Category: Pathways to recovery

Why Will Pathways be Able to Help Me When Others Have Failed?

A question we commonly hear from the individuals seeking treatment, families seeking treatment for a loved one and even the general public is why do you think you can help when this individual has failed in recovery in the past?

There are several factors that come into play when answering this question. Understanding the disease of addiction and that relapse is commonly part of the disease helps. Still, that doesn’t provide confidence when you are seeking help.

Related Blog: Choosing Recovery Often Means Choosing A Healthy Lifestyle

1 – Addiction is a chronic, manageable disease. Much like diabetes and hypertension, the person with the disease is tasked with managing the disease, working through the checklists of things you can and cannot do on a daily basis to make sure there are not issues. Part of the Pathways program is working out relapse prevention plans so that if someone is at risk of a relapse, they have steps to take in hopes of diffusing the situation.

A program graduate once said, “I had a bad day, so I had a drink, but I never solved my problem. The next day was bad, so I drank more. Soon, I had so many problems that were never resolved and spent all my time drinking to avoid them.” What this man learned during his time in the program was that
avoiding your problems and drinking to forget them will not make them go away. This was his relapse trigger. Upon completing the program, he knew he had to face his problems as they came rather than turning the bottle. He knew who to contact and the support groups available should he be tempted to drink rather than face his issues.

In addition to teaching relapse prevention techniques during treatment, Pathways also offers a weekly aftercare meeting for those who have completed the program. Staying in touch and engaged with the program helps many stay focused on their recovery.

2 – Another key to reaching a point of a long lasting recovery is dealing with any underlying issues that may have led to substance abuse. While these issues can be as unique as the clients we treat, in many cases, bringing these into the conversation and learning coping mechanisms to find a resolution for the challenges is liberating for our clients. People outside the addiction generally do not understand the burden many of our clients carry as they begin their substance abuse. Our clients have been the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse, witnesses to catastrophic events, or have suffered losses in their lives. One client relayed the story that she had been drinking for more than 20 years. In her early 20’s, she was pregnant and had a miscarriage. Though she tried several more times, she was never able to conceive a child. Her life’s dream was to be a mother. She found comfort in drinking. Her family never understood the deep damage and pain the miscarriage caused for this client. It wasn’t until she sought treatment that she began to understand why she was drinking and addressing the pain that this miscarriage caused so many years ago.

3 – The compassionate Pathways staff members do not care if this is your first time in treatment or your 21st time in treatment. You will be shown the same respect and dignity as every other client. It does not matter if you have tried and failed; the Pathways staff will design a treatment plan that will help you get back on the right track.

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

Reforming Recovery

Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare, recently released an article about reshaping how we view substance abuse treatment. Statistics provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse claim that more than 23 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Of this, ONLY 11% receive treatment. Other stats she cited state that of those in recovery, 40-60% will backslide or relapse.

Related Blog: Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol is a Process

Chair and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute, A. Thomas McLellan, compares the addiction treatment process to a washing machine, churning clients through the system before they’ve had a chance to heal. He is quoted as saying, “There are no 30-day diabetes programs, and they certainly don’t have graduation ceremonies.”

As the community accepts the fact that substance abuse is a chronic disease, treatment providers need to tailor programs to treat this model. This would include changes to the emergency treatment, residential services, housing with restorative services, case/care management, medication assisted treatment, cognitive interventions and family support.

At Pathways, many of these facets are already standard in treatment plans. While a 28-day stay is available, Pathways’ Extended Care program allows clients to stay 60 or 90 days to not only learn the basics of recovery and how to use the tools, but to spend more time dealing with the core issues that have led to their addictive disorder. Pathways provides a weekly aftercare group session for those who stay in the area, and counselors can also guide clients to local sober living facilities that will reinforce and support long-term abstinence. Cognitive interventions using evidence-based techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Moral Reconation Therapy and Rapid Response Therapy®, are all part of the Pathways milieu. Finally, family sessions not only provide relatives with a sense of progress, family members learn about the disease of addiction, the dangers of enabling, relapse triggers and warning signs.

To learn more about Pathways, visit or call 855-349-5988.

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


Choosing Recovery Often Means Choosing A Healthy Lifestyle

Many people don’t realize that a healthy lifestyle and recovery go hand in hand. There are multiple, varying reasons this is the case.

Often, when people are in addictive addiction, they feed their addiction rather than their bodies. Many of our clients arrive dehydrated and with other medical issues simply because their lifestyle has not promoted healthy diet and exercise habits. As people enter into a life of recovery, it is important that they incorporate a healthy diet into their lifestyle. Several studies have shown that proper nutrition can make those in recovery feel better both physically and mentally.

Related Blog: How to Help an Addict get Treatment

Other risks for people who are new to recovery are posed by diet. Sugar can cause alcoholics crave alcohol and others may binge eat to suppress cravings to use. It is not uncommon for an individual new to recovery to replace a drug/alcohol addiction with a food addiction. It is important to discuss your concerns with your counselor if you feel you may be fulfilling your cravings for drugs with food, especially if they are not healthy choices.

Pathways works with a dietician to develop a menu of healthy meal options for clients so they can begin adapting to a healthy lifestyle while in treatment. For more information about the Pathways treatment program, call 855-349-5988.

Is It Beneficial to Travel Out of State for Rehab?

The most important decision a person struggling with addiction will make is choosing a rehab facility. While some find comfort in seeking treatment close to home, others will opt to seek treatment far from home.

Local and long-distance treatment centers each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some things to consider.

Do you live in a region that has a comprehensive substance abuse treatment center? This means, does the facility provide a full scope of services ranging from detox, residential treatment and aftercare? Do you live near a facility that is accredited? As you research rehab facilities, be sure to consider only those that are accredited. What does this mean? Accreditation means that an organization receives periodic reviews, similar to an audit, on how services are provided. An organization who is accredited is demonstrating that they are committed to the highest level of treatment standards and care and are always striving to improve.

Related Blog: Florida Drug Recovery Program Success Rates

Do the treatment programs near you have the ability to handle complex cases? The most effective methods of treating substance abuse involve science-based therapeutic techniques that help clients deal with the root cause of the substance abuse problems, such as a past trauma, an underlying mental health disorder or an addiction that stems from the legitimate prescription of a pain medication following an injury or surgical procedure.

How is your relationship with your family? For some, family support is a key step to success and finding a program that allows visitation or regular phone calls is important. For others, especially when multiple members of a family have substance abuse issues, removing yourself from that situation and getting rehab out of town is more beneficial. If you are committed to changing your life, you may need to be far away from relatives who could sabotage your efforts.

What are your triggers? If you live in a small, remote location, chances are, your triggers are everywhere. You would be best served to find a treatment facility that is far from your triggers. A trigger could be friends, stressful relationships or other environmental factors that could take your focus away from recovery.

Are you looking for something that is more discreet? Though most treatment facilities have strict privacy guidelines and need to comply with federal HIPAA regulations, there is merit to going to a treatment facility far from home. Especially for those in high profile positions, it is easy to say that you are taking a sabbatical to Florida than heading off to 28-days in a treatment facility.

Regardless if you live in Sarasota, the state of Florida, or any other destination in the country, Pathways provides quality substance abuse treatment for those committed to a life in recovery. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is a comprehensive treatment center providing detox, 28-day or extended care treatment programs, aftercare and links to transitional or sober housing. Using evidence-based treatment methods, Pathways is capable of treating the most challenging and unique cases. Clients are able to receive visitors on weekends and phone calls are permitted under the supervision of the counseling staff.

For more information call 855-349-5988.

Making and Breaking New Year’s Resolutions

While many people are making (and already breaking) their New Year’s resolutions for 2015, there are some question as to if making a New Year’s resolutions is the right thing for people new to recovery. While most resolutions center on losing weight, saving money or spending more time with family, they are often viewed simply as a lofty goal.

Related Blog: Preparing for Recovery Treatment

To truly be successful at a New Year’s resolution, a person needs to put a plan in place, such as I can save money if I cut out the extra movie channels on my cable package. That money will go directly from my paycheck to my savings account.

Often, the goal of the resolution is not realistic and sets up a failure. For example, you resolve to lose 30 pounds this year. That is attainable if you are dedicated to changing your diet and adding an exercise program to your lifestyle. However, most people aren’t willing to make the commitment or give up after a short period of time.

While the teachings of most recovery programs are to take each day at a time, rather than focusing on a year-long resolution, people may be better served to have a daily goal, such as I will attend a meeting today, I will contact my sponsor, I will do step work. For those with more confidence of sticking with a resolution, keep it simple – resolve to attend one more meeting each week or begin a journal where you note progress or concerns you have on maintaining your recovery.

*Sidebar info: According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 45 percent of us will make a New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of these resolutions will be ditched after the first week. Six months later, fewer than half of the people who made resolutions will have sustained them. The rate of complete success for New Year’s resolutions is an abysmal 8 percent. Interestingly, people who are in their twenties are more than twice as likely to maintain a resolution as those who are in their fifties.