Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Florida Marchman Act: How Does Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment Work

Many people who suffer from substance addiction don’t think they have a problem even when their substance abuse is interfering with their daily lives and family and friends are begging them to consider getting any type of help. Often times the people who are the closest to the impaired individual are the ones who will make some sense of it all and try to help. While loved ones may have the best intentions at heart, they often do not know what can be done, or where to go to get someone into addiction treatment, especially when the impaired individual is unwilling to receive any type of help. For some, professional intervention works, but for many who are unwilling to accept they have a debilitating substance abuse problem a court ordered treatment, which is available in Florida under the Marchman Act statute, is often the only way families have to save their loved one’s lives. Also known as the “Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993this act provides for emergency assistance and temporary detention of individuals requiring substance abuse evaluation and treatment. This court process may take up to 10 days and does not always result in inpatient treatment. In most cases, the judge refers the impaired individual for assessment and stabilization and appropriate treatment which could be counseling or other outpatient treatment methods. This civil procedure is designed to help families help their loved one who is suffering from an addiction but there must be evidence that the individual suffering from addiction:

  • has lost self-control with respect to substance abuse
  • has inflicted or is likely to inflict physical harm to themselves or others
  • has impaired judgment and cannot understand the need for self-care and treatment
  • has refused voluntary assessment

If the criterion is met and the court petition is successful, the mandatory treatment process may take up to about 90 days, with the court monitoring the process.

How does the Marchman Act Work

  1. The Marchman Act is initiated by filing a petition for involuntary assessment in the county court where the impaired individual It can be introduced by the friends and family of the impaired individual to help them break through their own level of resistance.
  2. A hearing is set before the court after a Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization is filed.
  3. Following the hearing, the impaired individual is held for up to five days for medical stabilization and assessment.
  4. A Petition for Treatment must be filed with the court and a second hearing is held for the court to review the assessment.
  5. Based on the assessment and recommendations the judge may order a 60-day treatment period with a possible 90-day extension, if necessary.
  6. If treatment is not completed, the individual must return to court and answer why he or she did not comply with treatment. Then the individual is returned immediately for involuntary care.
  7. If the individual refuses, they are held in civil contempt of court for not following the treatment and are ordered to either return to treatment or be incarcerated.

In many cases the threat or initial filing of the Marchman Act is enough to get unwilling individuals struggling with addiction to agree to treatment, to avoid any legal and personal

Because addiction is a medical condition, the process is strictly confidential. All hearings are held in closed courtrooms, and all assessment and treatment records are protected by Federal HIPPA law.

A well-balanced, long-term treatment plan, through a Marchman Act has the potential to help the individual who is struggling with substance addiction to reach a healthy lifestyle by having the structured court-ordered framework in place to help support a successful recovery.

At Florida Center for Recovery we believe that addiction treatment does not need to be voluntary in order to be effective yet we believe that the impaired individual must be willing and open to receive treatment. If you have questions about whether or not an involuntary commitment for a loved one is the right option, feel free to contact us anytime.

NSS-2 Bridge: Can this Device Heal Opioid Addiction?

The FDA has recently approved NSS-2 Bridge (NSS stands for “Neurostimulation System”), an electric stimulation device that has initially been approved in 2014 to relieve chronic and acute pain to be now utilized in the treatment of opioid addiction to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. With the opioid epidemic affecting millions of Americans each year, finding innovative ways to improve the outcome of therapeutic treatment is paramount. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says that in his reasons for approving this device is that while research is continuing to find better medicines to treat opioid use disorder, we also need to look at other treatment options as well. The approval of the NSS-2 Bridge for use as part of a detox treatment process will make the device eligible for coverage under many insurance plans which makes the Bridge more affordable for those who wish to utilize the device.

NSS-2 Bridge works by sending small electrical signals to the brain via a person’s ear to stimulate branches of certain cranial nerves. Such stimulations have provided relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms in many patients already. Patients can use the device for up to five days during the acute physical withdrawal phase. Opioid withdrawal causes acute physical withdrawal symptoms including sweating, gastrointestinal upset, nausea, anxiety, tremors, agitation, insomnia, and joint pain. These are the symptoms that have reportedly been decreased in the majority of people who used the device.

According to the FDA’s press release, the device’s effectiveness was approved based on the findings of research that included more than 73 patients. The trial found that 64 of the patients got relief from their withdrawal symptoms and were ready to move forward to medication-assisted therapy (such as Naltrexone) after using the device. This represented a success rate of 88 percent after the five-day trial. Other applications may include permanent abstinence rather than switching to a maintenance drug. However, many people are skeptical of the benefits of the device mainly because researchers did not include a control group. Critics of the device and the study say that you cannot know for sure that the device works without also testing a placebo device in the research. While it hasn’t been completely proven that the device works every time, it has been effective in enough cases to be considered as part of a solution to opioid addiction. For some, this may be a last resort, and as long as it is safe, anything that can increase the chances of recovery is worth trying.

Understanding Addiction

We live in a world where words such as “addiction”, “substance abuse” and “overdose” are quite familiar, even if they don’t directly impact our lives. But how many people truly understand what they mean? It’s almost impossible to fully understand relapse or recovery unless you’ve walked a mile in those shoes. In an age of myths and misunderstandings, chemical dependency remains a mystery to many.

Addiction does a lot of damage to a person’s physical health, mental health, and overall wellbeing. It’s important to not fall for myths and to become as knowledgeable as possible so as to at least not cause any further psychological damage to struggling individuals and their loved ones. Addiction is a chronic progressive disease and as such it requires specialized treatment. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction can result in disability or premature death. Learning a few facts about addiction will give you a better understanding of the problem and help you or your loved one work toward a plan to overcome addiction.

** Addiction rewires brain circuits

Substance abuse changes our bodies in numerous ways. The brain is particularly affected as it struggles to balance the reactions to all the harmful chemicals entering the body. It starts as a euphoric experience but through time and excessive use the brain just struggles to feel “normal”.

** Rock bottom isn’t necessary

A person who suffers from addiction can decide to get treatment without having to hit rock bottom. Allowing addictive behaviors to continue does more damage to the body and makes it harder for the user to quit. Early interventions help not just the user but their family and friends and can prevent loss of life.  

** Relapse is not the end

Many people think that if someone has quit a particular substance then using it again means they have failed and the proverbial “falling off the wagon” is a sign of failure. The truth is that relapse is actually quite common and part of the recovery process. It shows the user which recovery method is working and what is not. Oftentimes, through a relapse, individuals are able to identify and recognize triggers that can help them prevent further relapses.

Recovering from an addiction can be a long and difficult process. It’s important to take time and ease into it, getting as much help as possible. Some people decide enough is enough and try to quit without going through specialized treatment, but detoxing alone is unsafe and life-threatening. There are many ways to get treatment, including detoxing at a medical facility and pursuing inpatient rehab therapeutic services. Finding an addiction treatment for you or a loved one is the best chance one has in recovery, but one must be willing to recover in order to fully engage in treatment and take advantage of the therapies offered at rehab centers. That been said, please research the treatment facility you are considering. Find here a few questions you should be asking before committing to an addiction treatment program.

If you decide to receive treatment from us, our team is ready to help you get your questions answered. Florida Center for Recovery is accredited and certified by The Joint Commission, which sets the standard for delivery of safe and effective care of the highest quality and value for our clients.

For more information, please call us at (800) 851-3291, visit our treatment program’s page at or click on the link below to send us an email.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002

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Music and Mental Fitness During the Recovery Process

Have you ever wondered about the real benefits behind the music many of us so passionately listen to? Whether we jam to pop, country, rock n’ roll, jazz, Latin, or even create our own music, we can’t deny that throughout history music has been a big part of society. We have come to learn that music is more than just entertainment and social connection; it improves mood and mental health and in the context of addiction and it can help individuals in their recovery process.

It is widely accepted that music has a positive effect on our life. People use music in different ways and there are links between music and mental health that help change lives. Here are some ways music can be used in everyday life:

** Expression: Music is a great way to express emotions when words fail. Some people find that not just listening but through creating their own music they are able to express their inner truth and emotions in ways they could never do so verbally.

** Focus: When it comes to focusing, many say classical music is the way to go. The most calming music is the music with a tempo of 60 beats per minute, gently playing in the background. Yet, some individuals say they concentrate better by the tunes of their favorite pop music.

** Creativity: Music is known to help the mind think more creatively but it’s important to play around and find the right tune or genre that really gets the creative juices flowing!

** Relaxation: Music helps us relax. Our ancestors knew it and the future generations will all know it as well. A nice cup of tea and relaxing music playing in the background is a great way to unwind after a long day.

Incorporating music into one’s daily life promotes emotional and mental wellbeing. Individuals in recovery like anyone else can greatly benefit from music to calm, elevate, motivate, and help them to express themselves through the recovery process and beyond.

It’s important to recognize that the music we listen greatly impacts our mental health and we can consciously choose music to accomplish what we set out to do. Even one song might change our lives or even just help the day go along more smoothly. So it’s time to turn that music on or get your instruments tuned! As Bob Marley so cleverly stated, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Give Rehab a Chance

Recovering from an addiction may be one of the hardest endeavors to take on. Some people go into rehab and stay sober for years on end and others may need to go into rehab several times and try different programs and methods before finally succeeding. The important thing to remember is that even if you’ve failed many times in rehab, there are many benefits to giving it another go.  

Every moment you’re alive is a chance, a new opportunity, and that in itself is worth fighting for. Some people let their age dictate their chances of success in rehab and opt to just give in to the addiction. But there are lots of people out there who decided to go into recovery very late in life. A life of sobriety and health is a gift for all ages. Regardless of age and gender attending a rehab program, again and again, is always better than doing nothing. Good rehab programs offer an opportunity to get clean and sober by helping individuals struggling with addiction to create a lifestyle that will support recovery. In addition, they help addicts understand how they ended up resorting to drugs and or alcohol and provide them with therapies that will support recovery, including relapse prevention, family therapy, and treatment of trauma that may be affecting the individual’s recovery.

The most important thing is don’t lose hope. Addiction is a complex disease and while many individuals get it “right” the first time, many others will struggle and even succumb to their addiction, and this is not an option to consider. If you or your loved one is struggling right now, don’t give up, know that recovery is possible. Do the research you have to do, make as many calls you need to make, get to a program, seek local AA and NA meetings, get out there and get the help you need because every single one of us is important and are here for a purpose. Take charge. IT IS TIME TO FORGIVE YOURSELF, YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE PAST BUT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE NOW. You or your loved one can live a healthy and fulfilled life without the chaos that surrounds you now. Being willing to give another try at rehab programs, can clear the chaos allowing room for rebirth and renewal, a chance to recognize and remember the true self, the self that once had goals and aspirations.

Without a doubt, rehab programs can give individuals who are struggling with addiction a second chance at life. It’s about learning to live again and that’s a feat that takes hard work, commitment, courage, and stamina to accomplish. Not everyone can take this on without the support of countless hours in rehab and counseling. There’s a relief in knowing that life doesn’t have to be so difficult. One of the reasons it’s so hard to give rehab another try is admitting defeat. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, relapse is part of the recovery process and many people experience it. Give rehab another chance and there’s a good chance you’ll get the rest of your life back.

If you are interested in knowing about Florida Center for Recovery and its rehab programs visit our addiction treatment therapies page. Our Florida rehab center offers addiction treatment programs with all-inclusive inpatient detox and comprehensive therapeutic services to treat not only the disease of addiction but also related co-occurring mental health issues such as trauma, depression, and anxiety. In addition, we offer intensive family therapy and specialized rehab for pregnant women.

Inspirational Recovery Quotes:

“Things can get better when you say, ‘I need help.’ You will continue to recover every day when you accept the right help and keep believing in it.”

“Don’t be ashamed to admit you are vulnerable. Recognize you’re taking the first steps to saving your own life.”

Why Relapse Does Not Mean Failure

Recovering from an addiction is one of the hardest endeavors a person can endure. But for even if rehab is successfully completed returning to everyday life can be daunting. It’s difficult to go back to the life you had before rehab when so much has changed for you. Many people worry about relapsing and the fear of that can cause a lot of anxiety. If someone has experienced relapse they may think it’s the end of the world and lose confidence in continuing their journey to sobriety. Here are some reasons why relapse does not mean you’ve failed at a chance for a sober life.

** Addiction is a disease: It’s easy to forget that addiction is a disease that affects the way your brain works. Relapse is a way to manage addiction, not a failure to manage it.

** Addiction is common: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) claims that “ 40-60 percent of addicts will relapse”. That’s a high number and while it may seem daunting for most people the truth is that this percentage shows just how common relapse is.

** Recovery is complicated: The journey to sobriety is filled with complications and mistakes and each time you learn what works for you and what needs to be changed. You’re not just fighting addiction and avoiding using certain substances, you’re creating new defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms. Relapse is a good place to recognize what part of your plan needs to be changed.

** Relapse is a sign: When recovering from an addiction, there will be a lot of events and incidents along the way. How you choose to view these occurrences will make all the difference. Relapse is often a sign that what you think has been working is actually not effective and it’s time to revisit your recovery plan.

** Relapse is a process, not an accident: Recovering addicts may feel that relapsing a mistake to avoid. It’s actually a process that will teach you a lot about where you currently are in your journey and what changes needed to be made. Relapsing is not an accident that you need to fix, it’s a shift in the road that requires different attention. ** Relapse is part of recovery: Because relapsing is so common, it’s a big part of the recovery process. Addiction specialists and counselors may even expect it so they might already have a plan of action in place for if it does happen. It’s always a good idea to connect with your support team to discuss any worries you might have in this regard.

Addiction is a complicated disease. It’s not just about avoiding using certain substances. It’s also not something that your body endures. You are also investing mentally and psychologically and understanding your fears and possible complications in advance can be very helpful to your journey. One of the most anxiety-inducing issues and most common is a relapse after recovery. It’s important to remember that relapsing is part of your journey, not an unpleasant side effect. If you do relapse, take some time to consider where you are on your recovery journey and what are some things that maybe need to change. Maybe it’s friends, family, a new job, or a lack of a job that you love. There could be many reasons why you relapsed and the most important thing you can do is first to forgive yourself and remember that it’s all part of the journey to sobriety.

Opioids, Depressants and Stimulants: What’s the Difference?

Nowadays, there is an array of prescription drugs to manage pain, treat sleeping disorders, and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and ADD. Although for the most part these medications are needed and are used as prescribed, addiction has unfortunately developed in many instances. Needless to say that the majority of individuals who developed an addiction to the above-mentioned prescription drugs were individuals who primarily used and/or abused opioid painkillers and depressants such as Xanax. As popular as these prescription drugs may be in treating a variety of health issues, how different are from each other are they and why are they so often abused?

Opioids like Morphine, Percocet, Vicodin, and Fentanyl are painkillers and are usually prescribed by doctors to help with the endurance of pain, particularly after surgery. The amount of the drug and the timing for when they’re supposed to be used are closely monitored by the physician because they are highly addictive and most of the time patients need to be weaned off the drug in a timely fashion so as to prevent addiction. When taken, opioids break down and attach to protein in the brain called opioid receptors which can reduce the perception of pain felt by the individual. When these drugs are abused, they can cause a euphoric feeling for a short while, but slowly, the individual will build a tolerance and will need higher doses as the addiction continues. Although many individuals addicted to opioids started using at first for pain management, not everyone who is prescribed these medications becomes addicted. It’s important to always talk to your physician if prescribed these drugs or, when possible, use over the counter painkillers which are non-addictive.

Stimulants boost brain activities and can leave the user feeling alert and even “high”. Stimulants are meant to help with concentration and energy and are often prescribed by doctors to help treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and depression. Individuals who are not diagnosed with any particular disorder may experience different drug effects and when these drugs are abused they can lead to addiction, severe side effects, and even death. Stimulants are used heavily in college settings as ADHD is becoming a commonly diagnosed disorder.

Depressants are also drugs that are widely prescribed. Drugs like Valium and Xanax are taken with very little attention to how addictive and devastating these drugs can be to our cells and nervous systems. Depressants slow down the nervous system and, if taken in high doses, can cause severe respiratory issues. Many people who take depressants are not diagnosed with any particular disorder and just use the drugs for its calming effects. They don’t realize that the more they use the more tolerance is built, causing them to opt for higher doses, which unfortunately can lead to overdose and death.

Addiction to opioids, stimulants or depressants can be very dangerous. These drugs must always be prescribed by a physician as they often cannot be mixed with other substances and high doses can be addictive and deadly. If you feel you are developing an addiction to certain medications you have been prescribed, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional or addiction specialist. One way to recognize a possible problem is if you are building tolerance and require a higher dosage. Most of the time, when doctors prescribe these medications they prescribed doses that are not addictive or that the user can easily be weaned off.  None of these drugs should be discontinued cold turkey as they have dangerous withdrawal symptoms with many needing medical supervised detox if an addiction has developed.

Working After Rehab: How to Help an Employee

Whether you’re the CEO of a company or just a regular employee, watching a colleague suffer through addiction can be particularly difficult to witness. While employers can fire an employee whose work is suffering due to the employee’s alcohol or drug issues, many want to help by means of a substance abuse treatment program.

This can be a very helpful process for the employee who wishes to recover from their addiction and refocus on their career but it’s also important to know that rehab is just the first step. What happens when the employee comes back?

A stable job and income are very important for an individual recovering from an addiction. It’s not just the financial stability that they need but the structured routine and opportunity to socialize and make connections is crucial to their recovery process. Being at work helps stimulate the brain and helps recovering individuals create new ways of thinking, which can greatly support the recovery process. But it’s not all fun and games, recovering from an addiction is hard work and returning to a job can expose recovering individuals to co-workers gossip and daily stressors that can contribute to relapse.

There are many ways employers can help an employee who has been in rehab to ease their back into work. First of all, it’s important to understand that they don’t owe anyone any explanations as to what happened while they were gone. Confidentiality plays a huge factor and only the employer who is aware of the situation should engage in direct conversations with the recovering employee. It’s also important to be aware of the chatter around the watercooler as a negative environment will impact everyone’s performance and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Another helpful way to help a recovering employee is by establishing a “return-to-work agreement”. According to, “A “return-to-work agreement” (RTWA) is a written document that outlines an employer’s expectation for a returning employee. The U.S. Department of Labor recommends an RTWA be in place before an employee returns to the workplace. This agreement will outline expectations – including complying with a drug-free workplace – and acknowledge that if the employee fails to meet these standards, the failure to do so may be grounds for termination.” An agreement like this can help both the employer and employee understand what the returning to work after rehab will look like and provides a base to build on, so that the further along an employee gets on their journey to recovery more changes can be added to the agreement.

Regardless of how one goes about it, helping an employee or colleague ease back into work after rehab is not an easy process. An employer is not expected to be the employee’s therapist or best friend and if need be there are addiction specialists that can help employers better understand the situation but it’s also important to remember that anyone of us could end up in a situation like this and supporting one another could make all the difference.

If you are trying to help someone get treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction, including treatment for prescription drug addiction to painkiller opioids, stimulants or depressants call Florida Center for Recovery at 800-851-3291. We provide specialized private addiction treatment programs with an all-inclusive comprehensive inpatient detox. Both alcohol rehab program and drug rehab program offer individual and small group therapy, family recovery therapy and an array of supportive therapeutic services such as trauma therapy (Rapid Resolution Therapy), biofeedback therapy, meditation, 12 Steps, non 12 Step (SMART RECOVERY) and educational and motivational lectures. 

A few of our clients’ reviews:

Women and Substance Abuse and Addiction

While substance abuse and addiction are detrimental to anyone’s health women’s struggles with alcohol and drugs are from the onset of the abuse and addiction to the treatment process, very different from her male counterpart.

Over the years, scientists have conducted numerous studies on women’s drug use and have identified many factors such as hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, breastfeeding, and menopause which can all impact women’s drug use, abuse, and addiction. The reasons women have stated they use drugs also differs from many reporting controlling weight, fighting exhaustion, and coping with pain as contributing factors. It is recognized in the medical field that men and women abuse substances differently but how much does that affect treatment and recovery?

When it comes to recovering from an addiction, treatment for substance abuse is different for men and women. While men may use larger amounts of drugs, for women, substance use tends to progress a lot quicker from first use to addiction. Withdrawal may also be more intense for women and some methods of detox may not work as well for women as they do for men. Scientists have also come to discover that drug cravings are also very different in women and that may be more or less based on hormones and a woman’s menstrual cycle. With the fluctuation of hormones, women are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and stress which can increase the likelihood of drug use and even overdose has been reported to be higher in women than in men. In order to develop the best addiction treatment plan, it’s important to take these factors into consideration. What works for one person may not work for another and having a treatment plan that specifically pays attention to hormone levels, menstrual cycles, the occurrence of menopause, and other issues women commonly face is the best way to help reduce the risk of relapse.

In addition, women experience psychological issues such as divorce, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, loss of children, and other stressful events in a much different way than men do. It’s important for women to recognize when they are vulnerable and susceptible to abuse substances in order to hide the pain, and take action by seeking the help of a mental health counselor. Also, specialized support groups can be of great help. For those women who are currently struggling with addiction a specialized and comprehensive addiction treatment program is what is mostly recommended.

At Florida Center for Recovery, we have been providing private addiction treatment programs for women since 2002 offering all-inclusive inpatient detox, individual and small group counseling, intensive family therapy, and Rapid Resolution Therapy (trauma therapy). In addition, we offer an array of supportive therapies to treat our client’s physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery.

If you or someone you love need information about our women inpatient rehab programs, please contact our admissions office at: 800-851-3291

Find below a few reviews of clients who have recovered with us: