Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

The 12-step approach is part of Florida Center for Recovery’s addiction treatment program along with SMART Recovery. For many recovering individuals who regularly attend meetings, the 12-step philosophy is something they’ve come to rely on to get them through their darkest hours. For those of you who are not familiar with this treatment approach, you’ll see below how the original 12-step philosophy is founded on a dozen consecutive processes (each step building on the one(s) before it):

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Copyright 1952, 1953, 1981 by Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing
(now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)

National Psychotherapy Day

September 25, is National Psychotherapy Day – a day when therapists, academics, policymakers and many other interested parties are encouraged to talk about their experience or involvements with therapy and contribute to community health clinics or share therapy effectiveness research with their colleagues. All are encouraged to wear turquoise to show support and start the conversations.

What is the importance and effectiveness of the field of Psychotherapy?

According to The American Psychological Association’s website (under the section, Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness) “psychotherapy (individual, group and couple/family) is a practice designed varyingly to provide symptom relief and personality change, reduce future symptomatic episodes, enhance quality of life, promote adaptive functioning in work/school and relationships, increase the likelihood of making healthy life choices, and offer other benefits established by the collaboration between client/patient and psychologist.”

What sparked National Psychotherapy Day?

The origin of recognizing psychotherapy on this date goes back to the time when the founders believed their profession had a significant image problem. Therapy takes place behind closed doors and the public gets most of the information about this field from movies and TV, where those depictions are rarely accurate. So this day was created to demystify psychotherapy, educate the public about what the real therapy looks like, how effective it can be and create a day to celebrate therapy rather than hide it.

National Psychotherapy Day is dedicated to the promotion, research, and support of psychotherapy for all interested or have a need for. The creators of National Psychotherapy Day are passionate licensed clinicians, graduate students, and generous professionals who believe in the transformative power of the therapeutic relationship and the science behind it. They welcome diverse viewpoints and beliefs and share the common idea that science, quality relationships and time are key ingredients in resolving conflicts, promoting healing, and achieving potential.

So, our message today to all therapists out there is to wear turquoise and create the opportunity for conversation about this important field of science with those who are interested or have an interest in knowing. Many share their experiences by posting their favorite Moments of Meanings video on their social media outlet as another way of celebrating the day.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Your Recovery

Many are aware of the “seasonal mood changes”, the condition that seems to be following the calendar. This is especially true for individuals in recovery experiencing the “winter blues”. If you are one of those people, this is the time to tune up your inner strength and re-supply your recovery coping skills “toolbox”.

The “winter blues,” also known as Season Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that usually begins in late fall or early winter and fades as the weather improves. Individuals who experience SAD may feel depressed, irritable, lethargic, and have trouble waking up in the morning—especially when it’s still dark out.

For those in addiction recovery who are at risk of experiencing SAD, this time of the year can be particularly challenging which brings for many, the fear of relapse. Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder and planning ahead can help you or your loved one through the fall and winter without derailing recovery.

Reviewing the different skills and techniques learned over the years, and re-igniting the focus and motivation needed to maintain sobriety are a few of the things you can do so that your mood will not fall with the thermometer. The following small lifestyle changes can help boost your spirits and keep you on your recovery track.

Make a schedule. When you don’t have a plan in place, it’s easy to give in to sluggishness and spend your day unproductive. Account for as many hours as you can with appointments, 12-step meetings and social obligations.

Don’t stop exercising even if the weather is cool and perhaps outside your comfort zone. Don’t let that become an excuse. A few extra layers and a like-minded friend can go a long way to put things back in order. When the weather is too harsh that going out isn’t an option, practicing your yoga and meditation is a great way to lift your spirits from the very comforts of your home.

Dress up and go out. Going out will have a great impact on changing your mood and attitude. No matter the plan, outdoor activities certainly keep the brain engaged, even when those activities are simply visiting friends and family.

Plan holiday activities or events. Many find refuge in keeping busy by planning for events that make those they care for happy.

Change the appearance of your home to give the house some holiday spirit! A colorful home and environment is a good reminder of the values we hold close to our hearts this time of the year: Friendship, love, gratitude, and altruism are all worth celebrating.

Light therapy. Many SAD sufferers have found success in improving their moods with the use of light as a form of therapy. They use a lightbox that emits a bright, intense light that simulates sunshine, boosting the feel-good chemicals in the brain that can affect mood and energy. Find out if that is something that could be helpful to you.

Medication. If all the methods of coping with SAD fail to work for you, then you may want to speak to your doctor about medications. As much as we all want to stay away from medications, obviously there are times that medications prescribed by a professional who is well aware of your medical history can be helpful.

If you find yourself struggling, it’s important to reach out and get counseling. Remember, you managed to beat addiction, and you can beat the “winter blues” as well. Don’t forget to look back and reflect on your achievements and accomplishments in your recovery. That is your ultimate motivation to finish the year clean, sober, and proud.

National Yoga Month – Yoga in Addiction Recovery

National Yoga Month takes place in September along with National Recovery Month. This occasion provides an opportunity to talk about the profound healing benefits of yoga in the addiction treatment process and beyond. Yoga practice is more than just stretching the body – it’s about achieving clarity, stability and balance at a physical, emotional, and mental level.

The Yoga Journal describes modern yoga as the use of physical postures to learn how to connect mind, body, and breath to gain self-awareness and focus attention inward. In addiction treatment and recovery, yoga is particularly useful to break the cycle of stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression, negative thoughts and addictive behavior patterns by helping recovering individuals in building a strong sense of self-awareness, self-control, and self-realization to maintain lifelong sobriety. Individuals in recovery who utilize yoga therapy reflect positively on the effects of yoga in their recovery process.

Yoga has many potential health benefits and according to the Yoga Health Foundation here are ten reasons why yoga should be a practice we should all include in our daily lives.

  • Relieves stress
  • Improves breathing
  • Improves flexibility
  • Increases body strength
  • Provides relief of bodily, mental or emotional pain
  • Manages Weight
  • Improves circulation in the body, as well as moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells
  • Helps the individual focus on the present
  • Helps generate inner peace  

Nowadays, as an adjunct health practice, yoga is utilized in most comprehensive addiction treatment programs and throughout recovery in order to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, provide a healthy outlet to cope with potential triggers and daily life stressors and prevent relapse. At Florida Center for Recovery, Yoga practice sessions are offered as part of our inpatient addiction treatment program and clients can take part at their own discretion.

If you or a loved one needs addiction treatment or you would like to learn more about the treatment programs, contact us at: 800-851-3291

All calls are confidential. If you’d rather contact us via our secure chat service you may do so by clicking on the link below:

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Florida Center for Recovery
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery

Can a Person Overdose on Heroin?

Yes, a person can overdose on heroin. A heroin overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death. Heroin overdoses have increased in recent years.

When people overdose on heroin, their breathing often slows or stops. This can decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term mental effects and effects on the nervous system, including coma and permanent brain damage.

Home Care
Seek medical help right away. Do NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to do so.

In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a medicine called naloxone (brand name Narcan) to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. This type of medicine is called an antidote. Naloxone is injected under the skin or into a muscle, using an automatic injector. It can be used by emergency medical responders, police, family members, caregivers, and others. It can save lives until medical care is available.

Calling 911

Have this information ready if possible:

  • The person’s age, weight, and condition
  • How much heroin they took
  • When they took it

If You Just Have Questions, Poison Control Can Be Called. It does NOT need to be an emergency. 

Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national, toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room After a Heroin Overdose

The provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated. The person may receive:

  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Breathing support, including oxygen tube through the mouth into the throat, and breathing machine.
  • Chest x-ray.
  • CT scan (advanced imaging) of the brain if a head injury is suspected.
  • ECG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing).
  • Intravenous fluids (through a vein).
  • Medicines to treat symptoms, such as naloxone (see “Home Care” section above), to counteract the effects of the heroin.
  • Multiple doses or continuous administration of naxolone. This may be needed because naxolone’s effects are short-lived and the depressive effects of the heroin are long-lasting.

Prognosis of a Heroin Overdose

If an antidote can be given, recovery from an acute overdose occurs within 24 to 48 hours. Heroin is often mixed with substances called adulterants. These can cause other symptoms and organ damage. A hospital stay may be necessary.

If the person’s breathing has been affected for a long time, they may breathe fluids into their lungs. This can lead to pneumonia and other lung complications.

Injecting any drug through a needle can cause serious infections. These include abscesses of the brain, lungs, and kidneys, and heart valve infection.

Because heroin is commonly injected into a vein, a heroin user may develop problems related to sharing needles with other users. Sharing needles can lead to hepatitis, HIV infection, and AIDS.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction and you would like to explore heroin treatment options offered at Florida Center for Recovery, contact us at: 800-851-3291. All calls are confidential. If you’d rather contact us via our secure chat service you may do so by clicking on the link below:

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Injury prevention & control: opioid overdose. Updated February 9, 2017. Accessed August 15, 2017.

Levine DP, Brown PD. Infections in injection drug users. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 317.

National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Heroin. Updated May 2016. Accessed August 15, 2017.

Nikolaides JK, Thompson TM. Opioids. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 156.

National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Overdose death rates. Updated January 2017. Accessed August 15, 2017.

Zosel AE. General approach to the poisoned patient. In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency Medicine: Clinical Essentials. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 143.

What Type of Treatment Is Offered at an Inpatient Rehab Program?

When looking for an addiction treatment program in rehab centers, the type of treatment offered at an Inpatient Rehab Program should be on the top of all questions. Although there are a variety of treatment approaches offered by different rehab centers, the list below points to a few commonalities found within treatments offered by all reputable drug and alcohol rehab centers.

1- Assessment
A comprehensive medical and clinical assessment starts the addiction treatment process. It is during this time that a treatment plan is developed based on a variety of factors such as:

  • how long has the individual been addicted
  • which types of substances the individual is abusing and if there is a need for medical detox
  • analysis of previous treatment or treatments
  • understanding the chance of relapse based on the individual’s lifestyle and situation
  • analysis evaluation of underlying co-occurring mental health disorders

2- Medically Supervised Detox
When is determined to be needed, detox often starts the addiction treatment process. During this period rehab patients are medically supervised while going through the process of ridding the body of the toxins of the drugs. Medical attention is necessary to make sure the patient has a safe and, as much as possible, a comfortable detox process.

3- Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Following medical detox, individuals who are attending a rehab facility start the inpatient rehab program. During this time patients reside in the facility and receive daily treatment, which includes psychological therapies promoting healing and a deep understanding of their disease of addiction. These therapeutic services are designed to help the patients learn about themselves, understand their addiction and the triggers in their life. Patients gain valuable life skills for the sober life ahead, after years of drug use. The only goal of inpatient care is to help patients achieve sobriety and provide them with the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary to remain free from drug use once they complete their treatment.

Examples of common treatment options available during inpatient care include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (individual and group)

  • Family Therapy

  • Gender-Specific Therapy

  • Trauma Resolution

  • Grief/Loss Therapy

  • Reinforcement of healthy lifestyle choices through the practice of the 12 Steps

  • Spiritual Counseling

  • Biofeedback

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Art Therapy

  • Music Therapy

Attending an inpatient rehab program greatly increases the chances of individuals who struggle with addiction to establish a new lifestyle conducive to a successful recovery. Unfortunately, we all know there are individuals who relapse after treatment.

For those who relapse, returning to treatment is always an option that depends on the severity of their relapse and the circumstances surrounding it. A relapse that consisted of a single night of use may be addressed in the AA meeting and get under control with the help of the sponsor, especially if the circumstance that leads to the relapse does not seem to be a part of the lifestyle. Obviously a multiple session relapse could be the indication of returning to the bad habits of the past by the struggling addict, which a return to the treatment may be in order.

Similar to everybody’s addiction story, the path to recovery for each individual is different. When first considering a rehab facility the choice should include one that provides comprehensive discharge planning which provides patients with guidance long after the initial treatment ends.

If you or a loved one is interested in inpatient addiction treatment or you would like to learn more about the treatment programs offered at Florida Center for Recovery, contact us at: 800-851-3291

All calls are confidential. If you’d rather contact us via our secure chat service you may do so by clicking on the link below:

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day

On September 9, 1999, the first International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) Awareness Day was observed. This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which are physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that last a lifetime. Often, a person with an FASD has a combination of these problems. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or might become pregnant not drink alcohol. FASDs are completely preventable if a developing baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth.

What Is Known about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

  • Women who are pregnant or who might be pregnant should be aware that any level of alcohol use could harm their babies.
  • All types of alcohol can be harmful, including all wine and beer.
  • The baby’s brain, body, and organs are developing throughout pregnancy and can be affected by alcohol at any time.
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy can also increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm (early) birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • A developing baby is exposed to the same concentration of alcohol as a pregnant woman.
  • The rates of FASDs are estimated to be comparable to the rates of Autism. Up to 1 in 20 U.S. schoolchildren may have FASDs.
  • FASDs-related disorders last a lifetime.


Make a plan for a healthy baby–don’t drink any alcohol if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It’s estimated that half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned and that a woman may not realize she is pregnant up to 4 to 6 weeks in pregnancy and exposes her baby to alcohol before she knows she is pregnant.

If you become pregnant, stop drinking alcohol. Every day matters. The sooner you stop drinking, the better for your baby. If you need help stopping, talk to your doctor, or contact an addiction treatment agency/recovery program. 

Florida Center for Recovery offers specialized alcohol detox and addiction treatment programs for pregnant women. If you would like more information call: 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.


Related Articles:
Addiction Treatment for Women

Addiction Treatment for Women with Pregnant Program

Women and Substance Abuse and Addiction

It’s September. It’s National Recovery Month

Recovery month is held every September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to educate Americans about substance use and Mental Health disorders and how treatment services can enable those who are struggling to live a healthy and rewarding life. Now in its 29th year, the 2018 Recovery Month observance focuses on urban communities, health care providers, members of the media, and policymakers, highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society. This year’s annual theme is” Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.”

This year’s theme helps explores how integrated care, a strong community, a sense of purpose, and leadership contribute to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. In addition, the 2018 observance also aims to increase awareness and encourage audiences to take advantage of the increased dialogue around behavioral health needs and the increased emphasis on tackling our nation’s opioid crisis.

The observance will work to highlight inspiring stories that help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and wellness. In addition, the materials support SAMHSA’s message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

Help spread the word that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!


Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment

If you would like to explore addiction treatment options for you or a loved one, feel free to give us a call at 800-851-3291. 
All calls are confidential. If you’d rather contact us via our secure chat service you may do so by clicking on the link below: 

Click to Chat with Us Now!