Monthly Archives: June 2019

Naloxone Saves Lives in Opioid Overdose

More and more people are dying from the likes of heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone. These opioids are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant or are made in the lab. Used to treat pain, cough and diarrhea these opioids can also be addictive and even deadly. Since the turn of the century, the number of opioid overdose deaths has escalated more than 400% with tens of thousands of lives now being lost every year. But many deaths can be prevented with a life-saving treatment: naloxone. When given right away, naloxone can work in minutes to reverse an overdose. Naloxone is safe, has few side effects, and some forms can be administered by friends and family.

When is naloxone used?

  • You can save a life. First, recognize signs of overdose:
  • Limp body
  • Clammy face
  • Blue fingernails of lips
  • Vomiting or gurgling sounds
  • Inability to speak or be awakened
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heartbeat

If you see these symptoms, call 911 immediately and consider the use of naloxone if available.

How is naloxone given?

Home preparations include a nasal spray given to someone while they lie on their back or a device that automatically injects medicine into the thigh. Sometimes more than one dose is needed. The person’s breathing also needs to be monitored. If the person stops breathing consider rescue breaths and CPR if you are trained to do so until first responders arrive.

How does naloxone work?

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it blocks opioid receptors from being activated. It is so strongly attracted to the receptors that it knocks other opioids off. When opioids are sitting on their receptors, they change the activity of the cell. Opioid receptors are found on nerve cells all around the body:

 In the brain, opioids produce feelings of comfort and sleepiness.

In the brainstem, opioids relax breathing and reduce cough.

In the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, opioids slow down pain signals.

In the gastrointestinal tract, opioids are constipating.

These opioids actions can be helpful. The body actually produces its own opioids called “endorphins,” which help calm the body in times of stress. Endorphins help produce the “runner’s high” that helps marathon runners get through grueling races. But opioids drugs, like prescription pain medications or heroin, have much stronger opioid effects and they are more dangerous. Over time, frequent opioid use makes the body dependent on drugs. When the opioids are taken away, the body reacts with withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, racing heart, soaking sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. For many, the symptoms feel unbearable. With continued use, opioid receptors also become less responsive and the body develops a tolerance to the drugs. More drugs are then needed to produce the same effects which make overdose more likely. Overdose is dangerous especially for its effect in the brainstem, relaxing breathing. Breathing can be relaxed so much that is stops… leading to death.

Naloxone knocks opioids off their receptors all around the body. In the brainstem, naloxone can restore the drive to breathe and save a life. But even if naloxone is successful, opioids are still floating around, so expert medical care should be sought immediately as naloxone works for 30-90 minutes before the opioids return to their receptors. Naloxone may promote withdrawal because it knocks opioids off their receptors very quickly. But otherwise, naloxone is safe and unlikely to produce side effects.

Naloxone saving lives

From 1996 to 2014, at least 26,500 opioid overdoses in the United States were reversed by laypersons using naloxone. While naloxone is a potentially life-saving treatment, more needs to be done after an overdose has occurred. Individuals who have become addicted to opioids need to seek medical detox and therapeutic rehabilitation.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance addiction and would like to explore treatment options, feel free to give us a call at (800) 851-3291. Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) offers addiction treatment with specialized therapies for individuals 18 and older through private inpatient rehab services. Established in 2002, FCR is a medical detox and rehabilitation facility providing comprehensive therapeutic programs to treat addiction and its underlying related mental health conditions. Our addiction treatment programs offer variable lengths of stay, which allows each client to anchor recovery behaviors needed for lasting change.

For more information about our rehab programs, you may also visit our online booklet Florida-Center-for-Recovery-Booklet for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies.

Florida Center for Recovery
Helping Individuals Struggling with Substance Addiction Recover Since 2002.

stages of change in addiction

The Six Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery

Recovering from addiction is an arduous process that takes time and commitment. One must have a genuine desire to change. One must also be committed to the journey ahead in order to achieve addiction recovery. Discover what the stages of change in addiction are here.  

Understanding the Stages of Change in Addiction

The “stages of change in addiction,” or the “transtheoretical” model, is a way to describe the process by which people overcome addiction. People apply this approach successfully when treating other behaviors that individuals want to stop engaging with difficulty in (for example, overeating). Yet, the stages of change in addiction are best known for their success in treating substance addictions.

The research behind this model began when scientists observed how people overcome their addictions. They noticed that individuals don’t necessarily need to be encouraged or prodded in order for them to change. They also don’t have anything against themselves and are ready for a new way of life. 

People now know this idea as “natural recovery.” Natural recovery has led health care providers away from confrontational methods of addiction treatment and towards motivational approaches. This includes such therapies as motivational interviewing because it takes an entire person-centered approach rather than focusing on one extreme. 

What are the Six Stages of Change in Addiction?

In their book, Changing For Good, authors Prochaska, DiClemente, and Norcross mention that there are six stages of change in recovery: 

  • Pre-contemplation stage
  • Contemplation stage
  • Preparation stage
  • Action stage
  • Maintenance stage
  • Relapse stage

The more main stages are that of pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. The maintenance and relapse stages are not always included but many times can be. 

The stages of change in recovery are typically shown as a cycle or a sequence. However, it’s important to know that not everyone follows the six stages of change in a sequence. Many skip stages of change in addiction and recovery or repeat stages if they need to. 

When you’re in the pre-contemplation stage, it’s as if all of your previous experiences are a clean slate. The Pre-Contemplation Stage

When you’re in the pre-contemplation stage, it’s as if all of your previous experiences are a clean slate. You don’t think that what’s happening right now will ever be relevant to how tomorrow goes. There will be more chances available later on and life and things can only get better from here.

In this first phase of change, people typically don’t consider their behaviors problematic. This is because they may or may not have experienced any negative consequences thus far. Or it’s possible someone could simply be denying the negativity associated with their behaviors.

As this stage continues to develop though, people will notice more and more negative consequences. Eventually, these negative consequences will push individuals into the next stage of change in addiction and recovery. 

The Contemplation Stage

At this stage of change in addiction recovery, individuals are aware of the impact that drug or alcohol abuse has had on their lives. Thus, such individuals may be considering a positive change by seeking treatment. However, the contemplator is doing just that, contemplating. He/she might want to change but might not be ready to commit to it.

By the time someone reaches a contemplation stage, that person is often open to receiving information about his or her addictive behaviors and their consequences. That person may even be willing to try different strategies for controlling or quitting substance use without committing to one in particular. 

Once people reach this point of openness, many will move onto the next stage in addiction recovery—the preparation stage. Others will return back again though before any changes have been made at all.

People can stay in the contemplation stage for many years. They may even move back to the pre-contemplation stage. 

The Preparation Stage

The preparation stage is when people finally start to make plans to find resources for therapeutic interventions. The preparation stage is when people finally start to make plans to find resources for therapeutic interventions. They do this after finally realizing the liability of using drugs and alcohol and the impact it has had on their lives. Making plans mean making timelines or verbal/written agreements with themselves or with others. 

Types of Planning During the Preparation Stage 

There are different types of planning that can occur during the preparation stage of change in addiction recovery. These different types of planning include: 

  • Creating a plan to make specific changes. This could include cutting back on using substances or quitting use completely. 
  • Finding ways to execute the changes. People that try to quit using harmful substances may refuse to purchase substances as a way to stop temptation. 
  • Looking for resources to help assist the change. People that try to quit drinking may obtain gym memberships or join book clubs in order to occupy their time. 
  • Eliminating things, people, or places that could act as triggers. Triggers will often cause a person to relapse. By individuals removing those influences from their daily routines, they’re less likely to want to engage in harmful behaviors. This can often be the most difficult part of the preparation stage of change, but it’s necessary.
  • Looking for support. Support can be many different things. This could include seeking addiction treatment. This could also include simply developing a list of friends and family that a person can talk to. Depending on the person’s level of addiction, having a more structured system of support may be more important. 

Additional Preparations That People Need to Start the Journey of Addiction Recovery

Depending on each individual situation, there may be additional preparations that are needed to start the journey of recovery. In many cases, looking to help from a therapist or social worker can help direct someone towards how to make significant life adjustments in order to overcome addiction. 

For example, if an individual works a job that fuels that person’s substance abuse habits that person may want to now quit. Also, a person that lives with family members that influence addictive behaviors may want to make drastic life changes. Making such life changes is not easy, and it requires a strong support system. 

The Action Stage

This is the step in addiction recovery where the plan is put into action. Usually, this is the start of an inpatient or outpatient rehab program, attending AA or NA meetings, or talking to counselors. The action stage is considered the most difficult in the recovery process. However, a good amount of preparation can help make the action stage less stressful. 

The most important steps during the action stage require individuals to learn how to cope with stress, triggers, and other psychological factors that influence addictive behaviors. This means taking the addiction treatment process seriously and working hard to understand how to change. 

While in accredited addiction treatment programs, individuals will have access to lots of resources and specialists. These resources and specialists are to help people in the action stage understand what’s necessary. 

People in the action stage are motivated to succeed and have found the support they need to do so. They will continue on in their recovery paths with the goal of achieving a drug and alcohol-free life. This stage of change n addiction recovery lasts approximately three to six months.

The Maintenance Stage

Sustaining healthy habits that were learned through the treatment phase is called the maintenance stage of change in addiction recovery. Sustaining healthy habits that were learned through the treatment phase is called the maintenance stage of change in addiction recovery. The maintenance stage requires individuals to stay away from drugs or alcohol. It also requires that individuals avoid triggers that could lead to addictive behaviors. 

People in the maintenance stage of change in addiction recovery should keep a list of goals and hobbies to keep them focused. Due to the fact that substance use disorder is a chronic disease, the risk of relapse is always present. By the time individuals are in this stage of addiction recovery, they’ve already learned the tools and skills needed to maintain their recovery and are mindful of relapse

The maintenance stage is one of the most difficult stages of change in addiction recovery. At some period during this stage, people may start to think that there’s no harm in taking their feet off their gas pedals for just a little while. Such thinking comes with consequences though. 

The old ways of coping with stress and mental health issues return. Therefore, it becomes challenging for people to upkeep their strength without feeling like they’re going through life all by themselves. 

This is why it’s important to not only to find healthy alternatives for coping with stress and mental health issues. By learning alternative coping strategies during periods of intense stress, individuals can mitigate their risk of relapse. Otherwise, the temptation to abuse substances again may win out. 

The Relapse Stage

This is the stage of change in addiction recovery where people with substance use disorders no longer feel threatened by their substance choices. This lack of awareness can cause individuals to believe that they no longer need to be on guard against triggers. Individuals in the relapse stage of change in addiction recovery may believe that they’re strong enough to face their addiction triggers. 

Relapse often happens though. That doesn’t mean that a person can’t wake up and start fresh the next day back in the maintenance stage. The process of change depends on the person. 

Some people may need to find new addiction treatment programs. Others may need to reevaluate their decisions and make life changes to avoid exhibiting addictive behaviors in the future. Every person’s struggle with addiction is different. Thus, the way that people go about the different stages of change in addiction and recovery will vary.

Where Are You At in the Stages of Change in Addiction Recovery?

Sometimes it takes several relapses to understand the importance of professional addiction treatment. Struggling to make such a significant change in life on one’s own doesn’t have to be the answer. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance addiction and would like to explore treatment options, feel free to reach out to us here at Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) today. Florida Center for Recovery offers addiction treatment with specialized therapies for individuals 18 and older through private inpatient rehab services. 

Established in 2002, FCR is a medical detox and rehabilitation facility providing comprehensive therapeutic programs to treat addiction and its underlying related mental health conditions. Our addiction treatment programs here at FCR offer variable lengths of stay, which allows each of our rehab patients to anchor the recovery behaviors that they need for lasting change.

For more information about our rehab programs here at Florida Center for Recovery, you can visit our online Florida-Center-for-Recovery-Booklet for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies. You can also contact us over the phone or by web message on our website.

How To Get Help for Your Spouse?

Are you struggling to get your spouse into addiction treatment? Finding that line between saving the loved one who is struggling with addiction and saving yourself isn’t always easy, and that becomes an urgent matter when the loved one is your spouse. Knowing the facts listed below, may put things a bit more in perspective.

  • Addiction is a disease that triggers obsessive substance use
  • Substance dependence on alcohol or drugs can drive your spouse to lie, steal and hurt those she is close to 
  • There is an urgent need for a support system for you and your family to deal with the problem at hand
  • You need your own support system to help you deal with your spouse
  • Recovery is always possible, but relapse is common and multiple treatment attempts may happen

If your spouse is struggling with an addiction, he or she may deny that there is a problem and believe that rehab is not a necessity. However, as a spouse, you can help your loved one overcome these reservations by starting a one-on-one conversation about the subject or utilizing a formal substance abuse intervention. The goal of any “intervention conversation” is to get the person to accept help and enter rehab. Getting your spouse into an inpatient rehab program is often the most recommended course of action. Removing your spouse from current temptations and distractions will allow your loved one to focus on getting well. Try to keep the following general guidelines in mind:

Show that you’re concerned and that you care. The essential thing to get across is that you’re coming from a place of love and caring, one in which you really want the best for your loved one. Saying “I love you” and “You’re not alone” are important phrases that prove to be more effective than showing “tough love” alone.

Show care and compassion. Although it can be difficult, you should try to take a calm, loving, and compassionate approach to your meeting. Being angry and using harsh words are never productive. Try to remember that addiction is a disease.

Help your spouse make the connection. Lost in a haze of substance abuse, chances are your spouse really hasn’t ever made the connection between the substance abuse and the impact it has on the people he/she loves most. Make tangible connections that can help your spouse understand that he/she has changed. For example, talk about the activities your spouse used to cherish that are no longer an option because of his or her drug or alcohol habit.

Prepare for the conversation by doing research beforehand. Your challenge, after all, is how to get your spouse admitted into rehab. So you should know as much as possible about the available treatment program options. Bring written material related to the treatment programs and the activities of the treatment facility you recommend.

Try to listen at least as much as you speak. This is a good rule of thumb in any conversation, but it’s essential in a conversation you hope to convince someone you care to take drastic and life-changing action. One of the most powerful needs of any human being is to know that he or she is seen and heard.

Be Frank. If your spouse refuses help and doesn’t want to change, make sure you let your loved one know the consequences of that decision. If you feel that you can’t continue living with your spouse while he/she is still abusing drugs or alcohol, say so. Especially if you’re afraid to allow your spouse to be alone with the kids, be very clear about that.

Understand your limits. While you should always hope for the best when trying to get your spouse into rehab, be prepared emotionally for the worst, which is his or her refusal to accept what you are asking for. Even if such an “intervention conversation” fails and your spouse refuses treatment, keep in mind that you may have “planted a seed” that could bear fruit at a later time.

If you would like to get an informational brochure about our treatment center and the programs, we offer, please contact us at 800-851-3291. You may also visit our program pageonline brochure and see our Facebook reviews at:

Alcohol is killing more people, and younger. The biggest increase is among women.

The rising number of people in the United States who have been killed by alcohol in the last decade has been obscured by the opioid epidemic. As opioid overdose death of about 72,000 people a year has grabbed America’s attention, the slower moving epidemic of alcohol has continued its acceleration as well, especially in the southern states and the nation’s capital. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol-related causes – through suicide and diseases like cancer, liver cirrhosis among others. While teen deaths from drinking were down about 16 percent during the same period, deaths among people aged 45 to 64 rose by about 25%. Taking into account the increased risk of death with age, alcohol has been increasingly the cause of premature death in middle-aged and older adults. Between 2008 and 2014, the rate of ER visits involving acute alcohol consumption rose nearly 40 percent, according to the study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. For chronic alcohol use, the rate rose nearly 60 percent, with women leading the rate increase.

Women’s encounter with alcohol abuse and addiction, in contrast with their male counterpart, is often known to be more of a private matter. While men can be easily be spotted at bars and parties, drinking till they crash and burn, thereby showing their exposure to a possible alcohol problem, most women can conceal their alcohol addiction for a very long time. This makes it difficult for loved ones to intervene and offer help.

A typical alcohol abuse dependence and addiction trajectory for women starts with a drink of wine in the evening to unwind and cope with the daily work stress – either in a professional setting or home with children. Author and podcast co-host Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, the writer of “Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay,” believes this stems from stubborn gender roles and norms surrounding stress. “Moms just aren’t going to call home and say they’re stopping for a couple of drinks after work with friends or going to the gym to unwind,” says Stefanie. She goes on to say that not complying with their perceived roles as moms and homemakers, makes them feel they are failing as parents when compared with other moms. So they drink wine while they make dinner and, as it often happens in these cases before they realize it becomes a nightly pattern where they can easily go from functional alcoholics to full-blown alcohol addict.

This pattern describes the plight of many of the women who become addicted to alcohol. Reaching out for help may be difficult and while women are more likely to seek help on their own many will require the help of loved ones. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction, finding a treatment program that offers comprehensive treatment to diagnose and treat not only the addiction but also underlying mental health conditions, is the key to greatly increase the chances of successful recovery. Equally important is to find a program that offers evidence-based gender-specific therapies that provides screening and treatment for trauma-related issues.

At Florida Center for Recovery we have been treating clients struggling with alcohol addiction since 2002 through a structured series of individual and group therapies with gender specific sessions and specialized programs. Our Florida addiction treatment center offers alcohol rehab programs with all inclusive inpatient detox providing and array of evidence-based and holistic complimentary therapies. Below is a list of our treatment highlights. For information about programs, insurance and admissions, please contact us at: (800) 851-3291.

Gender-Specific Rehab Therapies

The majority of addiction treatment facilities treat both men and women. However, the two genders experience different emotions and react differently to drug abuse and their addiction. Therefore it is understandable that the treatment effectiveness is increased when performed in gender-specific group therapies which allow therapists to focus and dedicate their efforts in providing guidance specific to a particular gender. For instance, men afflicted by addiction experience emotions such as ego, pride, and anger, while women experience emotions caused by low self-esteem, eating disorders, with often sources such as sexual assault, emotional abuse, and stress from balancing work and family. Being able to openly discuss and address obstacles that stand between the individual and his or her recovery within a gender-specific therapy group, offer recovering individuals an environment where they are most comfortable to accept guidance and begin healing.

According to researchers in the field of substance abuse and addiction, the circumstances, events, and thought processes that contribute or lead to the development of substance abuse disorder are also different for men and women. For instance, women’s addiction path is different than men; women have shown to begin abusing substances at much lower doses than men, but women increase dosage much more rapidly than men. In addition, research shows that women’s rates of relapse are greater than men after an initial period of sobriety. In short, due to the differences in how addiction and relapse occur in women versus men, there’s a need to incorporate treatments that will address the respective histories, experiences, and risks faced by men and women, separately.

Due to the specific needs of men and women, Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) offers gender-specific therapy to optimize the treatment for every individual in recovery. This means same-sex peer group sessions are offered for each group which provides a safe, accepting and supportive environment where individuals can discuss and address progress or problems they feel uncomfortable discussing in a mixed group. These gender-specific therapies are the best platform to address the particular needs of men and women in recovery.

FCR understands that a strong support system within a treatment program is key to recovery, and gender-specific therapy is among one of the most effective ways to provide that support. By offering gender-specific therapies within our addiction treatment program, we’re able to provide our clients with a more individualized treatment program rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that unfortunately still seen at many facilities.

Need more information? We welcome your inquiries which can be sent by using the link below or by directly contacting us at (800) 851-3291. All calls are private and confidential.

For reviews, visit our Testimonial Page.’

How To Help Someone Who Is Addicted To Opioids?

As a family member, you can tell when something is wrong with the behavior of a loved one, especially when the behavior starts changing. I’m sure you’ve heard many times before that if your gut feeling is telling you something is wrong, trust your feelings. When it comes to drug abuse, time is of an essence, start asking questions and looking for evidence as soon as you get the feeling.

Individuals who are addicted to opioids, like most hardcore drugs, are often in denial that they even have a problem, and that is why they most likely need the help of family or friends to get the medical intervention that is required to stop the abuse or recover from the addiction. As you may already know, simply taking the drugs away or changing the environment is not enough. Recovery from opioids addiction requires medical detox to manage the intensive withdrawal symptoms which include spiked fevers, seizures, suicidal ideas, and even coma. Seeking professional help for opioid detox ensures that your loved one will be in a safe environment where supervision is provided 24/7. Medical detox is only the beginning of opioid addiction treatment and most facilities offering opioid detox are providers of therapeutic rehabilitation services as well.

When families know that their loved ones are abusing opioids, it is suggested that they start having the “uncomfortable” conversation about their legitimate concerns and offer the struggling individual the help he or she needs. It is recommended that this difficult conversation takes place the first thing in the morning, right when the individual wakes up. This is most likely the best time to get him or her sober. The timing also gives the best chance of getting through the person as he/she is less likely to be irrational and lost in their emotions at that time. Remaining calm when talking and presenting facts will avoid being drawn into anger or arguments. Give him/her a chance to express his/her feelings and listen. Confronting individuals struggling with addiction does take tough love, but they’re more likely to be receptive if they feel heard and accepted. While professional interventions may be needed, most families are able to have a successful conversation with their loved one and arrange treatment on their own. At this point, a treatment facility should have already been researched and checked out for programs’ credibility, bed availability, insurance coverage, pricing, and related information. For example, if the individual has a mental health condition that is already known, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc, seeking treatment from a rehab facility that offers comprehensive treatment to treat both the addiction and the mental health condition is a necessity. In general, a rehab center that offers comprehensive addiction treatment is the type of rehab that can successfully diagnose the underlying mental health conditions that may have caused the addiction and present the effective treatment program that is required. For women who are in need of opioid addiction treatment or those who are pregnant, a rehab facility that offers specialized addiction treatment services that address their particular needs is the ideal place to get the care they need.

The bottom line is that opioid addiction is not an addiction that can be self-treated at home. Those struggling with this type of addiction must seek professional help and commit to a recovery process that includes learning the skills that help with relapse prevention. This process generally starts with attending a 28-30 day in-patient rehab program and sometimes extends to as long as three months.

Where Can You Find Help for Opioid Addiction?

Whether you are located in Florida or not, you or your loved one can receive opioid addiction treatment at Florida Center for Recovery. Although we provide addiction treatment for both men and women we offer gender-specific therapies with specialized rehab programs for pregnant women, veterans, active-duty members of the military and first responders. In addition, we offer Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) for individuals diagnosed with psychological trauma and Chronic Relapse Program is available for individuals who have struggled to maintain recovery despite their previous attempts in treatment.

For information about Florida Center for Recovery opioid rehab program and to explore treatment options, feel free to give us a call at (800) 851-3291. You may also visit our addiction treatment programs’ page for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies.