Monthly Archives: August 2021

passive suicidal ideation

What is Passive Suicidal Ideation?

Passive suicidal ideation occurs when an individual has thoughts about death but does not actually make plans that include self-harm. In other words, a person may wish to be dead without taking action. For example, a person may dream about never waking up. Even though no plans are made for suicide, a person may still participate in risky behavior that can lead to harm.

Passive ideation may manifest as an intangible ache or episode of depression. Also, a person may feel lonely and hopeless. At Florida Center for Recovery, we understand that this is a psychological condition that requires treatment. Our staff is ready to help any individual who is battling depression or passive suicidal tendencies in addition to substance abuse.

Recognizing Depression Signs Through a Passive Suicidal State

In fact, many people who experience suicidal ideations give warning signals of depression. Therefore, it is important to pay attention and to try to help a person who exhibits signs.

  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Severe agitation
  • Change in eating habits
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Heightened risky behavior
  • Scars from past suicide attempts
  • Withdrawal from pleasurable activities
  • Giving away prized possessions

Causes of Passive Suicidal Ideation

Indeed, there are certain causes of passive suicidal thoughts. For example, an individual may have a general predisposition for this condition. In other words, being born into a family with a history of mental illness increases a person’s risk of experiencing suicidal tendencies. This includes passive suicidal ideation.

Also, scientists believe that having low levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain can heighten the likelihood of developing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A person’s environment plays a role as well. An individual who experiences repeated stressful life events is most likely to have suicidal ideation.

Passive Suicidal Ideation vs. Active Suicidal Ideation

Active suicidal ideation occurs when a person has suicidal thoughts and develops a plan to follow through with them. On the other hand, passive suicidal ideation includes suicidal thoughts without action. In fact, scientists believe that suicidal thoughts exist on a spectrum. For example, a person may merely feel helpless and wish negative experiences on himself or herself. Others may have an indifference with life and make plans to commit suicide.

When Does Passive Suicidal Ideation Become Active Suicidal Ideation?

Since passive suicidal ideation does not include action, many people believe that there is little risk of harm. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, a passive ideation situation may turn active without warning. This is especially true when something triggers mental health issues, including the loss of a loved one or a severe illness. Therefore, if a person suspects that a loved one has this condition, it is advised to get him or her professional help.

How to Measure the Risks of Suicide

A few clinical interviews and studies may help to measure the risks of suicide. For example, there is the Scale for Suicidal Ideation. Also, the Beck Depression Inventory-II is a helpful way of measuring risks. Although all of these consider unique factors, there are a few key risks that are assessed by both.

  • Risk Factors: Illness, trauma, and history of mental health are just a few risk factors that are important parts of a person’s mental stability.
  • Protective Factors: Having a means of protection lowers the risks of suicide. For example, having a safe and stable home environment, close friends and family, and fun hobbies can keep a person away from suicide.
  • Thoughts and Plans: If a person has had thoughts of suicide in the past, it signals a problem that may affect the future.
  • Warning Signs: Emotional distress, talk of suicide, and hopelessness can all signal problems.

Treatment for Passive Suicidal Tendencies

Passive suicidal thoughts indicate that a person is experiencing feelings of unhappiness. This means that it has a negative impact on his or her quality of life. So, receiving professional treatment may help to avoid fatal consequences.


Therapy is helpful for people with suicidal ideations. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy works well. It lowers depression, stabilizes a person’s mood, and raises the ability for a person to cope with different challenging situations.


When a person visits with a psychiatrist, this professional may prescribe medication to lower suicidal thoughts. For example, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention explains that there are at least 20 FDA-approved anti-depressants that effectively treat suicidal ideation. Even though certain medication brings side effects, the benefits may definitely outweigh the negatives.


Hospitalization is not always part of a treatment plan for suicidal ideation. However, it is essential if a person is placing himself or herself into dangerous situations or is exhibiting symptoms of self-harm. Generally, the goal of hospitalization is to stabilize a person’s mood and to refer a patient to treatments that involve therapy that can improve his or her mental health.

Co-Occurring Disorders

A co-occurring disorder is a condition that involves more than one mental or behavioral health disorder. For example, a person may suffer from depression in addition to a drug misuse problem. In such cases, a person’s substance abuse may actually feed their depression, which makes suicidal ideation worse.

Individuals who suffer from suicidal ideation along with substance use disorders should seek professional treatment from a facility that is familiar with dual diagnosis issues. This requires a specialized plan that may include therapy and medication. The goal is to help a person gain control, regain sobriety, and learn healthy ways to deal with his or her mental condition in the long term.

How Depression and Overall Heath are Related

The effects of depression extend beyond an individual’s mental state. In other words, it affects a person’s physical well-being as well. There are numerous physical symptoms of depression.

  • Weight Loss: Depression dampens a person’s appetite. Therefore, noticeable weight loss results.
  • Chronic Pain Many depressed individuals deal with chronic pain. For example, it is common to experience unexplained joint pain and muscle tenderness.
  • Heart Disease: Since a person with depression rarely has the motivation to exercise or to take care of his or her body, the sedentary lifestyle leads to heart disease and other cardiac issues.
  • Inflammation: There is scientific evidence that suggests stress and depression lead to inflammation in the body.
  • Decreased Sexual Performance: Depression causes a decrease in libido. For example, a person may have trouble with arousal or may be unable to enjoy a pleasurable sexual performance.
  • Insomnia: Depression often leads to sleep problems, including insomnia. As result, a person feels constant fatigue. Also, sleep deprivation is known to cause conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: It is common for a person with depression to experience digestive issues, including diarrhea or constipation. In fact, IBS is reported in a high number of individuals who suffer from depression.

How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts

When a person experiences passive suicidal ideation, it is essential to uncover things that help.

  • Therapy: In fact, this type of suicidal ideation may be a symptom of a different mental disorder. Visiting a certified therapist will help to identify and to control all issues.
  • Support: Having a support system in place is a great way to overcome suicidal thoughts. Also, there are support group meetings available with people who deal with similar thoughts.
  • Safety Plan: A safety plan keeps individuals from self-harming behavior. In detail, it should include the identification of triggers, ways to cope with the triggers, and people who can help during a mental crisis.
  • Self-Care: When an individual cares for his or her personal physical and mental health, suicidal ideation decreases. Eating correctly, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep are important self-care practices.
  • Mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness are two ways to relax and manage stress.

How Florida Center for Recovery Can Help

When a person is experiencing passive or active suicidal ideation, it is vital to seek treatment. At Florida Center for Recovery, we provide a comfortable environment that supports your mental and behavioral health needs.

Through our variety of treatment options, we increase the quality of a patient’s life and decrease his or her risk of harm. When an individual struggles with thoughts of suicide, it is important to comprehend the underlying problems and to learn positive ways to cope.

Our therapy options give patients the best chances of successfully overcoming issues. Even if a person is not actively seeking ways to harm himself or herself, this may change in the future. Therefore, it is helpful to know a place with experienced medical professionals who are ready to offer assistance. For more information, contact us today.


spirituality and addiction

Spirituality and Addiction Recovery

Addiction has an impact on every area of a person’s life. It affects a person’s family, friends, and finances while doing harm to that person’s physical, emotional, and psychological health. However, another aspect of an individual that sustains damage through addiction is spirituality. That’s where spirituality and addiction treatment and recovery step in.

A spiritual recovery from addiction supports the strength it takes to work through treatment, embrace recovery, and live sober. Spirituality and addiction are about choosing to believe in the value of one’s self, and one’s own contribution to the world. 

Often, it is hard to imagine the correlation between spirituality and addiction. This is partly due to the fact that the journey to spiritual recovery after addiction is a very personal one. Yet to appreciate a sober life, and all it has to offer, it’s helpful to reflect on the spirit within. 

Spirituality and Addiction Is Rewarding

From the very beginning of rehab after drug detox, individuals begin to search for meaning, without even realizing it. What triggers this sense of spiritual searching is the clarity of thoughts, which now comes from being sober. Sometimes it will feel as though something is missing, in the absence of intoxication or withdrawal

The truth is that something is missing, but it may take some time to figure out what it is though. This is especially true at the beginning of counseling and therapy because healing addiction and mental health is often a more obvious approach. Nevertheless, from the point of detox on, the search for personal meaning will become a priority. 

Spiritual recovery from addiction is rewarding. This is partly due to the fact that it fills in the space where someone new to recovery may initially feel empty. In fact, to some degree, it is necessary to have a spiritual recovery from addiction to maintain sobriety. 

Making significant change, like overcoming addiction, requires personal strength and determination. Prioritizing spirituality and addiction therapy simultaneously allows for one to reinforce the other. 

Holistic Rehab Treatment: Mind, Body, and Soul

During rehab, patients receive individual therapy so that they can work through their emotions and feelings. Holistic therapy is spirituality-based. Rehab’s traditional therapy and counseling aim to mend connections between addiction and mental health. Where spiritual recovery is more about balance and making a connection between spirituality and addiction. 

When addiction is allowed into a person’s life, it weaves its way into that person’s every thought, feeling, and behavior. It damages the mind on a mental and emotional level and the body on a physical and molecular level. However, one of the core areas of an individual that feels the effects of addiction’s hold is the soul. 

This doesn’t mean that people that suffer from addiction don’t have souls. It just means that people’s best selves are no longer in control. Battling with spirituality and addiction and the temptation of substance abuse will take every part of a person’s will and determination. 

Spirituality Is Individuality

Although many religions encourage spiritual practices of belief, spirituality doesn’t reciprocate religious requirements. Thus, people don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. 

Spiritual recovery from addiction doesn’t mean joining a religion and committing to worship. There is no mandatory God or deity that takes precedence when it comes to spirituality. Thus, spirituality and addiction treatment welcome all people of all beliefs, celebrating spirituality as one. 

A spiritual recovery from addiction focuses on tolerance and respect of others. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. Therefore, all types of people from all over the world with different beliefs suffer from addiction equally. 

Despite everyone with a substance use problem suffering from addiction in an equal manner, spirituality itself is personal and thus, very individual. This means that each person embraces spirituality in a different way, especially while recovering from addiction. Regardless, practicing self-awareness during spiritual recovery from addiction helps to heal from within while still giving oneself the ability to stay present and maintain the courage to continue. 

Different Methods To Focus on While Healing Spirituality and Addiction

There are different ways to focus on spiritual recovery from addiction, both during and after rehab. These different ways benefit a person’s mental health as well as his or her physical health. These different ways to focus on spirituality and addiction also contribute significantly in combination with other types of addiction therapies

For some, the conformity of religion provides security and a sense of spirituality. For example, when it comes to the religion of Christianity,  individuals feel a sense of spirituality while worshiping the One Almighty Being.

Through worship and prayer, most Christians uphold their faith and place it as a top priority through spirituality and addiction treatment. However, even those that are not particularly religious have spiritual-reinforcing rituals. 

Others may choose to focus on the development of self-awareness and the energy of all things rather than just focusing on physical things. By finding and maintaining their “center” through holistic therapy, spiritual recovery from addiction is achieved.

Meditation and The Work of Mindfulness

Holistic and spiritual practices like meditation and yoga can help people become aware of the strength within themselves. Those same spirituality and addiction recovery practices can even heighten the senses to nature in the surroundings. 

Reinforcing the power of the mind over addiction is important. For example, when in need of stress relief, simply sitting mindfully can have an enormous impact on rediscovering inner strength. 

Spirituality and Addiction Recovery Provides Purpose 

The time spent in residential rehab is designed to provide addicts with the skills and tools for recovery. Temporarily taking time away to focus on mental health, physical well-being, and spirituality and addiction treatment heals the whole person. What’s more, is to be able to live a rewarding sober lifestyle with purpose and pride after inpatient rehab. But after having suffered with chronic substance abuse, rediscovering forgotten personal capabilities is not always an easy thing to do. 

Luckily, spiritual recovery from addiction has the ability to restore confidence in people and give them purpose. By developing and strengthening a bond with forces greater than themselves, whether the universe, Prana, God, etc., spirituality encourages perspective. Separating the selfishness that resides within addiction from the humility of spirituality, carves a path of peace and forgiveness between people involved in both. 

Spiritual Recovery From Addiction Discourages Relapse

Although it’s not mandatory to strengthen spiritual recovery from addiction, those who do so have lower chronic relapse rates. Considering that relapse is a potential threat for anyone recovering from addiction, repeatedly doing so suggests that something is missing. Usually, this means revisiting treatment programs and therapies to develop better coping skills. 

Sometimes chronic relapse uncovers repressed trauma or underlying mental illness that went undiagnosed, such as in co-occurring disorders. Typically, following detox, individuals will have opportunities to work with therapists who will evaluate them for psychological illness. This is part of treating the individual as a whole, in support of long-lasting recovery. 

Sobriety can be difficult for anyone, some more than others. It’s especially difficult for those who feel out of balance with the new sober world they now exist in. Spiritual and addiction recovery aims to encourage a smooth transition out of rehab and into sober living. By incorporating every angle into rehab, including holistic treatment, and spirituality and addiction therapy, the likelihood of chronic relapse declines. 

Spiritual Recovery Draws Strength From Within

Spiritual recovery from addiction highlights an individual’s ability to draw strength from within to conquer substance abuse. This opens the door for independence, and the powerful capacity to manage emotions in the face of temptation. 

Spirituality and addiction, despite being opposites, often fluctuate together. Where one gains momentum, the other weakens its hold. Individuals without the encouragement or opportunity to achieve spiritual recovery from addiction frequently lose sight of the importance of sobriety.

Strength In Recovery Through Spiritual Healing

The practice of maintaining a healthy spiritual relationship with the world and with oneself is a delicate balance. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be perfected to be of value to an individual. No matter where a person is starting his or her personal spiritual endeavor, practicing mindfulness and appreciation for the present has merit. 

The practice of spirituality is often incorporated along with trauma therapy, to aid in emotional healing during addiction rehab. Trauma is one of the most common triggers of relapse. In fact, trauma often causes people to start to abuse substances to begin with. While treating trauma and addiction can be particularly difficult, it’s very essential for one’s well-being after rehab. 

Using spiritual recovery from addiction to heal through traumatic experiences is a personal endeavor. For each individual, the method to get to a healthy spiritual place may be different or require different beliefs. However, what does help in all cases is the reminder to exist within the present. Being confident and proud of the progress made and having courage and faith to continue making improvements yields strength of character. 

Mindful Reflection During Rehab

While attending addiction programs at rehab, it will be helpful to set aside time to focus on spirituality and addiction. To do this, take time to quietly review what has been discussed or shared each day while you’re in rehab. Then, apply it to your life and the changes you are making. This allows for each moment and session at rehab to become even more personalized. 

Allowing this time for quiet thought cultivates perspective and expectations of sobriety for each individual. Setting realistic goals and celebrating each achievement is always encouraged on the road to recovery though. By extending spiritual exercises like the ones that we just discussed into a space of mindful reflection, it strengthens confidence in the ability to continue. 

Elevating Each Other Through Spirituality and Addiction

A good portion of therapy sessions at rehab will take place among peers. Often within group therapy or peer counseling sessions, where sharing with others is predominant. 

Spiritual practice also contributes as a rewarding opportunity to open up with others, by encouraging patience and acceptance. Sharing ideas and thoughts allows each person to be both teacher and student, creating dynamics within relationships. 

Once out of rehab and reintegrating within society, many new relationships can be formed using these same practiced principles. Having the patience and courage for one’s self and the tolerance and respect for others makes for meaningful relationships. This can mean having a quality support system, or even successful business connections.

Spirituality Can Be Taken With You

Like many of the lessons and coping tools that can be implemented in life after rehab, spirituality has no limits. Prayer or mindful moments can be visited anywhere and applied to every area of recovery at any time. 

After rehab has ended, maintaining the relationship cultivated with yourself will be an important part of trusting your own sobriety. When moments of vulnerability or temptation arise, turning within to remind yourself of the bigger picture will help you get through it. In fact, all personal relationships contribute toward a valuable life experience in recovery. 

It’s because of this that family therapy is encouraged even after rehab to repair and forgive. Sometimes even though the focus is placed on working through these relationships after addiction, forgiving yourself is part of recovery as well.  

Trust The Process Of Spirituality and Addiction

Relying on your inner voice of guidance takes time and practice. No one is expected to conquer spirituality and addiction overnight. But just like anything, the more you try, the better at it you will become. 

Overcoming addiction is not an easy thing to do for anyone, but for everyone, it is worth it. Being able to look to a higher source of power, or towards the strength within, leaves less desire for relapse

Relying on faith may not be the only thing needed to get sober, but it certainly does help. Find out how your spirituality and addiction are affecting the other, and how to find balance at rehab today. Wasting another day on substance is just another day, wasting away. Get help getting help now, and someday, you will look back and thank yourself. 

wet brain symptoms

What You Need to Know About Wet Brain Disease

Heavy drinking can cause severe problems to a person’s mind and body as time goes on. What may start as mild wet brain symptoms can escalate to irreversible damage like wet brain disease. Wet brain disease is a disorder that affects several parts of a person’s memory, coordination, vision, and other elements. This can end up being a life-threatening disease if left untreated. 

Wet brain disease is one of the many consequences of heavy drinking. As time goes on these symptoms can end up becoming more severe. This is why it’s important to look towards professional treatment when dealing with alcoholism. At Florida Center for Recovery, we offer a wide variety of treatment options with you in mind. Don’t wait for things to get worse, get help now. 

What is Wet Brain Disease?

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS), also called wet brain, is a brain disorder made up of two conditions. Wet brain disease can end up being life-threatening in some cases. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is the first part of WKS. This is a condition that causes the wet brain symptoms of loss of coordination, irregular eye movements, vision problems, and more. Wet brain is considered a temporary condition much of the time. 

The second part of WKS is Korsakoff’s psychosis is a persistent condition that directly affects a person’s learning and memory. This can become so severe that a person may be unable to function normally on a daily basis. Both of these conditions make up WKS or wet brain disease. 

WKS is referred to as ‘wet brain’ because of its association with heavy alcohol abuse (for years). While only a small percentage of people may develop WKS, those who heavily drink are at a much greater risk. 

What Are Some Wet Brain Symptoms?

Wet brain symptoms usually come about because of thiamine deficiency. This is one of the many symptoms that come with intense drinking on a frequent basis. As a result of this, a person may develop wet brain disease because of malnutrition or other conditions as a consequence of alcohol abuse. 

Research shows that nearly 80% of those who heavily drink end up becoming thiamine deficient. Wet brain disease is only diagnosed if a person is feeling wet brain symptoms while they are sober. 

As described, WKS is comprised of two separate conditions, each with differing wet brain symptoms. WKS in general can end up wreaking havoc on a person’s mind and life. With continued heavy drinking comes a higher risk of developing WKS. 

The wet brain symptoms of Wernicke Encephalopathy include the following:

  • Lowered body temperature
  • Intense fatigue 
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle atrophy and weakness
  • Twitching eyes
  • Trouble keeping balance
  • Poor reflexes

Symptoms of Korsakoff Psychosis include: 

  • Hallucinating
  • Problems with vision
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble walking, keeping balance, and overall coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Forgetfulness and frustration
  • Shifts in personality 
  • Difficulty learning new things or building memories

Together these two conditions create the symptoms of wet brain disease (WKS). Additionally, a person will also suffer from all the other withdrawal symptoms that come with frequent alcohol use. 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include shaking, sweating, nausea, anxiety, and even brain damage. Some people may be more vulnerable to developing WKS since wet brain disease has some genetic factors. 

The Connection Between Wet Brain and Alcoholism

As an essential nutrient, thiamine is used throughout the body for essential tasks. This particular nutrient is usually received through a person’s diet. Without it, a person’s body can become affected, particularly in the heart, brain, and nerves. Heavy drinking has been connected to thiamine deficiency, which can lead to wet brain disease. 

Chances are if a person is heavily drinking on a regular basis, that person probably isn’t getting a balanced and healthy diet. More specifically, that person may not be getting enough thiamine in his or her diet. 

Thiamine is a crucial part of a healthy and balanced life. Without it, a person becomes at risk to develop wet brain disease and other disorders. 

There are other ways that a person may fail to get thiamine in his or her system properly. For one, heavy alcohol consumption tends to affect a person’s digestive tract. This alone can cause issues when the body attempts to absorb thiamine.

Wet brain disease can even up being life-threatening if a person with it doesn’t get help. Thiamine is an essential part of the body and is partly responsible for converting sugar into energy (along with other functions). If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, don’t wait to get help. Florida Center for Recovery is here for you. 

Can you Reverse the Effects of WKS?

In some cases, wet brain disease can be reversible, however, this is dependent on a few factors. A person’s wet brain symptoms may vary in severity depending on how early a person gets wet brain treatment. As with many conditions, the earlier someone gets treatment the better.

Making a full recovery from wet bran disease is possible, even though it is rare. A person may have improved wet brain symptoms within 5-12 days with thiamine therapy. This is why it’s important to look into wet brain treatment and addiction treatment in general. A person must be willing to recover from both wet brain disease and alcohol addiction if he or she wishes to live a healthier and happier life down the line. 

Wet Brain Treatment

One of the main strategies with wet brain treatment is to supplement thiamine in a person’s body. It’s important to be abstinent from alcohol while being treated for wet brain disease as being sober will increase the chances of successful recovery. 

Since wet brain disease tends to come about from thiamine deficiency, wet brain treatment focuses on supplementing thiamine and helping increase its levels. By helping increase this number, thiamine supplementation can help decrease the severity of certain wet brain symptoms such as eye function, memory difficulties, coordination, and confusion. 

It’s best to get help to treat wet brain disease sooner rather than later. Even with wet brain treatment, it’s important to take care of the root of the issue though, which is excessive alcohol and drug use. 

Alcoholism and drug addiction can end up causing WKS along with other more severe conditions. This is why turning oneself into a rehab facility like Florida Center for Recovery is worth it. 

Treatment Options for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism

Alcohol continues to be one of the most widely abused drugs in the world. What may start off as normal drinking can end up becoming a vicious pattern of abuse. Every year millions of people end up developing an addiction and dependence on alcohol

Alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, is a condition that occurs when a person can no longer control how much he or she drinks. People that suffer from alcoholism also have chemical changes made to their brains due to excessive drinking. 

Alcoholics even suffer from withdrawal symptoms whenever they minimize or discontinue their use of the substance. When a person exhibits withdrawal symptoms whenever he or she minimizes or discontinues his or her alcohol use, it means that the person is dependent on alcohol to function.  

WKS is one of the many consequences that may come about from heavy drinking on a regular basis. If you or someone you know has lost control of drinking to the point where it’s affecting your life, it’s time to get professional help. 

The Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Use Disorder

Before someone can overcome addiction, that person must take the first step towards receiving professional help. To do this, someone must acknowledge the fact that a person is suffering from an alcohol use problem in the first place. That’s why it’s so important to understand the red flags that signal an alcohol use disorder. 

If someone is showing the following signs, that person may have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder red flags may include:

  • Failure to limit alcohol consumption
  • Continuing to drink even if it is causing harm and difficulty in other areas of their lives 
  • Spending a lot of time recovering from alcohol or drinking alcohol
  • Having a desire to cut down on drinking but being unable to
  • Worsened performance at school, work, or home life
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms including nausea, shaking, sweating, and other problems
  • Becoming tolerant to drinking (meaning more is needed to feel its desired effects)
  • Intense cravings to drink alcohol

Treating Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism

While alcoholism can have negative impacts on a person’s life, it’s always possible to turn things around. At Florida Center for Recovery, we offer many different treatment options to accommodate all of our clients. 

As with all cases of addiction, there are different methods of dealing with drug and alcohol abuse.  Below are the standard methods:

Alcohol use disorder typically starts with detox. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of purging the body of substances (drugs and alcohol). After the detox process is done, a person usually moves on to more individualized treatment (individual and group therapy for example). 

Don’t Wait to Get Professional Help

Wet brain disease can be an extremely dangerous and severe condition, one that can come about from alcoholism. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction, it may be time to get help. Florida Center for Recovery is here to help you towards a better, brighter life. Give us a call today to learn more about our services. 

designer drugs

What Are Designer Drugs and What Do They Do?

You have probably heard the term “designer drug” before. But do you know what they are or where they come from? The term “designer drugs” refers to drugs that are created in a lab. By using chemistry, a designer drug is made by changing the characteristics of an illegal drug like cocaine, morphine, or marijuana. 

People make designer drugs to imitate the effects of illegal drugs. However, they are chemically different from illicit drugs so they can avoid being classified as illegal. The result is a “designer” drug that typically has a new and different effect on the brain or behavior.

Types of Designer Drugs

  • Spice (synthetic cannabinoids)
  • Bath salts (synthetic stimulant)
  • N-bomb (synthetic hallucinogen)

The Danger of Designer Drugs

Because people make designer drugs in illegal labs, their ingredients and strength can vary a lot. This makes it almost impossible to know what is actually in them or what they can do to you. 

Harmful effects are common and often present an array of psychiatric and medical effects which may be severe such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Psychosis (loss of contact with reality)
  • Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate)
  • Death 

Unknown Contents

There is growing international anxiety about the synthetic imitations of controlled substances being manufactured and distributed to get around drug laws and avoid penalties. These substances are specifically marketed for recreational use by getting around the existing controlled substance laws. 

Individuals often package designer drugs with labels that falsely describe the contents. These labels may vary significantly when it comes to their chemical content and strength. 

People frequently package designer drug labels packages as “not for human consumption” in an attempt to avoid legal liability. Designer drug use has increased in the past decade, particularly amongst young adults. This increase in designer drug use is causing significant problems.

Who Uses Designer Drugs?

People sometimes refer to designer drugs as “legal highs” or “club drugs” because of the popularity of their use in nightclubs. Teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties tend to use designer drugs. Young adult males in their mid to late 20s use designer drugs the most. People who use designer drugs tend to be single and have lower levels of education and income.

  • Synthetic cannabinoids (Spice) has a higher usage among:
  • Regular marijuana users
  • University and high school students
  • Dance club participants
  • Bath Salts (synthetic amphetamine) have a comparably lower usage rate than Spice.
  • The overall use rate of N-bomb is very low in the United States.


The increasing popularity of designer drugs is associated with novelty, marketing, and accessibility. People tend to package designer drugs in an attractive and colorful manner, with tempting names for the products to lure younger individuals into trying them. There are no age restrictions when it comes to the use of designer drugs. This fact also makes designer drugs attractive to younger users.

The wide availability of designer drugs, which include sales over the internet, also contributes to the expanded use of these types of substances The marketing of designer drugs as “legal high” drug alternatives might also contribute to the impression of greater safety or purity compared to typical illicit drugs. 

Risk Factors for Young Adult Use

  • Parents with substance use disorders (SUDs)
  • Poor family relationships
  • Lack of discipline
  • High family conflict
  • Involvement in the criminal justice system
  • Involvement in foster care

Effects of Designer Drugs

Increased calls to US poison control centers by designer drug users first caused people to identify this type of drug. The volume of designer drug use problems in emergency departments, hospitals, and other medical settings is unknown. Furthermore, most people still don’t know that much about designer drugs. Below is some of the little-known information about some designer drugs.

Bath Salts (synthetic stimulants)

Most designer stimulants are based on cathinones, a natural herbal stimulant. The designer substituted cathinones are part of the larger family of stimulants that includes:


Most people snort designer stimulants. People can also consume designer drugs orally or through injections into the veins or muscles.


Designer drug effects generally start 10 to 20 minutes after dosing, peak at about 45 to 90 minutes, last 2 to 3 hours, and decrease over 6 to 12 hours.

  • Increased energy 
  • Higher alertness
  • Better concentration
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Empathy
  • Mood enhancement
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Delusions
  • Possibility of developing a substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Kidney impairment


People that repeatedly use bath salts develop a tolerance to the substance. This means that it takes more and more bath salts to produce the effects that a user got when he or she first started using them. This is indicated by the link between the frequency of bath salt use and the larger amount of bath salts consumed. 

When a bath salt chronic user tries to quit, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Nasal congestion

Spice (synthetic cannabinoids)

Many times, synthetic cannabinoid (SC)-containing products used recreationally include singles or mixtures of different SC compounds. They are sprayed on pulverized plant material of unknown content to make it look like potpourri or incense. “Spice” now usually applies to all products that contain SC, despite their branding.


Although people can consume them orally or by snorting, people usually smoke SCs through water pipes, cigarettes, or bowls. 


Effects typically start within 10 minutes of inhaling and most effects appear to diminish 2 to 6 hours after use.

  • Mood altering
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Carcinogenic effects
  • Adverse effects on the lungs due to the inhalation of unidentified plant material
  • Development of a tolerance and withdrawal syndrome


Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those experienced in marijuana withdrawal including:

  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Drug cravings
  • Loss of focus
  • Sweating, including cold sweats
  • Depression
  • Nausea

N-bomb (synthetic hallucinogens)

Synthetic designer hallucinogens have a similar chemical structure to MDMA and first became popular in 1991.


  • Inhalation of vapor
  • Snorting
  • Swallowed in pill form
  • Injection
  • Sublingual (dissolved under the tongue on blotter paper)


The effects of N-bombs are similar to the effects of LSD and psilocybin. Effects may occur rapidly after nasal use and peak at about 20 minutes. A wide duration range of 3 to 13 hours has been reported and agitation can last for several days.

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Stimulant effects
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • effects are not known


Symptoms may include:

  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Agitation
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extremely high blood pressure

Challenges for Drug Testing

Although lab testing is expanding, standardized testing for designer drugs is not yet available in most clinical settings and labs. The problem is multiplied by the different contents, concentrations, and chemical makeup of the drugs, which can vary between and within products. It is a common practice for makers of designer drugs to modify, substitute, and alter substances to evade legal restrictions.

Individuals often report that the lack of detection on standard urine drug screening tests is a prime reason for the use of designer drugs. For example:

  • people under supervision by the criminal justice system may use designer drugs to avoid detection by probation officers. 
  • members of the military where soldiers referred for addiction treatment are identified through urine screening may use designer drugs

Overdose or Acute Intoxication

There are no medications that treat designer drug poisoning. Activated charcoal can help treat designer drug poisoning if the drug was orally ingested. Nevertheless, most physical symptoms of a designer drug overdose appear to be limited. Such designer drug overdose symptoms can clear up within one to several days of supportive treatment.

Psychosis due to SCs and N-bomb intoxication can be managed with: 

For some patients, extreme severity of designer drug intoxication justifies admission to critical care with continuous cardiac monitoring, neurological evaluations, and IV fluids.

How Do You Treat Addictions to Designer Drugs?

Long-term treatment of addiction to designer drugs can be challenging and is complicated by the lack of evidence to guide the treatment. However, treatment involves similar elements to that of other types of addiction.


People can use medications to treat designer drug withdrawal symptoms. There are no specific medications for the treatment of addiction to any designer drugs.

Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

 Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented form of therapy that addresses the connection between an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. CBT focuses on changing people’s negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors into positive ones.  

Dialectical behavioral therapy 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a behavioral therapy that focuses on helping individuals accept their negative thoughts and emotions. That way one’s negative thoughts and emotions don’t have the power to cause people to form negative behaviors. 

Psychotherapy (talk therapy)

Individual counseling

During individual counseling, individuals work one on one with a counselor in a confidential setting to uncover emotions and feelings that may have led to their addictions. 

Group counseling

During group counseling, a group of individuals work with one or two counselors to discuss issues related to addiction, set goals, and offer one another relapse prevention advice. Participants are able to learn different perspectives from other members.

Family therapy

When one member of a family has a substance use disorder, everyone is affected. Family therapy involves helping members of an individual’s family understand addiction and how it has affected the workings of the family. The goal of family therapy is to try to mend the relationships that have been damaged by addiction.

Designing a Treatment Plan

Are you addicted to designer drugs? Is someone close to you addicted to designer drugs? This is an insidious, creeping problem in the U.S. these days. Designer drugs are legal and hard to detect in drug tests. But the effects are fairly obvious. Here at Florida Center for Recovery (FCR), we have the experience to treat your designer drug addiction.

We offer detox services that can help you ease your withdrawal symptoms if necessary. We also offer treatment programs that are individualized for each patient. Our individualized treatment programs are also specialized to treat addictions to a wide variety of substances. 

Florida Center for Recovery is located on the Treasure Coast of Florida, but you don’t have to be a resident of Florida to benefit from FCR. Our nationally renowned treatment center is known to treat individuals across the country.  So what are you waiting for?! Contact us today to overcome your drug addictions and get your life back on track! 


seasonalaffective disorder treatment

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment In Fort Pierce, Florida

As the days become shorter and the weather becomes cooler, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Commonly and appropriately shortened to SAD, this disorder leaves people feeling sad or down. When it co-occurs with other issues, such as addiction, the effects can be even worse. Proper seasonal affective disorder treatment is essential.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Most people feel down from time to time, but when negative feelings and symptoms persist, it may be depression. Most people feel down from time to time, but when negative feelings and symptoms persist, it may be depression. SAD is a form of depression that mainly manifests itself when there is less daylight. People who notice significant changes in their mood and desire to function during the cooler months of the year may have this disorder. In the northern hemisphere, January and February are the two months when symptoms are worse.

Most people in the northern hemisphere who suffer from SAD notice that their symptoms improve greatly during the spring or summer. Because SAD is associated with cooler weather and shorter days, it is commonly called winter depression. However, some people have summer-pattern SAD, but it is rare.

Signs And Symptoms Of SAD

The symptoms of SAD usually start mild and increase in severity. These are some of the most common SAD symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping at night.
  • Perpetually low energy levels.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Frequent negative thoughts, including thoughts of suicide or death.
  • Loss of interest in normal activities, such as work, family, and social life.
  • Continual and lasting feelings of depression.
  • Sluggishness and agitation every day.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness.

Effects Of SAD

The combined effects of SAD can lead to worsening depression. For example, a person commonly feels fatigued and may oversleep. The oversleeping, often combined with colder weather that makes exercising seem more challenging, may disrupt an exercise regimen. People tend to eat more as well because of depression, and they gain weight. The combined effects that lead to worsening depression are only the start of a person’s problems in some cases. When the unpleasant physical and psychological effects of depression start to affect a person, the individual may turn to substances to cope.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a dysfunction that is considered a chronic and relapsing brain disease. It happens when someone is unable to stop using a substance. Although researchers had a poorer understanding of it in the past, they now know how it works and why treatment is so important. When a person uses a substance that is prone to creating a tolerance, they need more of it to achieve the same effects. As they take more of the substance in larger doses and more often, it damages the brain and alters how it sends and receives signals.

Those signals are critical for making decisions. The strong urge that people feel to use more of a substance may lead them to steal or even hurt others to obtain more. Since the portions of the brain that are responsible for higher reasoning and judgment experience negative effects, people demonstrate behaviors that they may not normally show. Brain changes are visible on imaging scans. The negative changes can last even after a person stops using a substance and it is no longer in the bloodstream.

When people try to detox on their own, they often wind up relapsing. What makes this especially dangerous is that they often require a larger dose to feel the same effects, and some people take a dangerous or fatal overdose. Professional treatment and supervised detox are important for properly treating addiction and staying in recovery.

Signs And Symptoms Of Addiction

The signs and symptoms of addiction can vary from one person to another. The signs and symptoms of addiction can vary from one person to another. However, loved ones or people who know someone who has an addiction usually notice distinct changes. There are often changes that are physical and emotional. These are some common signs and symptoms:

  • Poorer performance at school or work.
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships, including family, work, and friends.
  • Frequent and unexpected mood swings may include violent behavior.
  • Feeling unable to stop using a substance even if it is a prescription that is no longer necessary to use.
  • New or complicated legal problems.
  • New financial problems due to using or seeking a substance.
  • Unusual lethargy or talkativeness.
  • Changes in weight or personal hygiene.
  • Guarding a drawer, bag, purse, box, or other specific items closely.
  • Acting unusually secretive or disappearing for hours.
  • Missing a lot of work or taking long and frequent breaks.

The combination of symptoms also may depend on the type of substance a person uses. For example, substances that relax people, such as painkillers, can lead to lethargy. However, stimulants give people more energy, which can cause them to be excessively talkative. 

Just one or two symptoms may or may not always indicate a problem. For example, a person who takes frequent breaks at work and loses weight quickly may have a different type of health problem. It helps to observe the situation, and when it is time to seek help, it is good to contact a treatment facility.

Dangers of SAD And Addiction As Co-Occurring Disorders

About 20% of people in the United States who have a mood disorder also have a substance use disorder. The effects of untreated depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are so unbearable for some people that they turn to alcohol or drugs. With the right treatments, many people can alleviate the negative symptoms without dangerous substances.

When people turn to a substance to treat SAD, they may develop an addiction. For many people, SAD symptoms only persist throughout the fall and winter. However, if a person develops an addiction to a substance, the addiction will remain even if the negative feelings start to subside. In some cases, mental health disorders can develop as a result of prolonged substance misuse.

Why Treatment of SAD And Addiction Together Is Important

Treating both disorders together helps reduce the risk of relapse. Treating one issue leaves the problems associated with the other issue unaddressed. Someone who only seeks addiction treatment and feels better during the summer may relapse late in the fall when the untreated SAD symptoms reappear. Since substance misuse can cause long-term effects on the brain, relapsing can be harmful. Additionally, it causes other forms of harm, such as financial trouble, strained family relationships, and more.

Professionals know how to treat SAD and addiction together. They use a variety of therapeutic approaches, such as CBT, DBT, and others. CBT and DBT help people identify the reasons for their behavior and find their addiction triggers, and the therapies help them modify behaviors or deal with triggers. Therapists use counseling, nutrition, exercise, alternative therapies, and medications to help people stay in recovery and manage SAD symptoms.

How To Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Multiple useful therapies can help people with SAD. Anyone who is considering turning to a substance can benefit more from trying a healthier therapy. Professionals often recommend using light therapy, mind-body connection techniques, psychotherapy, and medications to manage the symptoms of SAD.

Light therapy devices mimic natural sunlight to boost a person’s mood. Psychotherapy helps people discover the reasons for their feelings and ways to change negative thoughts or behaviors. Mind-body connection involves relaxation, guided imagery, music, or other alternative therapies that boost mood. Using a combination of these and other techniques, professionals teach people how to overcome the seasonal affective disorder.

Overcoming seasonal affective disorder is a process that a person must take each year. If the symptoms only persist for a few months, it is important to be proactive and start taking steps to prevent symptoms or combat them as soon as they start each year. Since they can persist longer with some people, it is especially important to work with a therapist who regularly evaluates changing needs.

Addiction And Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment In Florida

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and seasonal affective disorder, Florida Center for Recovery is here to help. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and seasonal affective disorder, Florida Center for Recovery is here to help. Our Fort Pierce facility welcomes residents and people from other parts of Florida. We have a compassionate team of professionals who understand the unique struggles of addiction, the unique struggles of depression, and how co-occurring disorders negatively affect one another.

We have a personalized approach to treatment and thoroughly evaluate each person’s specific needs. With a multi-therapy approach, we treat mind, body, and spirit. Our professionals use the right medications or methods for each person’s mental health needs. 

When it comes to addiction, our goal is to help people avoid relapse by treating every issue at the same time. We teach people the strongest strategies for beating the cycle of addiction. To learn more about addiction and seasonal affective disorder treatment in Florida, please contact us.