Monthly Archives: August 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day – 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma associated with drug-related deaths. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or have suffered permanent injury as the result of a drug overdose.

In addition, IOAD serves as a resource for the public to help spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. With so many countries combating the drug use and overdose epidemic, it is evident that events held to promote this cause bring about unity during a time when grieving individuals can feel alone in the world.

If you are from South Florida and would like to get involved in supporting tomorrow’s International Overdose Awareness Day, you can take part in the march and rally at Florida Atlantic University. Their goal: an end to the national public health emergency that currently claims thousands of lives each year in preventable drug overdoses. This is an event to recognize everyone who is affected by this issue and trying to do his or her part for the cause.

More Info Below if You Would Like to Attend FAU International Overdose Awareness Day March Pre-march preparations will begin at 3 pm on Friday, August 31, at Florida Atlantic University’s Research Park (3848 FAU Research Park #100). From there the march will kick off at 4 pm and will finish at 5 pm, at University Theater (777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431).

Anticipated speakers include:

  • A Florida State Congresswoman
  • An NFL Hall-of-Famer in recovery
  • A Medical Doctor who founded Florida’s only needle exchange
  • A Nobel Prize-awarded addiction researcher
  • An advocate within a recovery-supportive police department
  • And a person in long-term recovery through non-narcotic pain management.

Get parking instructions and other logistics for the event.

The official color of support for IOAD is silver.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and would like to explore treatment options, feel free to give us a call at 800-851-3291 or contact us through our secure chat service. All calls are confidential. 

Related Information:

Do you recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose?

Overdose: Prevention Saves Lives

Responding to an Opioid Overdose: SAVE ME

Opioid/Opiates and the Addiction Epidemic at a Glance

What States Have the Most Opioid Abuse in America?

The series of videos found in the link below includes stories of people who were affected by the impact of drug use and overdose.

Untreated Trauma Is Often One of the Main Causes of RELAPSE

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop in response to a tragic occurrence such as: loss of a loved one, rape, accident, a violent attack, a natural disaster, child abuse, spouse abuse, etc. Many individuals who have experienced psychological trauma turn to various substances to numb their senses to disconnect from their troubling memories. Untreated PTSD is not likely to disappear and can contribute to chronic pain and depression which undermines the best addiction treatment efforts. In fact, untreated trauma is often one of the main causes of relapse.

At Florida Center for Recovery (FCR), we know the importance of resolving trauma-related issues in any successful recovery, and for that reason, we have sought the expertise of one of the nation’s best trauma therapist, Dr. Jon Connelly, founder and developer of Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT).

RRT helps clients to permanently overcome the negative effects of trauma by eliminating the ongoing psychological suffering that stems from disturbing or painful past experiences. Treatment is painless, does not involve re-experiencing of the traumatizing event(s) and often takes as few as 1 to 3 sessions. Rapid Resolution Therapy delivered exclusively by Dr. Jon Connelly at our facility is part of FCR’s addiction treatment program which is geared towards comprehensive healing for clients.

If you or a loved one needs help with recovery from a traumatic experience that contributed to an ongoing substance dependence problem, Florida Center for Recovery can help. Call us at 800-851-3291 for information and admissions.


H.A.L.T. is a commonly used acronym by 12-Step circles in discussions of triggers and relapse prevention, and it stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It is based largely on the content of four chapters from the Alcoholics Anonymous publication Living Sober. This article explores each of the four topics referenced in the H.A.L.T. acronym. 

The Living Sober book suggests that eating or drinking something, particularly something sweet, is an effective method of dampening the desire to drink. SMART Recovery would call the technique of eating ice cream in place of drinking a Moscow Mule a replacement behavior, which would fall under the category of Coping with Urges. Scientific research has made some important discoveries related to calories and self-control. Self-control is expensive and its currency is sugar. Our blood sugar drops significantly after difficult mental reasoning and tasks requiring self-control, a phenomenon termed ego depletion. In a state of ego depletion, we are less motivated, more impulsive, prone to mistakes, and more likely to indulge temptations. A simple glass of lemonade in studies restored the level of available sugar in the brain and prevented ego depletion. Thus, monitoring hunger has some direct parallels to managing urges and avoiding recurrences of substance use.

Living Sober suggests that anger is a topic worthy of special attention from everyone who wants to overcome a problematic pattern of substance use. Hostility, resentment, contempt, sarcasm, rigidity, cynicism, envy, jealousy, and self-pity are some of the variants of anger listed in Living Sober, and all anger variants are deemed to be warning signs of a possible recurrence of substance use. According to research, anger occurs most often in response to the actions of others. Specifically, we get angry most often when someone does something negligent or something unjust voluntarily, and especially when those unjustified and/or avoidable actions interfere with our plans and expectations. Perhaps this is why 12-Step circles often say that expectations are resentments under construction.

There is a common undertone of injustice in anger. As Seneca wisely espoused, while anger “is the foe of reason, it is nevertheless born only where reason dwells.” Injustice is rooted in experiences of wrongdoing, slight, and violation, all reasonable causes for an angry response. Aristotle called the right response to anger a virtue and emphasized the value of being angry in the right way. Thus, it can be useful in defining healthy outlets for anger to consider how one has been hurt and/or treated unjustly, and what action might be taken to correct the injustice. Chronic anger suppression as well as anger blow-outs are both significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Often, passionate expressions of built-up anger occur under the influence of substances. Managing and expressing anger in a healthy way results in less desire to use substances as a means of emotional regulation and helps improve relationships.

Relationships tie directly to H.A.L.T.’s inclusion of loneliness. There are arguably no more important studies in the realm of substance use than the work of Bruce K. Alexander, Ph.D., and his Rat Park studies. Much of what is understood about addiction comes from studies of rats alone in cages. Most rats alone in a cage will choose cocaine or heroin-laced water over regular water and use the laced water until it kills them. Dr. Alexander recognized that being alone in a cage was an environment that did not transfer well to an average human’s daily life, so he built lush cages where rats would have things to do (purpose) and other rats to interact with (connection). Amazingly, even rats that had been isolated in cages with cocaine-water for 57 days soon stopped using on their own after being placed in the rat park even though they still had access to cocaine-water.

Humans today live in a time described as the age of loneliness. Where human connection is absent substances often fill the void. We bond to what is present and available because presence and availability make us feel wanted, loved, and worthy. Dr. Alexander’s work has contributed to a fundamental re-aligning of the understanding of addiction – the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection. Thus, loneliness, isolation, and disconnection are imperative patterns to break in the fight to change a pattern of problematic substance use.

Being tired is the final part of the H.A.L.T. acronym. It is now well-established in research that self-control and concentration require significant amounts of mental energy. After demanding cognitive tasks we are more likely to yield to temptation. After a long day of work, our self-control is in a weakened and compromised state. Efforts of willpower or self-control are tiring, and having to engage them successively makes us less willing and less able to continue to exert self-control when subsequent challenges arise. We will succumb to urges and temptations sooner after being challenged to eat a salad and resist a dessert. Additionally, lack of sleep depletes our energy reserves and makes self-control more elusive, increasing the likelihood of impulsive action. SMART Recovery emphasizes lifestyle balance, particularly working to improve the balance between sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Living Sober acknowledges, the work to achieve regular sleep patterns can be long and arduous. However, regular, deep sleep in the absence of substances means facing each new day refreshed and clear-headed.

Final Thoughts
There is a common misconception that 12-Step approaches and SMART Recovery are diametrically opposed. However, once a few core differences are set aside (e.g. powerlessness vs. self-empowering, the necessity of higher power vs. option of a higher power), there are many concepts that complement each other quite nicely.

HALT can serve as a reminder to all of us that we need to take care of our basic needs every day. For those recovering from addiction, paying closer attention to your feelings will help you prevent relapse. Take a moment each day to check in with yourself. Ask, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?” Honestly assessing how you feel takes only a minute. Doing so will make the everyday stress of life easier to deal with and help you maintain sobriety.


Content Above is Courtesy of Dr. Thaddeus Camlin

Additional References:

What States Have the Most Opioid Abuse in America?

The best way to see which states have the worst opioid problems is to look at the rates of overdose deaths. The information below has been gathered from the Centers for Disease Control which tracks this information. These 11 states had the highest opioid overdose death rates per capita (100,000 people):

Nearly every state in the U.S. saw its overdose death rate increase between 2010 and 2016, and often the jump was significant. The only states that saw a decrease were Oregon, Montana, and Nebraska.

11. Maine
Overdose rate: 28.7

Maine’s overdose death rate nearly tripled between 2010 and 2016, and that’s not even the worst part about its opioid abuse. Opioids were responsible for four out of five overdose deaths in 2015, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

10. Rhode Island
Overdose rate: 30.8

Rhode Island’s overdose rate doubled from 2010 to 2016, and there’s one major reason for it. Cheap heroin from South America is easy to get, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, which is attractive to younger users.

9. Delaware
Overdose rate: 30.8

Wilmington is the epicenter of the problem in Delaware, which saw its overdose rate jump from 16.6 in 2010 to 30.8 in 2016.

8. Massachusetts
Overdose rate: 33.0

A surplus of fentanyl in Massachusetts is one reason its overdose rate tripled in just six years. Pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl is rampant, but criminals groups make their own, and that’s why opioid abuse is out of control.

7. Maryland
Overdose rate: 33.2

Seeing Maryland show up proves that opioid abuse transcends class. One of every 12 households have at least $1 million in assets, yet the state more than tripled its overdose death rate in just six years.

6. Kentucky
Overdose rate: 33.5

Opioid abuse isn’t the only problem in the Bluegrass state. The fact that 40% of the state’s counties don’t sell alcohol is driving methamphetamine use. Kentucky had one of the worst overdose death rates in 2010 (23.60), and it was still bad in 2016, the last time the CDC examined the data.

5. Pennsylvania
Overdose rate: 37.9

Like most of the nation, Pennsylvania is still battling opioid abuse problems. The state has one of the highest overdose rates in America with 4,627 drug-related deaths of 2016.

4. Washington, D.C.
Overdose rate: 38.8

The nation’s capital isn’t exempt from opioid abuse issues. The death rate in D.C. nearly tripled between 2010 and 2016, from 12.9 to 38.8.

3. New Hampshire
Overdose rate: 39.0

Opioid abuse has hit New England hard, and that includes New Hampshire. It’s so dire that firefighters are fighting overdoses more often than fires, according to U.S. News & World Report.

2. Ohio
Overdose rate: 39.1

Ohio has one of the highest drug addiction rates in America, according to a WalletHub study, so it’s not surprising to see it show up here. Its rate is No. 2 overall, and its number of overdose deaths (4,329) is No. 4.

1. West Virginia
Overdose rate: 52.0

An already serious opioid abuse problem got even worse for West Virginia. Its 28.9 per capita overdose death rate in 2010 was substantially higher than No. 2 Kentucky at the time, and as we can see, its 2016 rate is well ahead of other states yet again.

Relapse Prevention Plan and Early Warning Signs

10 Most Common Triggers of Substance Abuse Relapse

  • Withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, nausea, physical weakness)
  • Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, irritability, mood swings, poor sleep)
  • Poor self-care (stress management, eating, sleeping)
  • People (old using friends)
  • Places (where you used or where you used to buy drugs)
  • Things (that were part of your using, or that remind you of using)
  • Uncomfortable emotions (H.A.L.T.: hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
  • Relationships and sex (can be stressful if anything goes wrong)
  • Isolation (gives you too much time to be with your own thoughts)
  • Pride and overconfidence (thinking you don’t have a drug or alcohol problem, or that it is behind you)

The Stages of Relapse

Relapse is a process, it’s not an event. In order to understand relapse prevention, you have to understand the stages of relapse. Relapse starts weeks or even months before the event of a physical relapse. In this page, you will learn the early warning signs of relapse and specific relapse prevention techniques for each stage of relapse. There are three stages of relapse.

Emotional Relapse

In emotional relapse, you’re not thinking about using. But your emotions and behaviors are setting you up for a possible relapse in the future.

The signs of emotional relapse are:

  • Anxiety
  • Intolerance
  • Anger
  • Defensiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Isolation
  • Not asking for help
  • Not going to meetings
  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor sleep habits

The signs of emotional relapse are also symptoms of post-acute withdrawal. If you understand post-acute withdrawal it’s easier to avoid relapse, because the early stage of relapse is easiest to pull back from. In the later stages, the pull of relapse gets stronger and the sequence of events moves faster.

Early Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention at this stage means recognizing that you’re in emotional relapse and changing your behavior. Recognize that you’re isolating and remind yourself to ask for help. Recognize that you’re anxious and practice relaxation techniques. Recognize that your sleep and eating habits are slipping and practice self-care.

If you don’t change your behavior at this stage and you live too long in the stage of emotional relapse you’ll become exhausted, and when you’re exhausted you will want to escape, which will move you into mental relapse.

Practice self-care. The most important thing you can do to prevent relapse at this stage is to take better care of yourself. Think about why you use. You use drugs or alcohol to escape, relax, or reward yourself. Therefore you relapse when you don’t take care of yourself and create situations that are mentally and emotionally draining that make you want to escape.

For example, if you don’t take care of yourself and eat poorly or have poor sleep habits, you’ll feel exhausted and want to escape. If you don’t let go of your resentments and fears through some form of relaxation, they will build to the point where you’ll feel uncomfortable in your own skin. If you don’t ask for help, you’ll feel isolated. If any of those situations continues for too long, you will begin to think about using. But if you practice self-care, you can avoid those feelings from growing and avoid relapse.

Mental Relapse

In mental relapse, there’s a war going on in your mind. Part of you wants to use, but part of you doesn’t. In the early phase of mental relapse, you’re just idly thinking about using. But in the later phase, you’re definitely thinking about using.

The signs of mental relapse are:

  • Thinking about people, places, and things you used with
  • Glamorizing your past use
  • Lying
  • Hanging out with old using friends
  • Fantasizing about using
  • Thinking about relapsing
  • Planning your relapse around other people’s schedules

It gets harder to make the right choices as the pull of addiction gets stronger.

Techniques for Dealing with Mental Urges
Play the tape through. When you think about using, the fantasy is that you’ll be able to control your use this time. You’ll just have one drink. But play the tape through. One drink usually leads to more drinks. You’ll wake up the next day feeling disappointed in yourself. You may not be able to stop the next day, and you’ll get caught in the same vicious cycle. When you play that tape through to its logical conclusion, using doesn’t seem so appealing.

A common mental urge is that you can get away with using, because no one will know if you relapse. Perhaps your spouse is away for the weekend, or you’re away on a trip. That’s when your addiction will try to convince you that you don’t have a big problem and that you’re really doing your recovery to please your spouse or your work. Play the tape through. Remind yourself of the negative consequences you’ve already suffered, and the potential consequences that lie around the corner if you relapse again. If you could control your use, you would have done it by now.

Tell someone that you’re having urges to use. Call a friend, a support, or someone in recovery. Share with them what you’re going through. The magic of sharing is that the minute you start to talk about what you’re thinking and feeling, your urges begin to disappear. They don’t seem quite as big and you don’t feel as alone.

Distract yourself. When you think about using, do something to occupy yourself. Call a friend. Go to a meeting. Get up and go for a walk. If you just sit there with your urge and don’t do anything, you’re giving your mental relapse room to grow.

Wait for 30 minutes. Most urges usually last for less than 15 to 30 minutes. When you’re in an urge, it feels like an eternity. But if you can keep yourself busy and do the things you’re supposed to do, it’ll quickly be gone.

Do your recovery one day at a time. Don’t think about whether you can stay abstinent forever. That’s a paralyzing thought. It’s overwhelming even for people who’ve been in recovery for a long time.

One day at a time means you should match your goals to your emotional strength. When you feel strong and you’re motivated to not use, then tell yourself that you won’t use for the next week or the next month. But when you’re struggling and having lots of urges, and those times will happen often, tell yourself that you won’t use for today or for the next 30 minutes. Do your recovery in bite-sized chunks and don’t sabotage yourself by thinking too far ahead.

Make relaxation part of your recovery. Relaxation is an important part of relapse prevention because when you’re tense you tend to do what’s familiar and wrong, instead of what’s new and right. When you’re tense you tend to repeat the same mistakes you made before. When you’re relaxed you are more open to change.

Physical Relapse
Once you start thinking about relapse, if you don’t use some of the techniques mentioned above, it doesn’t take long to go from there to physical relapse: going to get a drink; calling your dealer for example for opioids, cocaine, or marijuana.

It’s hard to stop the process of relapse at that point. That’s not where you should focus your efforts in recovery. That’s achieving abstinence through brute force. But it is not recovery. If you recognize the early warning signs of relapse and understand the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal, you’ll be able to catch yourself before it’s too late.

1) The stages of relapse were first described by Terence Gorski. Gorski, T., & Miller, M., Staying Sober: A Guide for Relapse Prevention: Independence Press, 1986.

Definition of Addiction

Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling, or sex. On April 12, 2011, after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts and decades of research, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) changed the definition of addiction to:

“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

“At its core, addiction isn’t just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It’s a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas,” said Dr. Michael Miller, past president of ASAM who oversaw the development of the new definition. “Many behaviors driven by addiction are real problems and sometimes criminal acts. But the disease is about brains, not drugs. It’s about underlying neurology, not outward actions.”

The new definition also describes addiction as a primary disease, meaning that it’s not the result of other causes, such as emotional or psychiatric problems. And like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, addiction is recognized as a chronic disease; so it must be treated, managed, and monitored over a person’s lifetime, the researchers say.

Two decades of advancements in neuroscience convinced ASAM officials that addiction should be redefined by what’s going on in the brain. For instance, research has shown that addiction affects the brain’s reward circuitry, such that memories of previous experiences with food, sex, alcohol, and other drugs trigger cravings and more addictive behaviors. Brain circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment is also altered in the brains of addicts, resulting in the nonsensical pursuit of “rewards,” such as alcohol and other drugs.

A long-standing debate has roiled over whether addicts have a choice over their behaviors, said Dr. Raju Hajela, former president of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine and chair of the ASAM committee on addiction’s new definition.

“The disease creates distortions in thinking, feelings, and perceptions, which drive people to behave in ways that are not understandable to others around them,” Hajela said in a statement. “Simply put, addiction is not a choice. Addictive behaviors are a manifestation of the disease, not a cause.” Even so, Hajela pointed out, choice does play a role in getting help.

“Because there is no pill which alone can cure addiction, choosing recovery over unhealthy behaviors is necessary,” Hajela said.

This “choosing recovery” is akin to people with heart disease who may not choose the underlying genetic causes of their heart problems but do need to choose to eat healthier or begin exercising, in addition to medical or surgical interventions, the researchers said.

“So, we have to stop moralizing, blaming, controlling or smirking at the person with the disease of addiction, and start creating opportunities for individuals and families to get help and providing assistance in choosing proper treatment,” Miller said.

Originally posted on NBC,

Importance of Goals in Recovery

Goals can be important for individuals in addiction recovery for a number of reasons including:

  • Short term goals as milestones provide direction and targets to aim for.

  • Setting a goal means accepting accountability and looking for a path to achieve it.

  • Having a goal provides motivation to get tasks done that are useful in reaching that goal. It also provides a reason to work harder to get what you know can be achieved with time.

  • There is a great deal of joy when a goal is achieved. It brings increased self-esteem and confidence that is helpful in setting the new goal.

  • The lack of having a goal may put any progress in serious jeopardy. The reason for this is because personal growth most often occurs when people challenge themselves.

  • Goals provide a clear path for moving forward and reduce the chance of falling into a boring routine in daily life. Boredom is dangerous for someone in recovery because it can easily lead to relapse.

  • Goals provide the patience for staying on course for recovery. Recovery is often described as a process and not an event.

  • Setting realistic goals allow recovering individuals to establish a new sense of purpose in their life. As their life after recovery is often very different from what they have been used to, which requires some adjusting to.

Goal Setting and SMART

SMART is a useful mnemonic that provides people with guidance on how to set more effective goals. It suggests that goals should be:

Specific – this means that the goal needs to be clear and unambiguous. For example, I want to lose 2kg is better than I want to lose weight.

Measurable – a goal needs to be measurable in order to decide if progress is being made.

Attainable – the goal needs to be realistic and achievable.

Relevant – there has to be a good reason for achieving the goal. This is particularly important if it requires the input of other people.

Timely – this means that it can be achieved within a timeframe

The mnemonic SMARTER goes on to add two more characteristics to effective goals:



Moving Forward in Challenging Situations According to Merimée Moffitt’s

The lines below come from Merimée Moffitt’s blog “The 30 things I learned with Dr. Robert D. Waterman. According to her blog what she heard from Dr. Waterman was instrumental in helping her move forward with her life during challenging times. We choose to share a few of those words because they might resonate with some of our readers who are struggling with addiction or experiencing some tough challenges on their road to recovery.

A Poet from New Mexico and a blogger writing about her life struggles, Moffitt has written a few books, including her latest “Notes on Serenity – An ABC of Addiction.” Aiming to end the stigma of addiction through art, her latest book is a collection of poems and short prose, where she talks about the dark journey she embarked on during her son’s twenty-plus years of drug addiction. Her son, now 46, is on the road to recovery.

Dr. Robert D. Waterman said:

  • Let’s work on what you think is out of your reach.
  • Get out into the world. Join. Meet people. (Make something of your life.)
  • Pot takes you, he said, from A to B, back to A, then to B; A to B, B to A, endless loop.
  • Tell your friends not to smoke around you. You ought to give up recreational drugs and going with guys who are disrespectful, unkind, violent, drug-addled, or otherwise unsuitable for you.
  • When you wake up; get up. No wallowing in morning thoughts.
  • Meet your life every morning with your best colors, food, hair, and attire. Focus on gratitude.
  • Smile and listen. Make healthy plans. Make gratitude lists.
  • Consider your own skills and assets. Make use of them to support your family of two.
  • If you get lonely, ask yourself what it is that you want to share. When you have something to share, someone will be there.
  • If you don’t want to share a damn thing, then it’s not the time for a relationship.
  • Work on feeling confident; you can do it. You can raise your son. (and later kids, dogs, cats)
  • Be responsible for yourself and your child and all that befalls you, all that comes your way. Your responses are your choice. It’s up to you how you feel, think, live, be.
  • How you treat a spouse informs your children how to treat theirs. If you are kind, they will learn kindness, too.
  • Love and honor your spiritual self, spiritual life, spiritual essence. Develop your beliefs and behaviors. (Only then will you feel whole, calm, complete, and prepared).
  • Let your heart crack open to its inner fire.
  • Don’t worry. To worry is to doubt god. Don’t worry about defining god. Be honest.
  • Be honest.
  • Take responsibility for your mood, your health, happiness, anger, fear, gratitude, attitude, etc.
  • Nothing you have done is wasted, if you make use of it.
  • Embrace honesty; seek solitude.

If you want to learn more about Merimée Moffitt and her books visit:

Individual Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Individual counseling is one-on-one conversations between a patient and a trained therapist. This type of therapy is a treatment intervention that solely occurs between a client and a mental health clinician specializing in a specific practice. For example, in the case of addiction treatment, patients receive counseling from a mental health professional specializing in addiction treatment.


The process of mental health treatment starts with a detailed assessment, performed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of licensed addiction treatment specialists to determine the course of the treatment and the presence of co-occurring mental health conditions. It is only after that assessment that a treatment plan is developed, which may or may not include medical detoxification. Individual one-on-one addiction treatment counseling may only start after the detox process is completed.

Individual counseling therapy is beneficial for recovering individuals because it provides:

  • A safe, private and confidential environment for the patient to open up

  • Time to focus on the patient’s specific issues

  • A non-judgmental, objective viewpoint about the patient’s situation or problem

  • Treatment sessions focused on the patient and the patient’s problems, allowing the therapist to dig deeper and progress faster

  • Flexibility and convenience in scheduling sessions for outpatient treatment

  • Practice in building trust and having a healthy relationship with the counselor

Individual therapy is an important part of addiction treatment and is vital for patients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health conditions. Coexisting depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, trauma, or any other significant mental health condition require treatment in its own right; separate from the drug or alcohol addiction. For example, a trauma survivor may feel more comfortable working with a psychotherapist in a private setting rather than in a group setting.

Why Is One on One Counseling Important?

By utilizing one-on-one drug counseling a therapist can get to the root problem of addiction by navigating the inner workings of the patient’s mind. While many recovering individuals may be able to reflect on and discuss their lives in a meaningful manner, they are often not able to figure out what went wrong and what caused them to resort to drugs or alcohol for feeling better in the first place. It is during individual therapy that many recovering patients have a chance to have an honest look at the situation that caused their addiction, plan their path for recovery, and find a new way of living to sustain recovery.

Additionally, recovering individuals in counseling are much better equipped to acquire relapse prevention coping strategies that are individualized to their particular situation and get a chance to practice this newly acquired skill in their one-on-one sessions with a therapist.

Counselor’s words of encouragement and guidance also go a long way in assisting patients with the healing process while focusing on addressing their motivation to change, fine-tuning their problem-solving skills, and facilitating better interpersonal relationships.

By working side-by-side with their patients helping them make it through even the most challenging parts of their recovery process, counselors provide, in a way, a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen and hearts that understand. Sharing the patient’s most personal experiences during one of their most difficult times paves the way for effective and lasting addiction recovery.

Start on your road to sobriety today. Share your hopes and fears with one of our addiction treatment specialists.

Florida Center for Recovery detox and addiction treatment center is located in Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie County.

For more information call us at 800-851-3291 You may also chat with us through our website page, or e-mail us for quick answers to your questions. There’s no obligation and your call is completely confidential.

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