Category: Drug Detox Florida

Judgment & Perception of an Addict

One of the biggest challenges for some of our clients is dealing with a sense of self-worth. Those who suffer from low self-esteem struggle doing recovery work because they feel their lives are meaningless. Why do they feel this way? There could be a number of reasons, ranging from prior emotional abuse, to public perception about substance abusers.

Related Blog: Understanding the Progression of Recovery

You’ve probably heard, and maybe even thought, one of the following three phrases:

“I have no sympathy for the homeless; they are a bunch of drunks and drug addicts.”

“Why should I feel sorry for him/her? He/she made the choice to use drugs and screwed up his/her life.”

“Addicts are just a bunch of criminals and should be locked up somewhere.”

If you hear these types of comments about yourself, why would you try to get clean and sober? How could you believe that there is a better world of recovery out there and that your life is worth saving?

A client, who has been clean for a little more than three years now, said she feels so sad when she is driving down the street and sees the homeless or women in prostitution. She said, “people are so quick to judge them. No one knows their stories, but they are quick to judge them.”

This particular client was the youngest of three daughters in a middle-class family. Her mother worked in a group home for troubled teens. When the client graduated from high school and enrolled in a local community college, the mother released a big sigh of relief, believing, “I raised my children and they are good.” Only a few months later, she quickly saw the signs. Her daughter’s personality was changing and school didn’t seem like a priority. She wasn’t sure about the new boyfriend her daughter was seeing and despite her training in dealing with the teens, the mother made several mistakes, not wanting to believe her daughter was involved in drugs. The situation escalated quickly and before long, the daughter with the promising future had been arrested for shoplifting. The goods that were stolen were going to be sold or traded for drugs.

The mother was able to get the daughter into a treatment center. On the legal front, she still had probation, fees and restitution, but she was getting help for her substance abuse and that was important.

Three years post treatment, the client says, “that could have been me. Had I not been arrested, I could have ended up trading my body for drugs. Without the continued support of my family, I could have been kicked out of the house and ended up homeless.”

Going to treatment gave this woman her life back. She’s now the daughter, niece, sister, aunt and friend that her family and friends knew and loved. A mother herself now, she is still paying off legal debts, but plans to finish college.

If you have a friend or family member that you suspect is struggling with substance abuse, encourage them to seek help, to find a better life and change their ways. Contact Pathways for more information about our residential treatment programs by calling 855-349-5988.


Recovery is More than Detox

Often, when people call to inquire about services, they believe that if they send their son/daughter/ sibling/spouse/parent to detox, the drug and/or alcohol problem will be solved. The desire is for a minimal investment (both in terms of time and money), the individual will immediately have a clear mind and be ready to take on a life of recovery.

Related Blog: Choosing Recovery Often Means Choosing A Healthy Lifestyle

Sadly, it does not work this way. Recovery is a process and each step of the process is just as important as the next step.

The role of detox is to rid the body of the toxins in a safe, medically-supervised environment. It is truly the first step in a series of activities associated with living a life in recovery. Think of a stay in the detox unit as being comparable to an ER visit. You go in experiencing a problem and they make sure you are stable, in no immediate danger and run diagnostic tests to rule out life-threatening issues. Once you are stable, more than likely, you will be discharged and advised to follow-up with your primary care physician or a specialist if necessary. The role of the ER is not necessarily to make you well, though in some cases they do, but the beginning of a process that may involve more tests, surgery, treatment or changes in your diet and/or lifestyle.

Like your primary care physician, your primary counselor at a residential substance abuse treatment facility will steer you in the direction of wellness. Often, your success depends on how well you follow medical/clinical advice. A primary counselor will work with you to develop a treatment plan, which is a list of goals to accomplish in order to maintain your sobriety, chart your progress and guide you through challenges. Some treatment goals relate to dealing with past events and/or traumas that may have led to substance abuse, while others are about learning new coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with stress or turmoil of everyday life. Without this knowledge and work, there is no way to advance to the next level of recovery, the transition to either a sober living facility or back to your home.

Going back to the medical analogy and ER visit, let’s say the patient presented with chest pains and has a family history of heart disease. The ER doctors ran tests to determine that the patient was not in eminent danger and recommended following up with a primary care doctor for further testing. Those test results showed the patient needed by-pass surgery due to arterial blockage. The surgery was a success. The patient was given specific post-operative steps to take before leaving the hospital and to begin resuming a normal life. These steps may have included exercise and physical therapy, a change in diet or a change in routine if stress is a factor in the heart disease. Each step of the process is important and can only be done in one order. Recovery from substance abuse is the same type of process and includes stabilization, diagnosis, treatment plan development and a realistic transition plan.

If you or a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, contact Pathways to learn more about our detox and residential treatment programs. Call 855-349-5988 for more information.

In the Media: Police Warn of Heroin Upswing

With heroin being more prolific than in the past, Bradenton saw at least 6 deaths and 35 potential overdoses in 2014. According to a recent Bradenton Police Department release, police responded to an average of 1 heroin overdose per week last year. This increase of heroin use can most likely be due to legislation, public awareness, and law enforcement cracking down on “pill mill” clinics.

For more information, click here to read the Bradenton Herald article about heroin use on the rise.

Pathways to Recovery is part of the First Step of Sarasota, Inc. family of treatment programs

Related Blog: Substance Abuse – The Cost To The Community