Monthly Archives: April 2018

What Is a Dual Diagnosis in Mental Health?

Dual diagnosis in mental health is the term that refers to someone who has been diagnosed with both substance abuse and a concurrent mental health disorder. Also referred to as co-occurring disorders, they generally are the underlying cause of addiction which are often overlooked and untreated for years. Research shows that individuals battling drug and/or alcohol addictions are more likely to suffer from at least one mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. According to a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million people in the U.S. experience both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously.

Individuals struggling with dual diagnoses often have developed the mental health condition first and the symptoms lead to drugs and alcohol abuse in the attempt to “self-medicate”. The substance abuse or the mental health condition, if left untreated, can over time lead to individuals experiencing debilitating problems and hardship in their lives. Warnings signs, such as extreme mood changes, confused thinking or problems with concentrating, avoiding friends and social activities and thoughts of suicide, may be reasons for the existence of mental disorder which require treatment.

Treating Dual Diagnosis (drugs or alcohol) and mental illness disorders (depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, etc.)

Getting a loved one who is struggling with addiction, psychoanalyzed, and detoxed from the harmful substances in his or her body is the first step in treating dual diagnosis. The recommended setting for this treatment is inpatient treatment which generally lasts 30 days and up to 45 days. Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) prides itself on providing comprehensive addiction treatment, geared towards long term sobriety offering both the recovering individuals as well as their families with specialized therapeutic services. FCR’s intensive family recovery program creates an opportunity for the entire family to embrace and participate in the healing process. Our addiction treatment plans focus on the overall well being of our clients battling dual diagnosis and allow them to create a peaceful and sober lifestyle that frees them and their families from the heartbreak of addiction and mental disorder.

Florida Center for Recovery utilizes an array of evidence-based, traditional, holistic, and alternative therapies in the treatment of addiction. Therapeutic treatment is delivered face-to-face in both individual and group sessions. Group sessions include psychotherapy and a variety of educational lectures and discussions related to the disease of addiction as well as effective strategies for maintaining sobriety.

Family Addiction Recovery

Accepting addiction as a disease is often the initial step to family recovery. Families need to understand that they have not caused their loved one’s addiction and that they can’t control or stop him or her from using drugs or alcohol. Fellowships suggest that when families feel guilty or ashamed about their loved one’s addiction, they should remind themselves: “I didn’t cause, I can’t control, and I can’t cure it”. These simple words contain the wisdom earned over many years by countless family members who have a loved one abusing drugs or alcohol. In understanding the dynamics of the three Cs (cause, control & cure) about addiction, family members and friends will put themselves in a better place to help the impaired individual in the recovery process.

Below are suggestions on how families of individuals struggling with addiction can effectively help their loved ones by following the three Cs rule about addiction.

1. You Did Not Cause the Addiction

It is not your fault your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Despite what you have come to believe, you did not drive your loved one to use alcohol or drugs. Often times the impaired individual may say you have caused their addiction as they resist taking responsibility and instead blame you or someone else for it. Your love or lack of it cannot compel someone to abuse drugs or alcohol more than it causes someone to become diabetic. You as a family member or friend have no power over the disease of addiction – this is the first thing to remember.

2. You Can’t Control the Addiction

Unless the impaired individual wants to give up drugs or alcohol, your attempts at controlling the situation, more often than not, are not successful. Under pressure, he or she may ease off for a while, but likely to relapse later. Only when the impaired individual makes the decision to stop the misery caused by drug use, the recovery process begins.

3. You Can’t Cure the Addiction

As you agree, unless you are a doctor, you cannot cure diseases. In the same way, if your loved one is struggling with the disease of addiction, you need to accept that you cannot make him or her get well. Believing that you can treat your loved one can even worsen the situation. Your loved one needs to come to terms with the fact that he or she bears the responsibility to quit the drug or alcohol use, alone. By taking this decision away from him or her one diminishes the ability of the struggling individual to find the way out of the addiction. As with any illness, the sick person must believe he or she suffers from a disease before looking for help in treating that disease. Unfortunately, friends and family members who do not understand this point, will end up with the heartache and the frustration of unsuccessful attempts in forcing the impaired individual to get well.

What is the Florida Model of Addiction Treatment

The “Florida Model” for addiction treatment which has been adopted in many other states, is based on the blending of certain features of clinical substance use disorder treatment (The Medical Model) into a well-defined model of delivery of peer-supportive, recovery-oriented housing (The Social Model). In this instance; a FARR (Florida Association of Recovery Residences Community) Level 4 Recovery Residence is both a Department of Children and Families (DCF) licensed Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and day/night community housing that has been certified to comply with FARR Standards and the FARR Code of Ethics. DCF is the licensing authority responsible for oversight of compliance with clinical criteria and FARR certifies that the peer supportive housing component complies with nationally recognized standards. Clients of a Florida Model program attend treatment (clinical services) at a properly zoned, commercial location during daytime hours and return to a residence during evening and weekend hours to engage in peer-supportive activities designed to further develop their recovery process. All Florida Model programs qualify to apply for certification as FARR Level 4 Recovery Residences.

The Florida Treatment Model uses several levels of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and care that gradually step down in structure and supervision as the client advances through the various phases of addiction treatment. This step-down approach was developed to help clients ease back into their normal daily routines as seamlessly as possible as they return home.

After medical detoxification, which is the most structured and supervised level of care, clients attending a Florida Model Treatment Program receive specialized therapeutic services that are carefully drafted by a medical and clinical team and other relevant staff members.

Once the intensive portion of drug and alcohol rehabilitation has been completed, clients have the option of entering transitional housing. The Florida Model of addiction treatment was developed in the mid-1980s and it has proven to be successful in helping individuals struggling with addiction in achieving meaningful and long-term recovery.

If you would like to learn more about how the Florida Model of addiction treatment can help you or your loved one call Florida Center for Recovery at: 800-851-3291

Communicating with a Loved One who is Struggling with Addiction

Family and friends living with individuals struggling with addiction often spend all their time and energy focusing on the destructive behavior and the chaos brought upon due to their loved one’s actions. Communicating with individuals suffering from addiction means more than talking to them. It means stepping back to learn and understand the disease of addiction and its cycle, and finding how you as a family member can be part of the solution. Understanding the disease of addiction and developing skills to communicate effectively without the usual drama that generally follows talking about this subject to your loved one, goes a long way to turn the stress, anxiety and the worries the whole family deals with into the meaningful exit strategy from the current situation.

The first step in any effective and constructive talk starts with listening. Listening is the hardest part of any communication especially when you have to listen to someone that is trying to ignore there is a problem, justify the unjustifiable actions, or end the conversation by blaming anything and anybody around. Part of this communication should be honest questions that the answers or replies to which can encourage thinking about missteps taken by both the struggling addict and the family.

Knowing that knowledge empowers people not to repeat past mistakes, sometimes it is therapeutic to “walk back” in time and analyze what would have been the correct action or actions that could have prevented the current problems. If the conversation goes to the days that the substance abuse started, then it is reassuring for everyone involved that there is no question about the existence of the problem, as, in the majority of the times, the only one that whose behavior is the cause of all the problems is the one that believes there is no problem. The very first step in the 12 step recovery is to acknowledge that there is an addiction problem.

Knowing that there is a substance abuse problem and help is needed to stop the destructive cycle of drug use could be the very first step of the journey in recovery. How can anyone start recovering without acceptance of the need for recovery?

Since ultimately it is up to the individual to quit any drug or alcohol use, the communication between the affected parties, which include the person using and his or her loved ones, need to be non-emotional, productive and factual enough that would allow the addicted individual see the benefits of getting clean and sober. It is only then that getting clean and starting the recovery process become options for him or her to consider.

Another important ingredient of constructive communication is the way the suggestions are framed. Suggestions should be in the form of Feedback and not advice. One is intrusive, the other supportive. Advice amounts to telling the affected individual what to do, and generally, no one likes to be told that. In 12 Step Fellowships, it is said that defiance is the chief characteristic of the addict. This is another reason why Fellowships offer only suggestions. Feedback, on the other hand, means letting a drug or alcohol abuser know how his or her substance abuse is affecting everybody around who cares for them. Many times knowing how negatively their actions impact the lives of the ones they love is the moment that causes a change in the struggling individual’s life.

Below are a few suggestions for building any constructive communication:

  • Provide facts and information
  • Do not judge
  • Do not react on impulse
  • Avoid extremes in examples and suggestions
  • Avoid engaging the individual when he or she is under the influence
  • Make the conversation goal-oriented
  • Take responsibility for your feedback
  • Make sure your points are clearly stated
  • Highlight inconsistencies if and when you are presented with such

Since there are no miracles or overnight cures for changing one’s behavior, especially when it comes to drug use, you may not see any changes after what you thought was an honest and open conversation. Be persistent, don’t give up and pick up the conversation at the next best moment you find, again in a calm and objective manner.

Health Insurance and Addiction Treatment

A common concern for individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction is health insurance and the cost of treatment. Unfortunately, many who need treatment will not seek it because of a lack of knowledge about cost and insurance coverage. What Types of Health Insurance Can You Access in Florida?

  • HMO
  • Health Insurance Policy
  • Self-Insured Plan
  • Publicly Funded Plans for Addiction Treatment

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

The laws of the state of Florida regulate this category of healthcare coverage which is available either as a group or individual plan. For patients to benefit from this type of insurance, they must have a primary care doctor that provides basic care and gives a referral to specialists when needed. HMOs, do not pay for service outside the network, except in cases of emergency. For Non-emergency care, patients must live in the coverage area of HMO services.

How Much Treatment Will Insurance Cover?

Every plan offers a different level of coverage for specific doctors, clinics, pharmacies, drugs, and even particular services.

The coverage requirements and limitations depend on the type of policy a patient has and there may be limitations concerning the kind of care covered by the plan. For instance, insurance companies may pay for medical detox and the medications needed during this process, but they might partially cover the subsequent rehab therapies.

Even policies purchased from the Covered Florida Marketplace may be subjected to certain limitations. It is highly recommended to check the fine print of the insurance plan before enrolling in an addiction treatment program to find out how much out of pocket is the responsibility of the patient and how much the insurance covers.

How Do I Verify What My Insurance Will Cover?

Finding out about insurance coverage is quite a task that experience in this area will be helpful. If you are not familiar with the insurance industry and find reading the insurance contract’s fine prints challenging, communicate directly with the insurance company regarding the services need either by phone or email.

However, by far the best option available is to contact a reputable addiction treatment facility and ask for the verification of benefits. Let the people in the verification department of the treatment facility who talk to the various insurance companies on a daily bases argue on your behalf to get the maximum possible coverage. It is beneficial to you to have a utilization review specialist (fancy word for the person who is in charge of figuring out how your insurance policy applies to your current medical needs) get involved at the earliest possible. It requires knowledge of the required services to ask the insurance company for exact benefits applicable to your treatment needs.

Which Rehab Facilities Accept Health Insurance?

Almost all addiction treatment facilities, whether private or public, do accept insurance for the treatment covered by the patient’s plan.

Individuals without insurance coverage or with limited insurance coverage for alcohol or drug (AOD) treatment have the option of paying out of pocket or getting treatment through publicly funded addiction treatment programs.

Most addiction treatment facilities work with patients on the out of pocket or the portion of the treatment cost that is not covered by the insurance. It always helps to ask if the facility you have in mind offers that kind of financial help.

How Do I Get Addiction Treatment in Florida without Insurance or using an Insurance Policy with low Coverage?

There are several options, as listed below, exist for individuals who need alcohol and other drug treatment services and have no insurance or have low insurance coverage.

  • Centers that offer financial help based on the income of the patient. These centers provide individualized care by asking for payment for only what the patients can afford
  • State-funded programs, although patients have to meet certain requirements to be admitted (specifically low income)
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that specialize in drug and alcohol rehabilitation that direct individuals seeking treatment to treatment facilities or clinics that admit patients without insurance or without the means to pay medical bills.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers grants to low-income individuals, helping them fund their alcohol or drug treatment.

ObamaCare and Mental Health Treatment Policies

ObamaCare (officially known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA) allows states to expand Medicaid to increase coverage for low-income people under 65, covering many who had not been eligible for coverage before.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers comprehensive information about programs and services available through ACA.

What Are The State-Funded Resource Available to Those Without Health Insurance?

There are low-cost or cost-free options funded by the state for substance addiction treatment available to low-income individuals who need addiction treatment.

Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services has a list of contacts for each state’s agency dealing with substance abuse issues. There is information about free clinics, state-funded treatment programs, and other services related to addiction treatment. Additionally, the SAMHSA website contains information regarding such centers and allows individuals to search for treatment in different states.

The state of Florida also has various facilities where an individual struggling with addiction can find treatment for free or find an affordable program. These public facilities offer patients with counseling, 12 step groups, and even medical detoxification. Florida residents seeking treatment in a private inpatient facility can have access to affordable healthcare through Medicare or Covered Florida Marketplace.

State-funded facilities provide care to patients with no insurance or with low-income as well as court-mandated cases. Due to the demand for these types of facilities generally, there is a waiting list which makes admission to take up to several weeks or months.

Below are some additional options that either provide free or low-cost help to struggling addicts:

Vocational Rehab – These facilities offer work to those who are clean and in recovery. They get funding from the treatment industry, Religious groups or various private businesses. For instance, the Salvation Army is one of those organizations that provide help in terms of Vocational Rehab and gets funding as donations from the public.

Rehab Centers Funded by Donations – These facilities receive funding from individual and NGO organizations. They often work as an extension of a certain business.

Although various options exist, it’s important to note that not all these facilities offer the same level of treatment and expertise of care. The type of substance abuse, the condition of the individual seeking treatment, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions influence the type of rehabilitation that an individual needs which must be matched with the care providing facility.

Most state-funded programs take in patients and help with their rehabilitation but may be short of medical personnel and other resources that usually creates the circumstances for long waiting time. That is why the care sometimes is rationed and offered to those with an acute need or in a critical time of their treatment, such as those with past overdose history and existing high risk of overdose or those who need treatment for withdrawal symptoms and limit the assistance for therapeutic treatment which is much needed after detox.

Overcoming Your Addiction

While federal laws have been pushing for mental health and addiction conditions to be included in health insurance plans, the fact remains that many insurance providers can impose their own set of rules when it comes to coverage.

Many rehab clinics can offer proper guidance to patients and help determine if their insurance covers their treatment. In those cases that the treatment is not covered by insurance, many reputable rehab facilities offer payment plans and other financial help to make treatment available to a wider group of people.

Related Articles:

What is SAMHSA?

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Choosing Where to Go for Rehab – Part I

Choosing Where to Go for Rehab – Part II

Voluntary Alcohol Treatment

Most alcohol treatment programs are voluntary and although there are court penalties if an individual that has a mandate from the court system leaves a treatment program, that alone can’t prevent him or her from leaving if they choose to.

The reality is that alcohol addiction treatment tends to be ineffective if individuals are being forced against their will to enter into treatment and do not have the option to leave. In fact, for successful recovery the followings are expected:

  1. have the desire to quit alcohol or drug use
  2. trust the program
  3. trust in the trained professionals who are treating him or her
  4. be willing to follow the treatment plan

If you are seeking alcohol treatment for the first time or you are seeking treatment after a relapse, and agree with all 4 statements above then an inpatient alcohol treatment program has proven to be the most effective option for achieving recovery. Additionally, inpatient rehab offers certain benefits that help individuals recovering from alcohol addiction to sustain long-term recovery.

Inpatient alcohol treatment centers provide individuals with an opportunity to remove themselves from their daily lives, to focus on dealing with their problems directly without distractions from family, friends, and work. Additionally, it provides separation from persons and places that the struggling individual associates with substance abuse. Typically, inpatient alcohol treatment lasts 30 or 90 days with most programs starting treatment after medical detoxification.

Most inpatient alcohol rehab facilities will begin an individual’s post-detox therapeutic treatment with intensive individual and group therapy sessions that are designed to help recovering individuals to identify the underlying causes or triggers that pertain to their abuse of alcohol. A reliable alcohol treatment program will guide recovering individuals in identifying, understanding, and resolving the root cause of their addiction to drugs or alcohol. In order to fully recover, it’s critical to understand the potential causes of drinking in the hope that this knowledge will prevent possible relapse in the future.

Alcohol treatment programs can differ in many ways, from luxury rehab settings to weekly therapeutic treatments, but it is the honest and open participation of each recovering individual that can bring the individual to a lasting recovery. Many alcoholics have recovered because first and foremost they had the desire to recover and also because they followed the steps learned during rehab. They were able to change their outlook on life by utilizing coping and life skills they acquired during the rehab program. Implementing these essential abilities and to develop the discipline necessary to succeed might prove harder than one might think at first, but yes, RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE and taking place every day for many people.

If you have come across our blog post, chances are that you or someone you love is in need of alcohol treatment.

For over fifteen years, Florida Center for Recovery has offered a wide array of comprehensive treatment programs aiming to treat the whole person and not just the isolated disease of addiction. Offering a unique blend of traditional and holistic methods, we provide our patients with the opportunity to develop life skills, relapse prevention techniques, and a better understanding of alcohol abuse and its harmful effects. We believe that families play a vital role in the recovery process, and our recovery programs offer the educational sessions to help and equip families with the necessary tools to be the support that their loved one needs.

Have questions about our Alcohol Rehab Program? Contact us at: 800-851-3291

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine in Florida

Last week Florida first responders started warning residents about the rising threat from cocaine cut with deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl, which they say is becoming “widespread.”

The combination has been identified in 21 counties, including Broward, Palm Beach, and Saint Lucie counties. However, Miami-Dade County has so far found the most, with 69 cocaine samples testing positive for synthetic opioids.

According  to Justin Millers, DEA Miami Field Division, as reported by the Daily Caller:

“People are thinking they are taking straight cocaine and in fact, they are not. Now you are seeing it cut or mixed with synthetic opioids. That’s really what’s scary out there.”

Some people believe that fentanyl showing up in cocaine is accidental as a product of messy packaging rather than malicious intent, whichever is the case authorities are warning individuals who are using cocaine that there have been several cases of overdoses where the toxicology reports show that cocaine and fentanyl were present in the individual’s system and what is alarming is that the individuals revived by EMT personnel, police officers and physicians, claimed they had only used cocaine.

While law enforcement agents, doctors, and recovery providers argue for malicious intent as a way for drug dealers expand the market of people addicted to opioids, Albie Park, who co-founded the Drug Use Harm Reduction Program out of Northampton (HRH413), says there is a flaw with this expansion theory.

“If you’re opioid-naive (with no tolerance for opioids) and you take fentanyl, there’s a good chance you’ll die,” Park says. “So adding fentanyl to cocaine may just scare people away.”

Whatever is happening out there, malicious or not, based on the Florida Medical Examiner’s Commission report, more than 1,700 people died of cocaine-related overdoses in Florida, more than any other drug-related death. The DEA says that a surge in deaths has increased for four years in a row.

Alcohol Awareness Month

Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by reaching out every April to the public with information about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery.

With this year’s theme — “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage.’ ” — the month of April will be filled with local, state, and national events aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact alcohol can have on their lives. Local NCADD Affiliates as well as schools, colleges, churches, and countless other community organizations will be sponsors or hosts of many events this month providing valuable information to the public regarding addiction and what needs to be done about it.

Florida Center for Recovery efforts in promoting alcoholism prevention, as well as highlighting the importance of alcoholism treatment without stigma comprises of information about detox and treatment in the form of sharing alcohol fact sheets with the general public.

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems in your relationships at work or at home, or perhaps financial or legal problems that are attributed to alcohol consumption, then these could be a sign of “out of control drinking issue” and the time may be now to get help. For more information about alcoholism and recovery in Port Saint Lucie County, call Florida Center for Recovery at 800-851-3291. Help is available right now.