What We Treat

What We Treat


Alcoholism is serious and powerful. Lifelong recovery is possible through education and treatment. Alcohol abuse and dependence has the potential to profoundly damage health, relationships and lives. It impacts people of all ages and has far reaching consequences. Despite this, addicted persons can recover with professional support. Whether you struggle with alcohol or you care for someone who does, the following information can help you understand the disease and determine appropriate next steps.

Alcohol addiction is serious, but recovery is possible. You may ask what is the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence? Answer: In short, alcohol abuse is too much, too often and alcohol dependence is the inability to quit. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that leads to the failure to fulfill responsibilities at work, home or school and/or repeated drinking in situations in which it is physically hazardous.

Alcohol dependence may include a drinker’s increase in tolerance, withdrawal syndrome, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or even quit drinking altogether, lose control of their alcohol use and consistently drink more and for longer than intended. The cardinal features of alcohol dependence are compulsion (inability to refrain from taking that drink), loss of control over alcohol (can’t quit) and continued drinking no matter what the consequences.

Extreme alcohol consumption can cause memory loss (blackouts), complete loss of coordination and alcohol poisoning. In some cases, alcohol overdose can be fatal. Long-term effects of alcohol abuse can be serious and life altering, which can include memory loss, neurological damage and physical complications. Excessive use of alcohol can lead to abuse and dependence, both of which may ultimately require treatment. Individuals who abuse alcohol may develop physical symptoms upon abrupt discontinuation or drastic reduction of alcohol consumption. As with any drug addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol will develop in anyone who has regularly been drinking heavily for an extended period of time if and when intake is suddenly curtailed.

Despite its negative effects, alcohol abuse and addiction can be successfully managed. Counseling is an integral part of addressing and treating drug and alcohol abuse and behavioral health issues. At Pathways Florida, addiction counseling builds a strong foundation for life in recovery. During rehabilitation, clients have the opportunity to participate in individual therapeutic counseling sessions, group counseling, family counseling and specialty treatment groups.

While our clients may share the disease of addiction, their varied co-occurring disorders, backgrounds, cultures, family dynamics and belief systems necessitate personalized behavioral health and substance addiction counseling. For this reason, each client receives individual counseling that focuses on his or her unique needs. Whether you have gotten a DUI and have been referred for treatment from the courts or you have observed that your life would be better without the added stress of your alcohol use, you can find your answers and the skills to turn your life around at Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center.

Generally, rehab begins with alcohol detox and medical management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Since withdrawal symptoms can be particularly severe, medical supervision is strongly recommended for safe alcohol detox. Once the client has gone through alcohol detox, they often begin some form of behavioral therapy, which addresses underlying causes of alcoholism and teaches coping strategies to prevent relapse. Behavioral treatment works well in conjunction with medication, which is commonly used in alcohol rehab to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.

Family counseling involves the family in the recovery process so that familial dysfunction contributing to addiction can be identified and resolved. Family counseling also helps break the cycle of addiction by educating parents, spouses, children and siblings before they, too, fall victim to alcoholism.
In addition to alcohol detox and rehab, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous play a big role in recovery. These groups often give alcoholics a feeling of acceptance as well as opportunities to share experiences, find encouragement and help others recover from alcoholism. The first steps toward recovering from alcoholism are recognizing the problem and seeking professional help from people who care. Please explore Pathways Florida’s alcohol rehab programs and contact us for more information today.

Recovery from alcohol dependence is possible. The benefits of treatment include: reduced substance abuse; decreased criminal activity; increased employment; improved physical and mental health; reduced family problems; reduced incidences of child abuse and neglect; decreased homelessness and dependence on public assistance.


Addiction is a disease, involving the progressive habitual use of drugs and/or alcohol in spite of physical, social, occupational, and/or financial consequences. Common signs include an increased tolerance for and consumption of substances; physical, psychological, and behavioral withdrawal symptoms; and loss of control. Out Pathways Florida team looks at who you are as an individual and how we can best help you reach your goal of getting back to health and the life you were meant to live. We treat all addiction and mental health conditions simultaneously, which is essential for lasting transformation. We combine evidence-based therapies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Person-Centered Therapy with 12 Step principles that address all aspects of optimal wellness. We will work with you and your family to develop a plan that meets your unique goals.

Opioids are a class of drugs chemically similar to alkaloids found in opium poppies. Historically they have been used as painkillers, but they also have great potential for misuse. Repeated use of opioids greatly increases the risk of developing an opioid use disorder. The use of illegal opiate drugs such as heroin and the misuse of legally available pain relievers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone can have serious negative health effects. According to the CDC, 44 people die every day in the United States from overdose of prescription painkillers.

Heroin is administered in three ways: smoking, snorting or shooting (injecting). Because it enters the brain quickly, heroin addiction develops rapidly, often within a few uses. Heroin is a powerful pain-killing illicit drug derived from the opium poppy plant. It is produced from morphine, one of the biologically active components of opium. Heroin looks like a white or brownish powder, or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as “black tar heroin.” It is diluted with other drugs or with sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine before injecting, smoking, or snorting. Some of the physical symptoms of heroin are euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, nausea, and dry mouth. A heroin overdose causes slow and shallow breathing, blue lips and fingernails, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and can be fatal. Many young people who inject heroin report misuse of prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. In addition to increasing the risk of overdose, the intravenous use of heroin places individuals at higher risk of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

At our Florida drug rehab program are several essential treatment components that work together to provide a full continuum of care to treat your drug addiction. These components include comprehensive medical detoxification services to help minimize the physical and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal allowing patients to achieve a stable and substance-free state. Heroin addiction treatment usually begins with medically assisted detoxification and includes pharmacological treatments (such as Naltrexone or buprenorphine) that help prevent relapse and ease withdrawal symptoms. Heroin addiction treatment programs, such as Pathways Florida drug rehab, also involve addiction counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, drug rehab and heroin support groups. Heroin rehabilitation usually involves one or more forms of behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, addiction counseling, individual or group therapy and psychotherapy. These treatments address the root causes of addiction and teach clients various coping techniques for preventing relapse.
Some heroin rehab programs involve pharmaceutical interventions (link to MAT page). Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone (Vivitrol) help patients’ recovery by easing withdrawal symptoms, reducing heroin cravings and helping prevent relapse.

We also offer a wide variety of individual and group therapy options that provide the support and encouragement needed to help addicts address the underlying issues that keep them stuck in their addiction. To give those new in recovery the tools they need to cope with the stressors and triggers that can lead to relapse, our Sarasota, Florida drug rehab facility offers life and coping skills training to deal with your heroin addiction as well as aftercare programs that focus on relapse prevention and rebuilding your life. Here at Pathways Florida, we address all of an addict’s physical, mental and spiritual issues. We offer nightly 12 Step meetings for anyone in recovery. Meetings include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous where clients are encouraged to share their experiences, network to build a support system and to find a sponsor to continue their path of recovery. Once heroin rehab is complete, a long-term care plan should be established to prevent relapse. Here at Pathways Florida drug treatment program we will work with you to develop a supportive relapse prevention plan. This might include continued addiction counseling, continued participation in our Pathways after support group and continued development of healthy coping behaviors. By this stage, it is essential that our clients understand the power of heroin addiction and the value of recovery.


If you take a medication in a way that is different from what the doctor prescribed, it is called prescription drug abuse. It could be:

  • Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
  • Taking a larger dose that you are supposed to
  • Taking the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. This might be crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them.
  • Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high

Prescription medications have many legitimate and helpful uses when taken as prescribed and under the supervision of a physician. Many people, however, find themselves misusing prescription medications for a number of reasons. For some, a physical dependence on medications such as pain killers or sedatives results in a need for more of the same medication in order to produce the desired effect. For others, prescription medications are used recreationally to produce euphoria or a “high.” There are three types of prescription medications that are commonly misused:

  1. Opioids – usually prescribed to address pain
  2. Central nervous system depressant – this includes tranquilizers, sedatives and hypnotics; usually used to treat anxiety and/or sleep disorders
  3. Stimulants – usually prescribed for attention disorders such as ADHD

There are serious dangers in abusing or misusing prescription medications, including overdose and developing a physical dependence that can result in a withdrawal syndrome if the medication is stopped abruptly.

Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Once an individual develops a physical dependence on a prescription medication, it is not uncommon for he/she to resort to buying the prescription medications “on the street” due to not receiving enough from the prescribing physician. This can result in serious financial problems as the value of prescription medications is much higher when purchasing on the street versus purchasing from a pharmacy. The individual also runs the risk of legal involvement as buying and selling prescription medication is illegal.

Historically, many individuals that abuse or misuse prescription medication did so feeling like they were using “safe” drugs since the dose and ingredients of the drug were consistent. In recent years, however, the illegal drug trade has evolved and there are drug dealers that are manufacturing “look-alike” prescription pills. These pills “look-alike” pills sometimes contain dangerous drugs such as fentanyl and can cause unintentional overdoses. The drugs that some viewed as “safe” are no longer.

Physical dependence on prescription opioids causes the individual to need a higher dose in order to achieve the same results. As mentioned above, this often leads to purchasing additional medications illegally. Research has shown that individuals who are physically dependent on opioids often end up using heroin due to higher availability and lower cost.

At Pathways Florida, the treatment team uses addiction counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and drug rehab and heroin support groups to address the addiction issues that arise from prescription medication abuse and misuse. These treatments address the root causes of the prescription abuse and teach clients various coping techniques for preventing relapse. Medication assisted treatment (link to MAT page) options may also be explored to assist with reducing cravings and relapse prevention.

Individual and group therapy offer support and encouragement to help addicts address their underlying issues. Life skills and coping skills training help those new in recovery acquire the tools necessary to cope with stressors and triggers. At Pathways Florida, the goal is to address the addict’s physical, mental and spiritual issues.

An important piece of the Pathways Florida treatment plan for clients who are struggling with prescription abuse is coordination and communication with the prescribing physician. Open communication with all treating medical professionals is essential. This allows the physician to know about the client’s prescription abuse and allows the medical professionals the opportunity to find alternatives for treating any ongoing medical issues.

Also important to the treatment program is the creation of a long-term care plan. The Pathways Florida licensed mental health counselors work with each client to ensure that he/she is connected to the necessary resources for success. This might include additional counseling, additional substance abuse treatment, and referrals to medical professionals.