The Relationship Between Sleep Disorders and Drug Addiction

Relationship Between Sleep Disorders and Drug Addiction

The human body requires adequate sleep to remain healthy. This drive to sleep well may be at the core of early drug abuse and stand in the way of recovery for many seeking drug addiction treatment.

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Why Is the First High Always the Strongest?

First High Always the Strongest

Do you remember the first time you rode a rollercoaster or did something adventurous? Do you remember feeling euphoric, almost as if you were on top of the world? Those feelings are truly irreplaceable. No matter how many rollercoasters you ride, nothing will be as exciting as the initial thrill.

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The Opioid Epidemic May Be Even Worse Than We Thought

By Peter Schorr, President

Every day, countless headlines and major news outlets hammer home the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic. But what we’re seeing on the front page may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The opioid overdose and death statistics come from numbers reported by hospitals and coroners—but those numbers may not always be accurate. As the Washington Post recently reported, some coroners will state the cause of death simply as an overdose, without stating the specific drug used. Because of this, opioid overdose deaths may be underreported by as much as 35%. While Native American and Alaska Native overdose death rates have increased fivefold over a six year span, these numbers may actually be even higher, since coroners sometimes misidentify the race of these groups on death certificates.

We also don’t know how many opioid overdoses are intentional suicides.

What we do know is that many families and communities are suffering as a result of this epidemic. We know there are people out there getting addicted to opioids everyday—or who may be dealing with an ongoing addiction and haven’t hit rock bottom yet. They are still getting up, going to work, and struggling silently with the shame and stigma of their disease. We know that children are losing their parents. Parents are overdosing with their children in the backseat. And some foster care systems are overwhelmed.

But these individuals, who are directly impacted by the opioid epidemic, aren’t being tracked by the CDC. Their problems are real, even if they can’t be reported in a statistic or mapped on a chart.

While we’ve made strides in bringing this crisis to the forefront of public consciousness, we can still do more. Let’s break down the stigma of addiction and shift the conversation so it’s fully recognized as a disease. From community education classes to changing the way doctors treat addiction and talking about the coexisting mental health disorders that can sometimes fuel this disease. This will encourage people struggling with addiction to get help, before they lose their kids—or become an overdose statistic.


Letting Go Of Unhealthy Relationships During and After Substance Abuse Treatment

Healthy relationships are vital to our emotional health and well-being. Conversely, unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships can be detrimental, acting as a destructive force in our lives. Toxic relationships can be particularly troublesome for those who are in or have recently completed substance abuse treatment and who thus may be in a particularly vulnerable state.

Sometimes the signs of an unhealthy relationship are obvious—extreme possessiveness or physical abuse, for example. In other cases the signs are more subtle, such as manipulation or passive-aggressive behavior.

How do you identify unhealthy relationships, and when it is appropriate to cut ties with a friend or romantic partner? What if the dysfunctional relationship is with a close family member? This eBook explores these and other questions and examines how and why we relate to others the way we do. Readers will learn about:

  • What constitutes healthy and unhealthy relationships with romantic partners, family members, and friendsLetting Go of Unhealthy Relationships During and After Substance Abuse Treatment Ebook
  • How unhealthy relationships can be detrimental for those in addiction recovery
  • Adult attachment theory, and different attachment styles
  • Common roles people assume in dysfunctional families
  • Why people stay in unhealthy relationships
  • How support groups can help provide the motivation to move on from unhealthy relationships

Download a free copy of our eBook today.

Download Ebook

Low Self-Esteem and How It Can Lead to Drug Addiction

People with low self-esteem can be at a greater risk for substance abuse and drug addiction problems. Self-esteem is how you view your self-worth and the level of confidence in yourself. Those with low self-esteem tend to be more influenced by those around them.

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How to Choose the Right Rehab Treatment Program


Selecting the right rehab treatment program and center should largely be based on your individual needs and requirements. You need to think about where you are on your road to recovery and in addressing your addiction problems.

If you are in the early stages, where you have come to the realization you need help, sometimes an inpatient program is the best place to start. Inpatient programs provide a structured, caring, and supportive environment to enable you to focus on your addiction.

On the other hand, if you have already gone through detox and are further along, outpatient programs ensure you maintain your sobriety. Even if you have a relapse, you will find the help and support you need to get back on track.

To learn more about how to choose the right rehab treatment program and center, we invite you to continue exploring and reading the following infographic. Afterward, if you have further questions or want to learn more about our inpatient and outpatient programs, please feel free to contact us directly at (855) 859-8810!

Choosing the Right Rehab Program Infographic

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Those in Recovery Can Say “This Is Me” to “This Is Us”

By Joseph Troncale, M.D.

As one of the highest-rated shows on television, “This Is Us” has become a must-see primetime drama in many American homes. While viewers enjoy the family dynamics and some of the unfolding mysteries, as an addiction treatment physician and a veteran, I appreciate how the show has been handling both substance abuse and the recovery process.

This season, we’ve seen a fairly realistic portrayal of how war trauma and flashbacks can play a role in addiction for veterans, as well as how alcohol abuse impacts families. We see flashbacks to Jack, the beloved family patriarch who struggles with alcoholism, serving time in Vietnam. While the show doesn’t directly correlate Jack’s time in the service with his current struggles—since he also grew up with a father who abused alcohol—this connection is something I see on a regular basis in treatment.

Combat veterans have high rates of subsequent substance use disorders and mental health issues. Trauma is psychologically incorporated as guilt and shame. Veterans may experience survivor’s guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or grief and loss from battle buddies being injured or killed. PTSD, depression, and traumatic brain injuries are also known as “co-occurring disorders.” One study of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans shows that 39 percent of them were likely suffering from alcohol abuse. In order to fully treat the addiction, these mental health issues need to be addressed at the same time.

Family plays a huge role in addiction—both for an individual’s treatment and their risk. We see Jack’s father suffering from alcoholism, which likely impacted Jack. We also see Jack’s son, Kevin, as a grown man working through his own substance abuse problems. Kevin enters a treatment program, goes through the steps, and makes amends to those he’s hurt. It’s a bumpy road, but his family supports him. And having family support is one of the biggest indicators that an individual’s recovery will be successful. Having witnessed his dad’s struggle, Kevin also adopts one of his dad’s hobbies, and uses handyman work as a way to help maintain his sobriety.

While not much screen time is given to Jack’s experience in Vietnam, it’s still a critical facet of his character. But it’s also a very real issue for veterans today. My colleagues and I have been working with the VA over the last year or two to make sure veterans have access to the care they need. We have met with numerous VA facilities to determine how we can work with individual VA hospitals and with the veterans themselves to get them into treatment. Not all VA hospitals operate with identical practices, so we have gone to great lengths to smooth out ways to get the veterans the transportation, medications, and follow up that they need in cooperation with the VA.

While veterans are in treatment, we try to integrate them into the larger treatment community, while at the same time recognizing them as respected men and women who have served this country and deserve special respect. I’m glad our veterans—as well as individuals in recovery—can turn on the TV and see their struggles reflected in a genuine way. This is us.



Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers Are Now In-Network with AvMed

Treatment facility now accepts new insurance plan


Palm Springs, Fla., March 7, 2018 – Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers announced it’s facility, Retreat at Palm Beach, is now in-network with AvMed health insurance for treatment program services.


“Retreat’s partnership with Avmed ensures that even more individuals fighting addictions and their families can gain access to the lifesaving treatment we provide. With the overwhelming opioid crisis affecting our communities, adding Avmed to our list of insurance carriers is more critical than ever,” stated Founder and CEO Peter Schorr, Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers. “It’s our responsibility as a good corporate citizen to help our communities become healthier and safer.”


AvMed joins Aetna, Blue Cross and other health insurance providers contracted with Retreat. As one of Florida’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health plans, this will benefit Florida residents who need to access care at Retreat’s Palm Beach County location.


“Retreat will continue to seek out relationships with major insurers to expand our reach and achieve our mission to provide a compassionate and spiritual environment for recovery,” said Schorr.

# # #


About Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers is a fully accredited rehabilitation center, which provides a compassionate and spiritual environment where those suffering from the disease of addiction can begin the journey to recovery through enlightenment and education to the individuals and their families. To meet the diverse treatment needs of patients, Retreat offers detox, rehabilitation, family education, holistic therapy, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and specialized programs for pregnant women, veterans and college students.


With its headquarters in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and a facility in Palm Springs, Florida, Retreat helps patients throughout the United States and accepts most insurance plans. It offers high-end accommodations, modern amenities and a recreational facility. Retreat hosts educational events regularly for public service officials and private sector professionals seeking continuing educational opportunities to facilitate awareness, encourage community involvement, and increase engagement. For more information, please visit or call 855.859.8808.





About AvMed

With headquarters in Miami and offices in every major metropolitan area of the state, AvMed transforms lives to create a WELLfluent world. By uniting around this sole purpose, we aim to inspire our 382,000 Floridian health plan Members to focus on health and happiness of the mind, body, and soul. Learn more at or visit our Facebook page to tag your WELLfluent life with #JointheWELLfluent.


How to Best Support a Recovering Addict: Questions to Avoid Asking

best support a recovering addict

People can seem insensitive to the recovering addict by asking the wrong types of questions, including:

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Triggers and Cravings in Addiction: Why People Relapse

Triggers and Cravings in Addiction

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong and ongoing process. Throughout your drug rehab and recovery processes, it is not uncommon to struggle with triggers and cravings.

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Quaaludes and Long-Term Side Effects

quaalude withdrawal and recovery

A Quaalude is a hypnotic drug. Known as methaqualone, it is a central nervous system depressant that triggers euphoria and drowsiness, similar to the description of diazepam use. A Quaalude high can also reduce heart rate and respiration and increase sexual arousal. In recent years, Quaaludes have become a focus of drug addiction.

What Is a Quaalude Today?

Quaalude’s street names included “disco biscuits” in the 1970s, with their popularity in discos and rock clubs. The nickname “ludes” is still in use today. Methaqualone was reclassified by the FDA as a Schedule I drug in the 1980s. Use has dropped in the United States but remains high elsewhere, such as in South Africa.

The Dangers of Quaaludes

Quaalude addiction is a danger for those who abuse it. In large doses, the drug can cause:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Pneumonia
  • Overdose (can be fatal)

This Quaalude’s effects video explains more about what the drug can do.

Aside from Quaalude recreational effects, withdrawal symptoms can be severe, requiring specialized drug rehab. Drug rehab centers look for muscle tremors, anxiety, irritability hyperthermia, tachycardia, nausea, hallucinations, and skin blisters common with barbiturate abuse. Difficulties with coordination and muscle control are common methaqualone long-term effects.


Abruptly stopping use triggers intense withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification can take seven to ten days.1 Sedatives and antidepressants may be prescribed to ease symptoms. Inpatient treatment may be used. As with alcohol rehab, recovery is life-long, focusing on rehabilitation and avoiding substance use.

For information, review our treatment options in Palm Beach County and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, or call (855) 859-8808 for immediate help.



Your Body on Painkillers

Your Body on Painkillers

Painkillers are designed to help alleviate pain from chronic and acute medical conditions. However, the use of prescription painkillers has become a serious problem over the past several decades. Doctors prescribe narcotic or opioid-based medications to patients for pain.

Patients take the medications to dull their pain and relieve their discomfort. As their bodies become used to the drugs, it requires more and more to achieve the same effects. Not to mention, simply discontinuing taking painkillers poses its own risks.

Furthermore, there are various short-term and long-term side effects that develop from the continued and ongoing use of various painkiller medications. While all painkiller medications can have risks of side effects, the ones from opioid-based painkillers seem to be quite common.

To learn more about how painkillers affect your body, along with short-term and long-term side effects, please feel free to continue exploring and reading the following infographic. Afterward, if you need help overcoming an addiction to painkillers or have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us directly at Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers today!

Your Body on Painkillers Infographic

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Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome for a Healthy Pregnancy

By Kristi Dively, D.O.,

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers

January 2018. For many moms, their biggest priority is seeing their kids grow up happy and healthy. They take folic acid, avoid raw fish, switch medications—all to give their babies the best start in life. But for moms-to-be who suffer from alcoholism, it’s not so simple. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and as an obstetrics gynecologist, I want to raise awareness of one type of birth defect that is completely preventable but still a huge risk for women with alcoholism: fetal alcohol syndrome.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is part of a range of conditions known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). These conditions are caused by drinking while pregnant. The effects can be physical, from abnormal facial features and shorter height, to cognitive impairments like poor memory or low IQ. A person with an FASD may also experience problems with their heart, kidneys, or bones. They could have difficulty in school. From infancy to adulthood, FASDs cause a variety of serious issues.

Developing the Baby Without the Addiction

If your daughter is pregnant, but still consuming alcohol, it’s important to let her know that there’s still time to get help. While it’s best for someone with alcohol dependency to go through the recovery treatment process prior to getting pregnant, it’s never too late in a pregnancy to stop drinking. A baby’s brain is developing throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy, though the first trimester is the most important.

Some addiction treatment centers don’t have the capability to support recovery for a woman in the later stages of pregnancy. Fortunately, there are a few select facilities like Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers that are able to admit pregnant women up to 32 weeks pregnant, and allows them to get the treatment they need before they are full term; most centers cannot treat until 32 weeks.

At Retreat, we work with local OB/GYNs to coordinate a patient’s recovery treatment plan with their prenatal care. For a pregnant woman, recovery from alcohol addiction or substance abuse can be monitored by a team of qualified professionals to ensure the health of mom and baby.

You can help your daughter and grandchild both during and after treatment. Family support is one of the best indicators that a patient’s addiction recovery will be successful with a reduced chance of relapse. Retreat brings families into the treatment process, providing the tools necessary to break old habits and start fresh.

For babies who may suffer from a FASD, early detection and treatment are the key to reducing symptoms and helping children grow and develop to reach their full potential.

New Year, New Beginnings

January is a month for new beginnings, especially for moms-to-be who are bringing a new life into the world. But she doesn’t have to do it alone. With the right care, she can keep her New Year’s Resolution of a safe and sober delivery.

If you are looking for guidance for a loved one or seeking treatment for substance abuse, connect with Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers for information online at, engage in a live chat, talk or private message us on our social media pages, or call 24/7 HELPLINE at (866) 470-8161.

About Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers is a fully accredited rehabilitation center, which provides a compassionate and spiritual environment where those suffering from the disease of addiction can begin the journey to recovery through enlightenment and education to the individuals and their families. To meet the diverse treatment needs of patients, Retreat offers detox, rehabilitation, family education, holistic therapy, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and specialized programs for pregnant women, veterans and college students.

With its headquarters in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and a facility in Palm Springs, Florida, Retreat helps patients throughout the United States and accepts most insurance plans. It offers high-end accommodations, modern amenities and a recreational facility. Retreat hosts educational events regularly for public service officials and private sector professionals seeking continuing educational opportunities to facilitate awareness, encourage community involvement, and increase engagement. For more information, please visit or call 855.859.8808.


How to Talk to Your Kids About Alcohol Use Disorder

Talk to kids about alcoholism

More than 18 million American adults struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD),1 and over 28 million Americans are children of parents with AUD.2 Dependency can cause a loss of control that affects behavior, health, and finances. Alcohol withdrawal is a difficult and potentially painful process, so drinking can impact family life in many ways.

Given the impact of alcoholism, you may need to break it to your children. You may be concerned they’ll start drinking or need alcoholism treatment later. Here are some tips to address the matter.

Consider Their Age

At different ages, children process information in different ways, but even young kids see what’s around them.

  • Under 10: Use examples and apply it to the current situation, allowing them to express feelings and fears.
  • Pre-teens: Be truthful and to the point; extensive details and lectures will turn them off.
  • Teens: Honesty is the best course, starting with the child’s perspective of an event.

Whether a parent is exhibiting unusual behavior, going through alcohol detox, or seeking therapy at alcohol treatment centers, consider these few points in communicating to your children:

  • Timing: Work on an ongoing conversation, rather than confrontations before bed or while they’re headed out the door.
  • Tone: Speak so a youngster is likely to pay attention and open up, rather than feel judged or disapproved.
  • Honesty: If speaking about drinking, and you drank at your child’s age, be upfront about it, so you come across as honest.
  • Rules: Establish rules and clear consequences if they’re broken; even though a teenager may test them, such guidelines provide a sense of security.

Contact us for information about alcoholism treatment and more at (855) 859-8808.



How to Stay Sober Through Your Medical Condition

Stay Sober Through Your Medical Condition

Staying sober after recovering from a drug or alcohol abuse problem can be difficult, especially if you’re also dealing with an illness or injury. The following are a couple of valuable tips for staying sober through your medical condition.

Have a Plan for Prescription Drugs

Even if you’ve never abused prescriptions in the past, you will be at a higher risk of abusing these during your recovery. To avoid this, make a detailed plan to avoid misusing them. Involve your physician in creating a plan or ask for alternatives (e.g., muscle stimulation (TENS) units, physical therapy, etc.). You might also ask a loved one to help you manage your meds, or check yourself into an inpatient substance abuse treatment program that can do this for you while you heal.

Maintain Honest Communication with Trusted Support Resources

Honesty is key. Let your doctors, support group, therapist, and other trusted individuals know if you are worried about abusing medications or self-medicating with alcohol or drugs due to your illness/injury. If you have a support group sponsor, personal mentor, or professional rehab specialist to talk to, check in with them regularly to discuss where you’re at and receive support and accountability.

Remain Firm About Avoiding Known Triggers

Knowing and avoiding one’s biggest substance abuse triggers is one of the best tools for maintaining sobriety. This is especially important when you’re already somewhat weakened by illness or injury. If there is a person, location, activity, or another element that reminds you of when you used to use or which tempts you to self-medicate, it is extremely important that you avoid these triggers while you recover from your condition.

Get Compassionate Inpatient Treatment at Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers

If you have a medical condition co-occurring with substance abuse, you need specialized care that considers your global health. Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers’ comprehensive inpatient treatment programs in Palm Beach County and Lancaster County can help you avoid risky situations and control prescriptions so that you can recover from addiction while addressing your medical concerns.

Visit either of our Palm Beach County or Lancaster County rehab locations or call us 24/7 at (855) 859-8808 to learn how we can help you build and maintain a sober future.

What to Do When Denial Stands in the Way of Addiction Recovery

drug denial behaviors

It’s painful to watch friends or family members struggle with addiction. You approach them, but they consistently rebuff your support, reject your advice, and refuse to consider rehab.

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: What Is It?

Risk from Alcohol Abuse

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a congenital disorder in which alcohol exposure causes brain tissue to be permanently lost during development in the womb. This tissue loss can result in small brain size and severe damage to key areas of the brain. While FAS does not occur in all cases where a mother drinks during pregnancy, the baby is still very susceptible to damage—especially during the first three months of development. If the mother is a heavy drinker, whether she’s an alcoholic or “just loves to party,” the risk of FAS increases drastically.

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Opioid National Health Emergency

Declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency is an important first step toward prevention, as public awareness and education can start the process.

However, I want to be clear that combating the opioid crisis is a long-term battle. Opioid addiction comes with terrible, long-lasting effects, and there is no overnight fix.

Like any other healthcare issue, it’s a matter of working toward a solution that:

  • Gives those suffering from the disease more time in treatment
  • Works to prevent relapse in those individuals
  • Offers individuals and their families great recovery care

At Retreat, we focus on more than just the addiction itself. We address the disease and mental health aspects of addiction and learn the cause of the behavior.

However, too often those suffering from addiction cannot access their insurance for longer-term or relapse treatment. That leaves countless people suffering from addiction with less time to recover, or worse, with no options to receive care.

We need to adopt the same attitude toward addiction that we have toward other diseases. When a patient has cancer and goes into remission, their health insurance can cover treatment services until the patient is cured. Coverage for extended addiction recovery treatment should work in the same fashion, bearing in mind that addiction is a chronic disease that cannot be treated permanently.

For this reason, the next step on the national stage should be an open dialogue with insurance companies to discuss long-term coverage for addiction treatment. Because addiction can affect anyone, we need to work toward solutions that serve all populations. This is a time for us to come together to rectify the rising health care costs ALL Americans are paying due to this national health epidemic.

What Happens After Treatment: Self-Care, Preparing, and Planning for Your Sober Future

how live sober life

When an addict comes home from rehab, a new life and a new journey are just beginning. This part of the process, recovery, can be uncertain, full of doubt, and even scary at times. In rehab, you were in a secure environment with constant support. Back at home, there are new stressors and challenges that can be overwhelming.

The battle against drug addiction is a lifelong feat, but with the right self-care, preparing, and planning, living a sober life is possible. Self-care in early recovery, especially the first 90 days, is crucial.

Practice Self-Care

In the past, your drug addiction took precedence. Now that you’re living a sober life, you’ll want to make yourself a top priority. This means eating a healthy diet, getting at least eight hours of sleep, and exercising regularly. Even a brisk walk gets your blood pumping!

Follow a Schedule

Having a structured schedule also makes recovery much easier. Eat meals at certain times and set a sleeping schedule. Set goals each day and strive to accomplish them. Following the same routine each day allows you to stay focused and undistracted.

Be Grateful

As simple as this sounds, focus on showing gratitude each day. Being grateful heightens positive emotions and can make you feel less lonely. No matter how stressful a day may be, there’s always something to be thankful for!

Attend Meetings

Outside of your home, attending support meetings can also help with living sober. You can attend recovery meetings where you can build a supportive network of peers. There are also outpatient programs that you can attend. Having a network of support makes recovery a little easier.

If you’re looking for an outpatient treatment program, look no further than Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers. We offer a compassionate environment and embrace holistic treatment. We have locations throughout Pennsylvania as well as Florida.

Contact us at (855) 859-8808 to start your recovery journey.

Emotional Phases of an Addict

Emotional Phases of an Addict

At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we’ve worked with addicts at every level of addiction. That’s why we know that every addict goes through several emotional phases during the drug rehab process. From complete emotional upheaval to serene peace and finding your center, we work hand in hand with addicts to develop coping skills and emotional literacy so they can live better lives.

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