition to substance abuse.

Through our dual diagnosis treatment program, we work to help our clients overcome substance abuse and addiction as well as co-occurring disorders. So, if you or someone you care about is suffering from addiction and PTSD, just reach out to us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health.

Call us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or your loved one: (866) 319-6126



teenagers on drugs

Teenagers on Drugs: 7 Reasons They Start Using

For teens, it can start as experimenting with drugs or alcohol at a party. Then it turns to addiction and abuse later on in life. As 90% of people who struggle with substance abuse started using before they turned 18 years old. 

The reasons adolescents start using can be genetics, their environment, or social pressures. Teenagers on drugs also have a higher risk of developing an addiction.    

Read on to learn the main reasons teenagers turn to drugs and how to help them. 

1. Peer Pressure

A peer pressure definition includes teens getting influenced by friends or family members. This happens with teens trying drugs or alcohol to impress people in their social circle. It gets done as a way to fit in, rather than a personal choice. 

Social pressure can also happen with someone the teen is dating or from an older sibling. Peer pressure often takes place when teens choose to attend parties or social events. This is where drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy are popular. 

Teens may start out by getting pressured with gateway drugs. Nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana are often seen as being less high risk by teens. 

Yet, this can sometimes lead to using more illicit drugs, like cocaine and heroin. These drugs pose extreme health risks and often lead to dependence and addiction.  

2. Unstable Mental Health 

The age of adolescence can be a fragile and emotional time. Many teens struggle with mood swings and changing hormones as their bodies develop. 

Some teens also have mental health disorders, which drugs and alcohol can make much worse. Here is more on the connection between depression and alcohol abuse and how it can affect a teen. 

During teen development, they often experience an imbalance of hormones. This lets in feelings of anxiety and depression. So teens may turn to drugs and alcohol to help them relax and control stress triggers.   

Using drugs can also affect an adolescent’s brain functions and development. An even scarier effect is that using drugs and alcohol can also lead to an increased risk of suicide.  

In these cases, a teen may need professional counseling or rehab. As this may reduce their risk of turning to drugs and alcohol. 

3. An Enabling Environment 

A teen’s environment can also impact the likelihood of them trying drugs and alcohol. Teens look to older siblings and parents as the people who help to shape their lives. This has a big effect on how the teen will view drugs and alcohol. 

An enabling environment also happens when teens don’t get reprimanded for their actions. This includes skipping classes or letting their grades slip. Engaging in risky behaviors is another sign that a teen may be acting out. 

Teens with missing parental guidance or a mentor may be more at risk. Problems at home, abuse, and neglect can also turn the teen towards substance abuse. Parents may also ignore or fail to notice the warning signs of alcoholism or drug abuse in their teen. 

4. A Family History of Addiction 

Genetics often comes into play for increasing one’s drug and alcohol addiction risk. Teens with addicted families are more likely to develop problems with substance abuse.

This can happen with one alcoholic parent or both parents struggling with addiction. The teen may also have an addictive personality that runs in the family. This can lead them to substance abuse problems. 

5. Having Easy Access to Drugs 

Teens that have drugs available to them can also get influenced in their decision to use. The type of neighborhood or community they live in can increase their exposure.

This also includes which school they go to and the school’s control over and policy on drugs. Some communities have a high amount of opioid abusers. This can increase prescription drugs getting sold in schools.  

If parents have controlled substances in the home, it helps to keep an eye on the medicine cabinet. Internet browser controls are also important. As some teens even turn to the internet to buy illegal drugs. 

6. An Experimental or High-Risk Personality

Teenager personality characteristics can make them more likely to try drugs. Some teens go through an experimental stage or use drugs to relieve boredom.

These type of teens who use drugs are often chasing a dopamine release. Using drugs and alcohol will also affect the teen’s decision-making process.  

These teens may also exhibit risky, curious, or thrill-seeking behaviors. This includes drinking and driving and having unprotected sex. Teens may also mix drugs and alcohol to enhance the effects. 

Those who drink energy drinks also have a higher chance of using drugs and alcohol. This is due to their personality traits and behavior patterns. 

7. Going Through a Tough Transition 

Some teens turn to drugs to help them deal with a big life transition or trauma. This often starts as a situational habit that turns to a coping mechanism. This is how addiction and dependence form in young adulthood.   

A personal loss, like the death of a loved one, can spur this. Changing schools or having parents go through a divorce are also hard on teens. 

Bullying and social media pressure may also be to blame for a teen who chooses to use drugs. Some teens may also be having a hard time figuring out their sexual identity. This can cause them to use drugs as an escape or a means to cope. 

The stress of getting into college may also cause the teen to turn to substance abuse. The teen may also show signs that their grades are slipping. They may also show a loss of interest in academic and extracurricular activities. 

A teen going through a difficult time does not always guarantee drug use. But it may involve a combination of different factors, including struggling with change. 

Teenagers on Drugs, Getting Them the Help They Need  

These 7 situations are the most common reasons that cause teenagers to begin using drugs. Remember that teenagers on drugs will often display some warning signs. It helps to pay attention to the symptoms and encourage support. 

There are also many options to take to begin the recovery process for yourself or a loved one. Counseling services and professional treatment programs have helped many teens struggling with addiction.  

Learn more about how 1st Step Behavioral Health can help with the road to recovery. 







florida drug

Where Is the Problem? 7 Florida Drug Abuse Statistics to Know

Florida is one of the most beautiful and vibrant states in America. It’s also susceptible to America’s growing substance abuse problem.

If you live in Florida, then you’ve seen first hand how drug and alcohol abuse has affected its citizens. Methamphetamine and cocaine abuse has been a storied part of South Florida’s past, but the opiate crisis has begun to trickle down as well.

More and more, we’re seeing good people fall victim to opioids. These drugs are incredibly dangerous and becoming available to anyone looking. Addicts come from different backgrounds and circumstances, but many of the stories end up in the same place.

If you want to keep yourself or your loved ones away from this ending, you’ve got to find them help. In this post, we’re going to give you 7 Florida drug abuse statistics to consider when thinking about the addict(s) in your life.

Some of them may be surprising, some of them won’t be, but all of them will rattle you to your core. Let’s learn more about this problem.

7 Florida Drug Abuse Statistics

Many of the statistics that we’re about to lay out for you put Florida around the National drug abuse average, with slight variation. However, because Florida is such a populous state, a staggering number of Floridians suffer from drug abuse issues. Here are 7 stats to make you take notice.

1. Increase in Synthetic Opioid Deaths Between 2012 and 2017

At this point, we’re all familiar with fentanyl and its devastating effects. The drug seemed to come out of nowhere for the sole purpose of claiming the lives of down-and-out addicts and unsuspecting experimenters.

In 2012, there were only 162 synthetic opioid deaths reported in Florida. By 2017, however, that number went all the way up to 2,126. That’s an increase of over 1600% in a tiny 5-year period. So, why is this happening all of a sudden? 

Fentanyl is an incredibly potent synthetic opioid used in tiny doses to treat chronic pain. Because you only need a small amount to achieve a high, people are using it in a mixture to increase the potency, to devastating effect. This is why you see such a massive increase in deaths over a short period of time.

2. Prescription Opioid Deaths

There’s a lot of concern over big pharma’s involvement in cultivating the opioid crisis in the US. In 2017, there were 1,272 deaths involving prescription opioids, up from 889 in 2014.

It’s frightening to think that addicts are being provided with drugs that can kill them, but that’s often not the case during the initial period. Prescription drugs have been a huge contributor to the opioid problem in Florida and abroad. 

People are being prescribed powerful painkillers for one reason or another. Over the course of the prescription period, patients are becoming addicted to these drugs. Addicts know how to come up with valid reasons why they should get more and certain clinics are obliging. 

3. 410,00 Floridians

In 2013-14, a staggering 410,000 Floridians were found to be dependent on or had used illicit substances within the year. That’s a terrifying number for one state of fifty.

What’s more is that 8% of Florida’s entire population used illicit drugs, which ends up being about 1.5 million people. That 410,00 becomes even more heartbreaking when you consider that it amounts to being nearly 1/3 of the number of people that used drugs in general. 

4. Cocaine Use Still a Problem

For authorities, the focus has nationwide focus has shifted from coke and amphetamines to the opioid crisis, and for good reason. However, despite a slight decrease in growth rate, cocaine is still a big problem in Florida.

According to a report from the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, the number of circumstances where the deceased had cocaine in their system increased from 1,834 in 2015 to 2,882 in 2016. That’s a 57% increase. It further increased in 2017 to 3,129.

Although it’s only a 9% increase from 2016, it’s still an incredible 300 more deaths. 2012 or 64% of those deaths were attributed to a cocaine overdose. We’re far removed from the cocaine cowboy years in Miami, but this is obviously still a huge problem that Floridians are dealing with.

5. NAS

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a situation that occurs when a pregnant woman uses opioids or other drugs during pregnancy.

Between 2004 and 2014, a study showed an increase from 1.5 cases per 1,000 hospital births to 8 cases per 1,000 hospital births; or a 500% increase. That equals 1 baby born with NAS every 15 minutes in the US. Also, during the same period, the hospital costs for NAS births increased from $91 million to $563 million.

Florida reported 2,320 cases of NAS in 2016, which was a 54% increase from 2012 when there were 1,506 cases. 

6. Underage Drinking Statistics

Underage binge drinking is one of the jumping off points to a life of substance abuse. In Florida, the underage drinking rates have increased over the period between 2015 and 2017, while the national average dropped.

The Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey indicated in 2018 that more underage girls reported having tried alcohol than underage boys (38.9% to 34.1%). This is not consistent with the national average, the rate of underage drinking in boys is slightly higher than that of girls.

7. High Driving

In 2018, Florida reported 422 deaths in collisions where marijuana and other substances was a factor. Cannabis was the most prevalent drug, accounting for 1/3 of the 422, but other substances make up the rest of the other 2/3.

Drugged driving isn’t as big a part of the national conversation as drunk driving is, but it’s rapidly claiming more and more lives as the addiction crisis continues.

How Can You Help?

As you can see, these Florida drug abuse statistics are startling and affecting. Too many people are losing their lives because they aren’t able to find the help that they need. If you’ve got a loved one that you suspect of having a substance abuse problem, make an effort to urge them to get help. 

There are thousands of facilities all over the country, hundreds in Florida alone. First Step Behavioral Health is a great treatment center based out of Pompano Beach. We’ve got inpatient, outpatient, therapy, and detox programs that are affordable and offer the best assistance the state has to offer.

Contact us to make an appointment and visit our blog to read more posts about how you can help yourself or loved ones by seeking out treatment. It’s never too late to turn your life around.








Addictive Personality

5 Ways to Overcome An Addictive Personality

People all over the world are dealing with what is known as an addictive personality disorder. It’s more common than people may think. And it’s more harmful than people may believe. Often, addictive personalities lead to addiction.

Sometimes, people who have an addictive personality disorder become addicted to things like alcohol and drugs. Other individuals may develop an addiction to certain behaviors or activities.

In any case, though, addiction is unhealthy and harmful. So, it’s extremely important for those who struggle with an addictive personality to get help right away.

Maybe you’ve recently noticed an addictive personality in your life. Perhaps you’ve been trying to figure out how to overcome it in order to avoid further problems. Whether you are trying to prevent the development of an addiction problem or avoid addiction relapse, it’s best to seek professional help in overcoming the traits of an addictive personality.

The Importance of Overcoming Addictive Characteristics

There are countless reasons why it’s important to overcome the effects and symptoms of an addictive personality disorder. It’s clear that addictive personalities can lead to addiction, which is certainly something everyone wants to avoid. However, there are even more reasons why you should work to prevent this disorder from affecting you any longer.

Addictive personalities may not always lead immediately to addiction. But, they certainly cause problems and challenges in the lives of those who deal with them. These personality traits have a tendency to interrupt everyday routines and prevent individuals from leading normal lives. They can cause short-term and long-term negative effects.

Sometimes, people who struggle with addictive personalities may struggle with anxiety or depression. Both of these are mental health disorders that affect a person’s overall mood, mental and emotional health, ability to communicate with others, and much more. Often, people who have anxiety or depression become emotionally withdrawn, keeping all of their feelings and emotions inside.

This prevents them from successfully connecting with their loved ones. In some situations, this can lead to marital problems. It can also cause an emotional separation between siblings, parents and their children, and friends.

Many people who have addictive personalities feel the need to engage in risk-taking and impulsive behaviors. This could be anything from risky, reckless driving to impulsive experimentation with drugs. These behaviors and actions could lead to very serious consequences. In some cases, they could result in injury or even fatality.

Impulsivity also extends to things like impulsive shopping and spending. This could result in financial hardship. Of course, this has a negative effect on the entire family as it may stop household needs from being met.

Addictive personality disorders can also make people feel insecure, lonely, and paranoid. Some individuals become antisocial and withdraw from those around them. These emotions and behaviors can cause problems in every area of life. They can prevent people from developing and maintaining healthy relationships. And they can keep individuals from succeeding at work or school.

So, it’s definitely important to deal with and overcome addictive personality traits, even if you are not currently suffering from an addiction problem. Now, let’s talk about 5 ways you can work to overcome these traits and behaviors!

Overcoming Harmful Addictive Personality Traits

If you are currently dealing with the effects of an addictive personality disorder, then you probably know that it can be very hard to break out of the grasp of this disorder. It can be extremely challenging to fight the urges of impulsivity, compulsive behaviors, depression, and anxiety. Overcoming these challenges is far from easy. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible!

Many people feel that it’s not possible to overcome addictive personality traits. They feel that, if you have this disorder, you will inevitably struggle with addiction and will, most likely, never break free from these problems. But, this is definitely not true. You can certainly become free from these issues through commitment, dedication, and professional treatment.

There are plenty of ways in which you can work to overcome the effects of addictive personality traits. Here are 5 of them:

  • Talk about it. There’s nothing like talking about your problems to someone who can offer you help and comfort. Sometimes, your family members or friends will misunderstand what you’re going through. They may not understand the struggles you’re facing. So, speaking to them will help you to feel less alone and isolated, which are two things people often feel when they’re dealing with an addictive personality disorder.
  • Get counseling and attend therapy. Speaking of talking about it, therapy is a great place to speak with someone who understands and can offer you guidance in dealing with the addictive characteristics in your life. Therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you to identify and work through the triggers and underlying causes related to the addictive traits you’re experiencing.
  • Hang out with other people. If the people within your circles are also struggling with the effects of an addictive personality or they don’t help you to overcome the struggles in your own life, it’s best to avoid spending time with them. Surround yourself with positive people who are genuinely concerned about your well-being and won’t enable harmful behavior in your life.
  • Work to do less of what “feels” good and more of what “is” good for you. Addictive personalities are characterized by engaging in activities mainly because they feel good. But, this kind of behavior can be problematic. So, it’s best to learn how to focus on doing what is best for your health and the well-being of those who love you.
  • Think positively. The way we think usually determines the way we behave. Through CBT, you can learn more about how to replace negative thought patterns with healthy and positive ones. You’ll need to incorporate these strategies in your everyday life, focusing on the positives and spending time with like-minded individuals. Sometimes, it will be really challenging to stay on the right track. Avoid becoming angry with yourself if you fall. Just dust yourself off and keep going!

Treatment and Therapy at 1st Step Behavioral Health

If you are suffering from an addiction as a result of an addictive personality or you want to avoid relapse, just contact us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Let us help you overcome addictive personality traits once and for all! Call us today: (866) 319-6126.

substance abuse counseling

What Role Does Psychotherapy Play in Substance Abuse Counseling?

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that over 19 million Americans have battled substance abuse in 2017 alone. For many of those seeking recovery, substance abuse counseling and psychotherapy are important life-changing tools.

If you or someone you love is battling substance abuse and is considering substance abuse counseling, read on to learn more about how this effective technique can help with many addictions.

What is Substance Abuse

Many substance cases of abuse are most commonly associated with addiction to alcohol or drugs, by definition substance abuse includes overindulgence or dependence on any form of an addictive substance.

While substance abuse can be a life-changing condition, it is possible that with the right help and persistence an individual can free themselves of addiction for life. 

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

For many, the first step in curing substance abuse is being able to admit that a problem is indeed present.

The challenge is knowing whether or not the individual is exhibiting addictive behaviors.

Some signs and symptoms of substance abuse may include:

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Either a dramatic increase or decrease in appetite 
  • Palm is that feel clammy or sweaty
  • Consistently watery eyes or pupils that are either larger or smaller than normal
  • Unusual body odor
  • Extreme energy
  • Rapid speech
  • Speech that is dramatically slower than usual
  • Needle marks also known as track marks that can be found on the arm leg or feet
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking hands
  • A consistently runny nose
  • New habits like consistently rubbing the nose
  • The twisting of the jaw

There are also some behavioral signs that may occur with addiction. The signs include: 

  • Heightened paranoia
  • A short temper
  • Unusual silliness
  • Short patience
  • A rapid decline in personal grooming and hygiene
  • Secretive or mysterious behavior

If you or someone you love is exhibiting such signs or symptoms it’s wise to consider addiction as a suitable explanation and to seek out help to begin recovery.

How to Help Someone Battling Drug Addiction

If someone you love is battling with substance abuse or drug addiction there comes a point where you must understand that you cannot fix the problem by yourself.

However, there are steps you can take to help increase their chance of recovery and to let them know that they are loved and supported.

First, it’s important to identify how strong the addiction actually is. By gauging the severity of the symptoms listed above you can get a general idea of how much help and intervention you will be able to provide.

Next, don’t be afraid to discuss the problem. You may be worried about the pushback you might receive from your friend or loved one when addressing their addiction. However, you are doing more harm than good by ignoring the subject and pretending it doesn’t exist

On the same note, it’s important not to be an enabler. This means not loaning money to the attic or helping them escape the consequences of their addictive behavior.

Finally, you may find that it’s necessary for intervention to occur. In this case, you and your family can come together in order to express your concern, to let them know how important they are to you, and to encourage them to get the help they need. 

Treatment and Recovery Options for Substance Abuse

Depending on the degree of addiction, you may seek out different forms of recovery when faced with this condition.

For some, simply attending substance abuse counseling or meetings is enough to make an impact to change. For others, more extreme actions such as rehabilitation centers may be required.

Why Substance Abuse Counseling and Psychotherapy are Important 

No matter what you are addicted to, even following the detox stage there is still the chance of relapse occurring.

For this reason, it’s important to tap into the psychological triggers that cause you to indulge in the addictive substance, to begin with.

Often triggers such as stress, environment, and our social networks play a major influence in our ongoing addiction. 

Through the use of psychotherapy, these triggers can be addressed and avoided. A psychotherapist can also help you address the necessary techniques to help reduce the chance of a relapse in the event of a trigger.

How Substance Abuse Counseling and Psychotherapy Work

There are typically two modes of counseling and therapy that can be taken. You must choose whether you would like to pursue individual therapy, group therapy, or a mixture of the two. 

Individual therapy allows you to dedicate more time to digging into your specific triggers to help avoid them in the future. While group therapy allows you to create a support group and to take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your path to recovery.

Some recovering addicts use a combination of the two to increase their chance of a successful recovery.

It’s important to remember that even when you feel your recovery is going smoothly, it’s best to continue counseling and therapy to avoid any speed bumps that can throw off your progress.

Getting the Help You Need When You Need It

Substance abuse counseling is just one of the many important factors that go into a successful recovery. If you or someone you love is looking to end their life of addiction and to regain control over their choices and lifestyle the first and most powerful step is to ask for help.

If you’re ready to take that first step contact us today to begin your path to recovery.

Drug Use In Teens And What Parents Can Do To Prevent It

The teenage years are a vulnerable time for adolescents. Studies have shown that the brain does not completely develop until the age of 25. That is one of the reasons teens often use drugs. Studies have shown that teens who start using drugs are more likely to develop an addiction later in life. 

Negative Effects of Teen Drug Use 

Drug use has to be taken seriously because there are a number of negative consequences that can result. While some teens are able to overcome drug use, others have to deal with serious consequences. The following is a list of possible consequences. 

  • Anxiety, depression and other mental health problems
  • Strained relationships with friends and family
  • Physical health problems
  • Academic problems and suspensions
  • Juvenile delinquency

Teens Who are at Risk 

Anybody can end up with a drug problem. However, there are some people who are at a greater risk for it than others. Identifying people who may be at risk is one of the keys to preventing drug abuse. 

People who are in Transition 

Teens who go to a new school are often introduced to new pressures. They want to fit in with everyone. They may be introduced to social circles that are using drugs. 

People Who Suffer From Mental Illness 

Depression and anxiety can develop early in life. People who have mental problems are more likely to develop an addiction. 

No Positive Influences 

Teens who come from an abusive or broken home are more likely to develop an addiction. They may not even understand the consequences of their addiction. Furthermore, teens who have a family member who uses drugs are more likely to have a drug problem. 

What Parents can Do 

Monitor Your Teens 

You will need to be aware of what your child is doing and who they are hanging out with. You can do the following to monitor your child. 

  • Come home earlier than expected.
  • Check in with them regularly.
  • Have your neighbors watch your home when you are away.
  • Monitor the prescription drugs in your home.
  • Look for changes in your child’s behavior.

Talk to Your Teen About Drug Use 

Many teens do things without thinking about the consequences of their actions. That is why it is important to talk to them about the consequences of being a drug user. The more you talk to your child about the risks, the less likely they are to use drugs. 

Keep the Lines of Communication Open 

Teens who have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to use drugs. Many teens feel like they cannot talk to their parents about issues. That is why you will need to let your teen know that they can talk to you about what is bothering them. Teens will be more likely to talk to you if they know that they can be honest with you. Communication is one of the keys to prevention. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, then you can contact our Pompano drug rehab center. We can help people break their addiction.

Substance Abuse in the LGBT Community

One of the groups that often doesn’t get enough or appropriate attention with regard to substance abuse and mental health is the LGBTQI+ community. Discrimination, abuse, rejection from their families and homes, societal ostracism, stress, depression, and anxiety are all contributing factors that the queer community has ON TOP OF the many of the same factors the cisgendered heterosexual community face. This often leads to negative coping strategies such as drug and alcohol abuse.

Misuse Starts Early

On average LGBTQI+ substance abuse starts earlier and affects a larger percent of the community. Here are a few numbers, and although various studies will show different specifics, the trend is hard to ignore. Drug and alcohol abuse affects twice as many queer youth than their cishet classmates. Depression is also more extreme with some 30 percent of gay and trans youth considered or attempting suicide. While only 9 percent of the general population abuse substances, it’s 20-30 percent among LGBTQI+ people, with 39.1 percent using illegal drugs while only 17.1 percent of cishet adults did. Transgender and gay people smoke tobacco 200 percent more than the cishet community.


What We Can Do

Awareness about this problem is one of the most important things we can do. The social stigma so many people face is extreme and bad coping strategies often evolve as a form of protection. Lack of access to healthcare and discriminating families and employers adds to the problem.

But help is available. As with many problems, peer support is one of the most important forms of help available, especially adults in the queer community who can help youth find the strength to persevere. Therapy to address suicidal thoughts and depression can make a big difference. Positive peer pressure is also important: the LGBTQI+ people who can find ways to successfully live clean will serve as role models for other people looking for healthy solutions.

If you are in the LGBTQI+ community and addicted to drugs or alcohol, please find the help that you need and deserve. There are drug and alcohol addiction and drug rehab in Fort Lauderdale and peer support groups available both online and face-to-face. Get started on your recovery today by calling (866) 319-6126.


The Challenges of Alcohol Detox

Because alcohol is legal, many people underestimate its addictive power. We also tend to neglect just how challenging withdrawal from it can be.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from alcohol can be incredibly challenging. Detox involves many physical and mental symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Sweating and fever
  • Seizures
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Accelerated heart rate

While a person’s experiences may vary, for a person addicted to abusing alcohol these symptoms may begin to set in as early as six hours after their last drink. The withdrawal is at its worst for the next twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Then it begins to subside over the next seven days.


The Benefits of Medically-Supervised Alcohol Detox

Many people fail to recognize just how challenging alcohol is to clean up from for some addicts. It’s been estimated that around fifteen percent of the population has had some degree of alcohol dependence. Of those who attempt to go sober, half will develop withdrawal symptoms and of these about four percent will have severe symptoms.

Successfully dealing with alcohol dependence is best achieved through the help of medical professionals who can recognize the withdrawal symptoms. There is also South Florida alcohol treatment, which can help with not only the detox, but also help you with what comes next. Developing a strategy and new coping skills is really important. There are small changes you can make (such as keeping a glass of water to keep your hands full when a bottle feels absent) but larger changes also need made. A person with alcohol dependency needs to look at their life and find sources that lead to their addiction. Experienced therapists and support groups can help here. They can also help you develop new strategies for dealing with triggers.

If you think you may be dependent on alcohol, please give us a call at (866) 319-6126.

Environmental Challenges When Quitting a Substance

One of the biggest challenges to sober living is our environment. We must find ways to clean up that environment and also to find ways to cope with what we can’t control. The fact that it is external to us, however, makes this easier said than done.

Some Common Situations

  • You’re two months sober and your company wins a big project. The boss celebrates by taking everyone out to drink.
  • You have a family history of alcohol abuse but your friends insist on taking you out drinking for your 21st birthday.
  • You have been doing the same type of drug as your roommates but have decided that it’s time to quit, but they aren’t.
  • Getting together with your friends implies drugs will be used.
  • In your culture alcohol or certain types of drugs are used in work or ceremonial situations and you want to stay clean but also participate in your cultural activity.

What would you do?


Coping Strategies

Living sober is hard because not everyone has the same perspective…and not everyone is as supportive as they would be in an ideal world. Too many people have relapsed because of pressure from their coworkers or friends.

Often this peer pressure comes from ignorance from the situation you’re in. It can also come from fear. Change is scary and maybe your friends can’t accept that the you they’ve known is going to emerge from recovery different. The old lifestyle will not fit the new you. They may also want to be avoiding looking in the mirror because if you need to get clean, maybe they have a problem they are in denial over.

It can be challenging dealing with environments–particularly work and family–where our decision to pursue a healthy lifestyle is not respected. Fortunately, there are are drug programs in Florida that can help us not just with detox, but also how to cope with triggers and our environmental challenges. Call us for more information about drug rehab in Broward County: (866) 319-6126.


Treatment Options Available for Recovering Addicts

There are a variety of treatment options to combat addiction. Many are used in conjunction for the best results. The tools gained from these forms of therapy help a person to overcome addiction and lead a sober and successful life. A healthcare professional can help determine which methods are most effective for individual needs.


Traditional Therapy

Traditional methods used to help with substance abuse issues include inpatient, outpatient, and recovery homes. Inpatient requires an individual to live in medical facility for one to six months and work closely with medical staff to detox and learn new habits to maintain sobriety. Outpatient requires individuals to attend meetings weekly with a more intense schedule initially, and then tapes when the person learns new skills to help battle addiction. Recovery homes are group homes where one may stay in a safe and sober living environment. Sometimes all three are used in conjunction with a person completing inpatient rehab, following by living in a recovery home, and finally outpatient services.

12 Step Support Groups

Many people find success attending support groups and gaining skills from other individuals who have battled addiction and succeeded in remaining sober. This method includes attending regular meetings, working through the traditional 12 steps, which vary based on the program, and continuing attending meetings for the best results.


Alternative Therapy

Some individuals have found success in newer or alternative therapies. EMDR is a technique that focuses on re-processing traumatic events. Animal assisted therapy exposes people to animals, which has shown to increase mental health. Other therapies include yoga, massage, nature exploration, or biofeedback. These methods are used to reduce stress and cravings and teach an individual to be in tune to what the body is looking for, aside from substances.


Contact us to determine the best rehab therapies for your substance addiction. Doing so will allow you to be the most successful in your journey to sobriety.