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#SECONDCHANCES: This Thanksgiving, I’m free of the alcohol and the painkillers. That’s a lot to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on gratitude. Retreat asked three alumni to author a collection of original columns explaining why our leading substance abuse treatment gave them a second chance at life. The result is our special series, #SecondChances.

By Celeste W., 44, a former Retreat patient in Lancaster County, PA

Inpatient Drug Rehab Florida

This Thanksgiving, I am Free

For 14 years, I taught special education to elementary and high school students in Pennsylvania.

Little did those kids realize that, as I stood at the front of the classroom lecturing for nearly a decade and a half, I was drunk in nine out of ten of those classes.

You see, I’m a recovering alcoholic. Like most people suffering from addiction, I brought traces of the disease with me everywhere I went — including the classroom.

I didn’t do it because I wanted to subject my students to a drunken teacher or an unsafe learning environment. I didn’t have any other choice; the disease had fully consumed me. If I didn’t drink, I couldn’t function. It was just that simple.

How I started drinking

I first came to the disease when I was about 17 years ago. My then-boyfriend and I did a lot of drinking together — and his temper, mixed with my belligerence when I drank, was a tempestuous combination. Eventually, a few years later, I found out that this man whom I was convinced I was going to marry had actually been seeing another woman, and we cut off the relationship. I was devastated.

That’s when my drinking really took off. Sure, my friends were concerned, and from time to time they even spoke up and voiced their fears for my well-being, but the rage I met their questions with always quieted them down. No one was going to get between me and my liquor.

Alcohol just made me feel so right. I loved who I was when I was buzzed — I was convinced that could communicate better with men, was bubblier in social settings. I even felt like I was skinnier and looked prettier. If someone told you, you could have all that just by taking a sip of some sort of magic potion, wouldn’t you?

In college, getting my hands on seemingly unlimited supplies of alcohol was like child’s play. It got more difficult when I moved back in with my parents after I graduated though, and I’d have to sneak bottles of vodka upstairs to my room or raid my dad’s stock of beers, without them noticing. It wasn’t easy to conceal my habits from their watchful gaze.

Spiraling downward

Through my 20’s and 30’s, my drinking got worse and, like most gateway drugs, opened up a gateway to more dangerous experimentation with substances. I started mixing drugs together to experience new kinds of highs, and eventually even tried crystal meth. That was the pinnacle of my substance abuse, and it caused my parents to stop speaking to me for half a year; they were so distraught by the things I had done to myself.

In 2001, I met my husband Mark, a firefighter, and EMT who swept me off my feet. Within three months of meeting Mark, I had gotten pregnant with our daughter Morgan, and we knew we had no alternative but to get married. We stayed together for 12 years when finally the fighting and disagreements became insurmountable. Mark is an amazing man, but because of how quickly everything happened so early on, we never really had a chance to get to know each other. Simply put, we weren’t the best fit for one another.

Predictably, my struggles with addiction caused a lot of tumult in our marriage. Things got worse after I suffered a bad car accident and was prescribed Soma, a muscle relaxer. Soma has been shown to have habit-forming effects due to the presence of meprobamate, a metabolite that, in the body, operates like benzodiazepines (a class of drugs that includes Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium).

 

Between Soma, alcohol, and eventually meth, I shirked a lot of my responsibilities to my kids. With my husband out at work, Morgan had to become a mom to her younger brother Kenneth in my place. It’s not like I was out all day at work at that point, either; I was home with them, but totally out of sight, out of mind, from the alcohol.

Throughout the ebbs and flows of this horrible cycle, I sometimes managed to pry myself free to temporarily get sober, but I relapsed on two occasions. The second time was right after we lost my grandmother, who passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Losing her was devastating. After having spent a few years clean, I suddenly was craving safety and comfort in the wake of her loss — so I turned to alcohol to get it, which ironically was the one thing that provided exactly the opposite of the safety I so desperately was seeking.

Finally, last year, two girlfriends of mine came to see me at home. I had taken my fill of drugs and alcohol and then some. I looked terrible. “You need help,” they told me. One of these women had been to Retreat in Lancaster County, PA, as a patient herself, and spoke so highly of their care. She told me I had to go.

What happened next

My time in treatment was completely transformative. It gave me a chance to start building a frame around understanding that I can’t have alcohol again. It’s not a death sentence; it’s actually a release and a relief. Alcohol has always been so perilous for me; without it, I’m free to live my life.

While in the program, I really enjoyed our music therapy immersions. One day, our clinician gave us all the chance to choose a song to listen to with the other members of the group; I chose “Celeste,” in honor of my name, by the folk singer Donovan. While it was playing, I just kept reaffirming to myself: “I’m not going to give up, I’m not going to lose hope.”

Knowing what’s best for me

When I left Retreat, my counselors and the staff there sat me down to talk about next steps. How was I going to maintain sobriety? Should I go straight home to my husband the place where I had been a prisoner of alcoholism for so many years? Or should I go to sober living, in a more structured environment designed for people like me to take those first steps toward living and working in recovery?

On the advice of people more experienced in treating addiction that I was at the time, and following my own gut intuition, I chose sober living. “I need to let this be on God’s time,” I told myself back then. “Not on Celeste’s time.”

While I was in the sober living home, my husband called me on the phone one day and asked, “Celeste, when are you going to come home?”

“I’m not,” I told him. “I really want to work on my recovery and get to know myself better.”

“Okay,” he answered. “I guess I’ll file for divorce.”

The aftermath

It disappointed me that my husband, who was supposed to be my champion and have my back during this process, decided to leave me when I was arguably at my most vulnerable state, so early on in my recovery journey. I can’t change anybody though or bend people toward my will. I’m practicing accepting situations that are hard to come to terms with every day, just like accepting, finally, that I can’t control the effect alcohol has over me.

That’s why I finally surrendered to sobriety, I finally gave in. As I look back on the struggle to accept that I can never safely drink again, I’ve come to realize that perhaps it wasn’t a surrender after all. Maybe, for the first time in my life, I mustered the courage to face that fact and stand up to my disease. Maybe, after so many years wasting away under its thumb, I had finally pried myself out — and now, my addiction was going to surrender to me.

Indeed, I learned from my special ed students that you can’t surrender to your goals and dreams. You have to keep moving forward and not let anyone tell you that can’t do what you set your mind to. For me, overcoming addiction was the ultimate proof of that.

In time, maybe I’ll meet a special man who shares my interests, can make me laugh, and together we can travel, see the world, write a new chapter full of memories. Maybe one day we’ll even have the beach house I’ve dreamed about for so many years. But for now, I’m focusing on Celeste — and the fact that I get to say that, without worrying about alcohol’s role in my life going forward, is a relief. It’s certainly enough to give thanks for this Thanksgiving.

In my newfound freedom, I’ve taken up hobbies like doing crafts. I particularly love making jewelry — I started with beaded jewelry in art class at Retreat and worked my way up from there. I’d love to make my own rings or necklaces one day, perhaps enroll in a class that teaches about how to make jewelry on your own.

Given my interest in jewelry, I like to picture precious stones in my mind; they’re such beautiful, natural relics. I think if I had to liken myself to one, it would be a diamond. Forged from the crucible of unimaginable stress, I emerged more beautiful than before. I’m not a flawless diamond, but I am clear and transparent as one — so clear, that you can see both my flaws and my facets if you look closely.

And sometimes, when I’m at my happiest — when my family is around me, when we’re living life and enjoying it free of alcohol or meth or Soma or anything else — in those moments, just like a diamond, I feel like I’m radiating light.

Sources:

  1. https://drugabuse.com/library/soma-abuse/
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#CELEBRATESOBER: Retreat’s guide to navigating the holiday season in sobriety

Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

Thanksgiving in Recovery

In sleepy New Cumberland, PA, about 10 minutes outside the nearby city of Harrisburg, it was a comfortable 67°F on Thanksgiving Day 2014. For many Americans, the most pressing concern on their minds that particular November 27th was whether to dig into pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato pie. For 26-year-old Mike B., though, something entirely different was on his mind as he walked up to his mom and dad’s front door.

This was to be Mike’s first Thanksgiving in recovery. He had been sober for 220 days.

Prior to treatment, it was in this very same house where after dinner, “I’d go up to my room, shut the door, get my heroin out, and go to town — right there as [my family] were directly underneath my bedroom,” Mike told Retreat.

Now, Mike added, he was uncertain what to expect: “It was the first family get-together that I experienced in my sobriety. I didn’t know how the meal would go… The dynamic with some of my family members wasn’t where I wanted it to be, because relationships take a little bit of time to heal.”

“The wounds were still fresh for my dad… It was almost like some of my family members were walking on eggshells. They were afraid to address my addiction, my recovery,” he recounted in an interview.

Since graduating from Retreat at Lancaster County’s Inpatient Program, Mike has gone on to celebrate four Thanksgivings successfully. He now works full-time as Retreat’s Manager of Patient Care in Palm Beach County, FL, and says he’s come to “embrace the positive much more,” when the holidays roll in.

Nonetheless, the Thanksgiving jitters Mike experienced four years ago aren’t rare: Indeed, the most wonderful time of the year is acutely stressful for the 22 million Americans whom the Research Recovery Institute says are in recovery from substance abuse.

“There’s shame, there’s probably guilt in there too,” for people who have recently entered sobriety and are suddenly surrounded by large volumes of alcohol for the first time, said Jenna M., 33, a former Retreat patient who now works as the company’s National Events Planner in Palm Beach County.

According to a survey from DrugAbuse.com, as many as 38% of Americans report feeling “more depressed” than normal around holiday time, and 32% say they’re “overwhelmingly anxious.” What’s more, alcohol consumption spikes during the holidays, the data found; and December has been well-documented to be the most lethal month for substance abusers, with 90,000 alcohol- or drug-induced deaths reported on average.

In spite of the statistics, the holiday season can still be fun and memorable when you’re in sobriety. Retreat asked experts to share their top tips to #CelebrateSober as the holiday festivities kick off.

 

Top Tips To Celebrate Sober

  1. Be proud of your sobriety. “From day one, I’ve always been open that I’m sober, I can’t drink; I was always very open about that,” Helaina Hovitz, 29, a New York City-based journalist and author of the memoir “After 9/11,” told Retreat. “I know who I am now. If I can help people, what good is hiding it?”  Events Planner Jenna, for her part, has a simple answer for fellow party-goers who question why she’s not drinking: “I say, ‘No, thanks,’ and, if they press it further…[I might say], I’m actually in recovery. It’s coming up on three years [sober],’ and hopefully, by that point, they would respect it.”
  1. Brandish your sense of humor: A little laughter can go a long way in diffusing awkward situations. “Some people don’t understand,” why it’s important for people in recovery to abstain from alcohol, Jenna opined, so she might end the conversation on a light note by saying: “Oh, the world’s just a safer place if I don’t drink!”
  2. Arm yourself with a red plastic cup: A great way to deflect unwanted questions at holiday parties (e.g. “Hey, why aren’t you drinking?) is to hold a cup just like everybody else. Try sipping on some nonalcoholic bubbly like sparkling cider or seltzer with a lime, for instance. The latter “looks exactly the same as a vodka tonic with a lime,” Hovitz said. Alternatively, bring a non-alcoholic holiday cocktail in lieu of a hostess gift. You might whip up your signature non-alcoholic sangria or spiced holiday eggnog, to share your favorite sober recipes with your friends.
  1. Make friends with the food: The dessert table is a great place to set up base-camp for socializing, so consciously position yourself in proximity to the holiday treats, Hovitz said. “Be the food recommender. Food is such a big deal; everyone takes pictures of it before they eat it,” so this is a convenient way to sneak in a few snapshots with friends for Instagram, too.
  2. Enlist sober friends. “If you can bring a sober friend with you, that’s ideal, that’s the gold standard of socializing [while in recovery],” Hovitz said. You could even duck out of the party early together before things get too wild and people get too drunk (once you’ve made the rounds and visited with all the guests). “If you can’t have them with you in person, have them with you in your pocket,” she advised. “Let a couple of sober friends know, ‘I’m going to this [event], I’m going to check in and text you before, text you after, and I might text you during.'”
  3. Attend special holiday AA meetings: Many local AA groups set up special 24-hour meeting schedules during the holidays, so consult your local chapter to find out what their plan is. “To just be around more people, it’s a little easier to get through that period of time than just be by yourself,” Patient Services Manager Mike said. These groups also provide an opportunity to air frustrations and lean on fellow members for support if you’re struggling to resist temptation.
  4. Let go of your inhibitions — without using alcohol. “When you were drinking, if you danced, do it [sober],” Hovitz, who recently celebrated her seventh anniversary in sobriety, said. “What would you feel comfortable doing if you were drinking, what’s stopping you? Would you be singing? Would you be dancing? Would you be telling a joke? Then do it anyway.”

 

“At the end of the day the most important thing is just to remember when it feels like you’re in the moment and something uncomfortable is happening, everything passes,” she concluded. “The night’s going to pass; the next morning…everyone else is going to be [focused on] their life, and so are you.”

“You have to ask, ‘How do I want to feel tomorrow? What’s important for me to do for myself [tonight]? You have to answer to you.”

Sources:

  1. https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/1-in-10-americans-report-having-resolved-a-significant
  2. https://drugabuse.com/featured/holiday-highs-and-lows/
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What Is the Recidivism Rate for DUI Offenders?

drunk woman driving car at night

There is a correlation between repeat DUI offenders and alcohol abuse. This correlation has been established by various studies over the past several decades. There has also been evidence of how DUI Courts are more effective at lowering recidivism rates.

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Why You Need Routine & Structure in Early Addiction Recovery

Routine & Structure in Early Addiction Recovery

Making the decision to get help at a drug rehabilitation center is an important step in your journey toward addiction recovery. Yet, recovery is a process—one that takes place over months and even years. Routine and structure are vital, especially in early recovery when temptation, cravings, and close calls are more likely.

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The Intersection of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

People with “dual diagnosis” have a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental health condition, such as alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Individuals with mental illness are more likely to develop substance use problems than those without mental health issues. Mental illness often leads people to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, yet drugs and alcohol can bring on or worsen mental illness symptoms.

Dual Diagnosis EbookThis makes it especially important for individuals with dual diagnosis to seek out an integrated treatment program that addresses both their addiction and mental health needs.

This eBook discusses dual diagnosis in more detail and covers:

  • Mental illness and substance abuse statistics
  • The symptoms of dual diagnosis
  • Common substance use disorders
  • Common mental health disorders
  • How co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders are treated

There is hope for individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness. Download a free copy of our eBook to learn more.

Download Ebook

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How to Deal with Grief Without Using When You Are a Recovering Addict

sad woman discover how to deal with grief

You have taken the first steps on your path to recovery and entered an alcohol and drug addiction treatment program. Everything seems to be progressing okay, with good and bad days, yet you are working hard to remain clean and sober. Then, out of nowhere, something tragic happens.

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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 www.RetreatAddictionCenters.com, 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 retreataddictioncenters.com or call 855.859.8808.

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Top 10 Lies Addicts Tell Themselves & Their Loved Ones

drug addicts lie and manipulate

Addiction and denial go hand-in-hand. When addicts refuse to believe that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, they’re able to come up with excuses to continue their dangerous habit. Self-deception adds fuel to the ever-burning fires of alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

Not only do addicts lie to themselves; they also lie to their friends and family members. As an outsider, it can be hard to understand how your loved one can rationalize his or her behavior. The fact is that addicts make their own reality, even if it’s full of deception. Drug addicts lie and manipulate to maintain their own false perception. In turn, they’re unwilling to seek help for themselves.

If someone you know suffers from drug addiction, here are 10 lies you’ll want to be prepared for.

  1. “I’m not an addict.”

drug addiction

One of the most common lies you’ll hear from any addict is that they are, in fact, not an addict at all. Reality can be a tough pill to swallow. It’s hard for an addict to realize that he/she is headed down the path of alcoholism or drug addiction. Addicts rarely come to grips with the true reality until they’re deep in the darkness of addiction and abuse.

  1. “I can quit anytime.”

Addicts battle with a losing power struggle. They like to believe that their addiction doesn’t rule their entire being. By thinking that they can stop at any time, they live in a false mindset that they have their abuse and addiction under control. By maintaining this self-centered attitude, addicts are likely to feel special. This causes an over-inflated ego, which makes recovery that much harder.

What many don’t realize is that quitting often requires time spent in rehab.

  1. “My addiction doesn’t impact anyone else.”

It’s much easier to deny that you’re hurting those around you than to fess up to the reality of the situation. They are well aware of the pain and suffering that their actions cause those around them. Despite heartfelt concern and worry from their loved ones, an addict will internalize the concern as attempted control. In turn, they may see you as an enemy rather than someone trying to help.

alcohol drugs to self medicate

. “I don’t/won’t use that often.”

In the beginning, many believe that they can use only on the weekends or once in a while. While some may be successful in sparingly using, eventually abusive and excessive use becomes a reality. As time passes, they become dependent on the drug.

  1. “I need alcohol/drugs to self-medicate.”

The idea that using drugs or alcohol is a form of self-medication allows addicts to further justify their actions. Common self-medicating excuses include:

  • “Drugs give me energy.”
  • “They help me relax.”
  • “I need them to overcome problems in my life.”

What they don’t realize is that a plan for recovery, such as attending drug rehab and undergoing an alcohol detox, can help with many life problems.

  1. “I’m not like other addicts/abusers.”

As humans, we all compare ourselves to others, but addicts take it to an entirely new level. They will compare themselves to those who are much worse off (at least in their minds), to excuse their own behaviors. One of the biggest lies that alcoholics tell is that their drinking isn’t as bad as that person who got a DUI/DWI. Comparing themselves makes them feel superior and undermines the true danger of their addiction.

addicts/abusers

  1. “I’m just enjoying life.”

Many of them get into the living-for-the-moment mindset. The idea that life is going to end someday is true, but that doesn’t excuse risky behavior. While we all want to make the best of our days, most of us are well aware that spending hours high or drunk isn’t an ideal way to live. For an addict, drug use or excessive drinking is a thrill that can’t be found anywhere else.

  1. “Treatment sucks/isn’t for me.”

They are unaware of the healing power that can come from recovery support groups. Mention AA or NA to an addict, and you’re likely to hear all sorts of negativity. They aren’t interested in these groups because they fear that they will control their lives, especially when it comes to their addiction.

  1. “I can handle it.”

Many addicts truthfully believe that they can deal with abuse and addictive behaviors on their own, but what addicts aren’t ready to handle are the side effects of drug use. Rarely are they prepared for painful alcohol withdrawal symptoms or drug rehab. They turn a blind eye to the dangers of their habits for the sake of a temporary high.

  1. “I can’t get better.”

Self-defeating thoughts are common for them. With relapse rates between 40 and 60 percent, it’s no surprise that most addicts have tried to quit but eventually failed. Others believe that hitting rock bottom is the only way for them to achieve a sober lifestyle.

alcohol withdrawal symptoms

What Can You Do?

More often than not, addict behaviors and relationships don’t mesh. Your loved one’s actions will cause all sorts of tension and stress, which can break the bond you once had. You’re likely to be frustrated and angry, but also sad and hurt. You want the best for your loved one, but don’t know how to continue with the relationship. Maybe you’ve mentioned rehab in the past but were met with anger and hostility.

Knowing how to tell when a drug addict is lying is the first step toward better understanding your loved one. Unless you’ve been engulfed by addiction or drug abuse, it’s hard to understand why an addict thinks or acts the way they do. It’s obvious when an addict is lying, but the only way to stop this behavior is to seek help.

When dealing with an addict, there are certain things you can do to lessen the strain.

Avoid Being an Enabler

When you know that your loved one is lying to you, don’t turn a blind eye or pretend to believe them. This only further encourages them to be deceptive and to sink deeper into addiction. Be brave and tell your loved one that you know they’re lying. Once the lies stop working, they may be more willing to be honest and seek help.

Don’t Take It Personally

Knowing that someone is outright lying to you is difficult to accept. It’s painful, and it can make you feel as if your loved one doesn’t care about or respect you anymore. Just remember that an addict lies to benefit themselves, not to hurt you. Avoid getting upset and lashing out at addicts, even though their actions do hurt.

addict behaviors and relationships

Be Supportive

One of the best things you can do is to be supportive. Shaming your loved one will only fuel their addictive behaviors. Create an environment where they feel loved and supported. Help build their confidence and encourage them that treatment is a viable option. Remind them how good life was before addiction, as this can help fill the void where addiction now lies.

Addiction Is a Disease

As a friend, understand the fact that addiction is a recognized disease that millions of people suffer from. Unless you’ve been an addict, you’ve never worn those shoes. To best help your loved one:

  • Avoid making them feel shameful or guilty.
  • Don’t compare them to anyone else.
  • Avoid confrontation.
  • Seek professional help.

The fact is that each year, millions of addicts seek treatment for addiction and abuse. Breaking free from the chains of addiction takes time and a lot of support. Anyone can achieve a sober lifestyle, but it starts with a helping hand.

If someone close to you continually lies about their drug addiction or alcohol abuse, consider speaking to a substance abuse counselor. They will discuss treatment options with you to help your loved one. Contact Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers today!

Sources

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heartache-hope/201211/egoa-big-challenge-sobriety
  2. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/
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Veterans Suffer High Rates of Addiction: Require Specialized Treatment to Address Trauma

 

By Dr. Joseph A. Troncale, MD FASAM,

Corporate Medical Director,

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers

 

A Marine veteran named Chris will not be attending his hometown’s parade and Memorial Day ceremony with his wife and kids this year.

 

By the time the parade begins, Chris will have already consumed two or three beers. By the time the ceremony that follows is over, he’ll be into his second six-pack.

 

When his family returns, his wife will keep the kids away from their father, afraid that they’ll say something that will irritate him and cause a verbal outburst or perhaps even a physical confrontation. Chris will spend most of the day playing video games, only leaving the chair to get another beer.

 

At the end of the day he’ll go to bed, hoping that the nightmares don’t come tonight.

 

Fighting Effects of Addiction

Chris and his family are not alone.  Rates of substance abuse are high among veterans, who often suffer from co-occurring disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or traumatic brain injury. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that substance abuse among veterans is directly related to combat exposure and estimated that one-quarter of all veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan exhibited signs of substance abuse disorder.

 

Another study involving about 600 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans revealed that 39 percent of them showed positive for probable alcohol abuse, and 3 percent for probable drug use, according to the National Veterans Foundation.

 

By the Veterans Administration’s own numbers, 22 veterans die each day by suicide. Also, veterans and their families experience higher rates of divorce, homelessness, child abuse and child neglect than non-veteran families.

 

The problem is huge, and many veterans who need help are not getting it. The fact is that treating the addiction is only the beginning.

 

Tailored Treatment for Both Trauma and Addiction

Many veterans who do seek and receive treatment often continue to experience to problems because they aren’t sufficiently treated for trauma. Addiction treatment for veterans must be specialized. A one-size-fits-all treatment plan won’t work.

 

It’s important to understand that many veterans experience both physical and psychological injuries and that those injuries very often involve a great deal of trauma. A shattered leg caused by a roadside bomb involves a greater level of trauma than a leg broken in a skiing accident.

 

Trauma and addiction are strongly linked and must be treated together.

 

At Retreat, we don’t just treat a veteran’s addiction problem. We acknowledge their trauma and understand the connection between that and the addiction.

 

Veterans generally respond well when treated in groups with other veterans. That’s exactly why Retreat offers tailored groups especially for veterans and first responders. Members of these groups become comfortable and form strong relationships, which enables them to open up more easily and acknowledge their feelings and concerns.

 

Veterans who undergo treatment for addiction also require a strong level of aftercare. Ongoing therapy is necessary following treatment, and in many cases, may be a lifelong process.

 

We’re in the season of Memorial Day, and people are remembering and thinking about veterans. We can’t help the vets who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but we can help those who are struggling with the aftermath of their service. I think we owe them that.

 

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About the Author

Dr. Joseph A. Troncale, MD FASAM, served 10 years with the U.S. Army Reserves, specializes in substance abuse treatment specifically tailored to veterans. Today he gives back as an advocate for veterans and Corporate Medical Director at Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers.

 

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, with locations in Pennsylvania and Florida, specializes in treating veterans. For more information on the veteran-specific program, please contact Retreat at 855.859.8810.

 

 

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RECOVERY ON THIS MOTHER’S DAY

By Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC, LPC

Chief Business Officer

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Center
It used to be so simple. Wasn’t it?

As kids, it always seemed easy and fun to plan a way to celebrate Mother’s Day, or give her a special heart-felt gift. We wanted to show love and caring to the person who showed us the same affection during childhood. “How would we celebrate mom’s special day?” “Where should I take her to eat?” “What kind of flowers should I get?” “What would be the perfect gift?”

Years later, a lot has changed – including our relationship with mom.

As a professional working in the addiction field with young adults and college students, I have heard so many similar personal stories from both those who struggle with addiction as well as their families. For the son dealing with an opioid addiction, for example, the only thing his mom wants is to have him back in her daily life. She wants to spend time with him, enjoying the young man she’s missed for so long. She wants to enjoy the simplicity of feeling connected and knowing he’s safe and healthy again.

The truth is that moms facing similar situations just want to have their kids back. There is no substitute.

Start Your Recovery Now

Entering treatment at Retreat will help you take back control of your life. With sobriety, you can have life again and feel connected to those who matter most to you and who champion for you…like mom. Give her the chance to see you enjoy life – sober and free of addiction.

Retreat offers family education programs if you want to keep mom, other family members and friends close during your treatment. These programs teach you to love yourself and your family to help you through treatment. You’ll build a strong support system and your loved ones will know more about your addiction and the path to recovery. Studies show that you have a greater chance at recovery when those close to you are involved during treatment.

If you are pregnant and dealing with substance abuse, Retreat is one of the few treatment centers in the United States that offers a program specifically designed for treating pregnant women at any stage during pregnancy. Retreat’s full-time Obstetrics Gynecologist, Dr. Kristi Dively, develops customized treatment programs specifically for women who are pregnant. Moms-to-be have an entire team assisting with their unique physical, spiritual, and emotional needs while Dr. Dively provides the medical support for the mother and her unborn child.

With a team dedicated to your individual needs, Retreat provides the life-saving, life-changing recovery tools you need to get yourself healthy. It’s the greatest thing you can do for yourself—and the greatest gift you can give to those you love.

 

Get Help Now.

If you’re seeking treatment for drug addiction, Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers is ready to discuss therapy and treatment options with you and your family. Call Retreat’s 24/7 HELPLINE at (866) 470-8161, click RetreatAddictionCenters.com for more information or to chat online for instant answers, or engage us on social media privately or publicly.

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Fighting the Post Spring Break Blues: Taking a Closer Look at Getting Help

By Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC, LPC

Chief Business Officer

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Center

 

By the time the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Alcohol Awareness Month rolls around each April, many college students have already made plans to celebrate spring break.

 

With plenty of options available, including all-you-can drink party cruises, cheap hotel rooms situated near rows of bars, and out-of-U.S. destinations where the drinking age is often 18 or even unspecified, it’s no wonder that many college students find themselves suffering from buyer’s remorse when spring break ends.

 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that while on spring break, males consume an average of 18 drinks each day, while females consume an average of 10. Clearly, that amount of alcohol is dangerous and unhealthy under any circumstances, and, when coupled with other factors that often are present during spring break, can lead to interaction with law enforcement, sexual assault, injury, health problems, drunk driving and even death.

 

If you recently are back from spring break and experienced any sort of alcohol or drug-related issues or problems, it might be time to take a close look at your drinking habits and ask yourself if you’re at risk for developing a problem – or whether you may already have a problem.  It’s estimated that 20 percent of college students – one in five – meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder. And, each year nearly 2,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including car crashes.

 

A drinking or drug problem is not a moral failing. Addiction is a disease, and the good news is that it’s treatable. If you worry that your drug or alcohol use is a problem, you can get help.  Retreat Treatment Centers, with locations in Pennsylvania and Florida, specializes in treating college students who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

 

For more information on getting yourself or your friend help, please contact Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers at 855.859.8810.

 

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Man Dies of Overdose Hours Before Checking Into Rehab

How can I get help for a loved one who is dangerously addicted to drugs? Last Wednesday a California man died of a drug overdose only a few hours before he was scheduled to check himself into rehab, a police report says. The 32 year old man was found unconscious on Wednesday evening with dangerous narcotics next to his bed. Thursday morning he was expected to start rehab treatment. One of the saddest parts of this story was that his family found him and were not able to resuscitate him. Families all over the country struggle with the drug addiction of their loved ones every day, and unfortunately some of them even have to deal with the deaths of loved ones caused by drug overdose. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Click here to read what you can do about addiction in your family.

Every Day is a Gift When Living with Drug Addiction

Man Dies of Overdose Hours Before Checking Into Rehab

Man Dies of Overdose Hours Before Checking Into Rehab

This story hits on one of the most important things you should understand about drug addiction. Every day is a gift, because we don’t live forever. But when you are struggling in active addiction, this idea is even more important. Drugs addiction and alcoholism are incredibly hard on the health, and they also cause us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. For this reason, every time we get high or drunk, we are rolling the dice with our lives. Unfortunately for the man in this story, his addiction caught up to him before he could get help. And while not everyone may think there addiction is that serious, all addiction puts people at risk. Families lose trust, relationships are strained, careers are destroyed, and communities are divided all because of addiction. Read more about the story of the man who overdosed before rehab here.

 

Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction Harm Families

Although the article said the man died of a narcotics overdose, the chances are the overdose can be attributed to either prescription drug or heroin abuse. Opiates are one of the most deadly and most addictive drug families that exist. On top of that, many people have prescription drugs in their own homes, giving young people easy access to the drugs. Prescription drug and heroin addiction are at all time highs, and America is losing loved ones.

 

Affordable Pennsylvania Inpatient Rehab

Are you or a loved one in need of drug rehab? Don’t wait for something terrible to happen. By signing up for a Pennsylvania drug rehab center you will be able to protect yourself from the dangers of drug addiction. Retreat at Lancaster County is one of the best drug rehab centers in the northeast. With beautiful facilities in a relaxing, peaceful environment, Retreat is the perfect place to take a break from the stress of life and finally deal with your substance abuse problems. Retreat also offers medical detox and affordable inpatient rehab. Click here to read how inpatient rehab with Retreat at Lancaster County may be the best thing you ever do.

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1 in 5 College Students Abuse Prescription Drugs

How can I get drug rehab treatment for my son or daughter? College is an important time for many young people. Most people plant the seeds of their career, their future romantic and friend relationships, and start the habits that they will have for a long time to come. But some people also adopt some nasty habits, like alcoholism and drug addiction. One survey shows that prescription drug abuse is something one in five college students experiments with today. This fact is startling because it shows that not only do young people have access to prescription drugs of all types, they also don’t have respect for their potential consequences. Drugs like Xanax, Adderall, Percocet, Ambien, and OxyContin all have a high potential for dependence, and while many teens should be getting their life off to a good start, instead they are fighting an addiction they should have never had to deal with. Are prescription drugs worth the risk? Click here to look how some experts say no.

Student Prescription Drug Abuse an Epidemic

1 in 5 College Students Abuse Prescription Drugs

1 in 5 College Students Abuse Prescription Drugs

The problem with students recreationally using prescription drugs isn’t that it will always kill them the first time. The problem is that when they like the effects of the first time, they may take more. Often college students experiment with mixing prescription drugs and alcohol at parties, and they have no idea what potentially lethal cocktail they have just swallowed. Even when they are not at parties, students can become dependent on these powerful drugs and eventually they can get addicted. Drug addiction will take over their life and they may never get the opportunities they have now again. Read more about this astonishing survey here.

College Rehab the Best Time to get Life on Track

One of the most important times in a person’s life is when they are becoming an adult and figuring out how to live without their parents. But for those who are experiencing addiction during this formative time, they may not be setting themselves up for the best life ahead. That’s why college student prescription drug rehab is so incredibly important. Rehab for college students can help replace mental illness and poor stress coping mechanisms with healthy habits and routines.

Affordable Drug Rehab For Teens and Young Adults

Are you or your college student suffering from prescription drug addiction? Retreat at Lancaster County and Palm Beach County has a team of addiction specialists who are experienced working with young adults. Not only that, Retreat allows young people to express themselves and honestly address their own problems and emotions that are at the core of their addiction. Don’t brush college student prescription drug addiction under the rug. At Retreat, you can know that facing this problem early will lead to the best outcome: a full recovery. Click here to learn more about Retreat at Lancaster County and Palm Beach County and how their prescription drug rehab can be right for your teen.

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How Crack Addicts Can Make the Right Choice!

What’s the best treatment for crack addiction-and can I afford it? Many people around the country have heard the stereotypes about crack users. Most people think of crack users as being insane, manic, and irrational, caring only about their next fix. Those who grew up in the 1980’s may remember the warnings that crack users abandoned their children, stole, and caused violent crime. However one Columbia University professor named Dr. Carl Hart has done research that concluded crack addicts are capable of making rational choices about their future, even while high on the drug. If you are struggling with crack addiction, you may already know this. But what Dr. Hart has shown is that, given the right alternative, you too can recover and move on with your life. Click here to read how drug rehab may be the right option for crack addiction recovery.

Crack Addicts Can Recover Given the Right Alternatives

During his experiments, Dr. Hart gave crack addicts the choice between smoking more crack and earning a different type of reward, like cash or meal vouchers. The surprising fact demonstrated by Dr. Hart was that crack addicts often chose the other options over smoking more crack. This led Dr. Hart to the conclusion that when given the right opportunities, crack users would choose to leave the drug behind. The implications of this are pretty amazing. Dr. Hart actually believes that many ghettos and poor neighborhoods around the country were not destroyed by crack, but were instead destroyed by other social forces like poverty and unemployment. So when given a chance to leave poverty, these same people could go on to live healthy and successful lives. Learn more about this fascinating study here.

 

Rehab for Crack Addiction: A Different Plan

 How Crack Addicts Can Make the Right Choice

How Crack Addicts Can Make the Right Choice!

One alternative that many people don’t seriously consider is drug rehab. The reason rehab is such a good idea for crack addicts is that it offers a better lifestyle that doesn’t include active addiction. Imagine if crack addicts were shown that by quitting smoking drugs they would be able to get a job and earn a real income. Imagine if crack users were able to get out of the circle of needing to feel small momentary pleasure to hide the massive abyss of satisfaction that was their horrible life, and were instead able to live a fulfilling life without the need to escape reality with drugs?

 

Affordable Crack Rehab Turns Lives Around

Are you addicted to crack and ready to explore other options for your life? Retreat at Lancaster County and Palm Beach County is a highly respected and affordable crack rehab center. By starting a rehab program, you will get to detox from the powerful drugs, renew your life, and make smart choices about your future. Retreat at Lancaster County and Palm Beach County also focuses on helping patients develop skills and competencies that will help them get jobs and succeed after rehab is over, which is one of the best ways to keep a person active and busy. Don’t waste another day of your life being addicted to crack. Check out Retreat at Lancaster County’s vocational skills program and you will see why crack rehab is the right choice for your life.

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Did You Know Drug Rehab Can Be Fun?

Did You Know Drug Rehab Can Be Fun

Did You Know Drug Rehab Can Be Fun?

How can I find a rehab program that includes fun activities? There’s nothing fun about drug addiction. Especially for teenagers and youth who are susceptible to bad influences. Drug addiction not only tears you down and prevents your success in the present. It also severely limits your opportunities for success in the future. Not to mention the extremely high toll it takes on your body. And the younger you are, the more damaging the effects of drugs on the body can be. Find out how to make the most of your rehab program.

The Best Drug Addiction Treatment is Laughter and Smiles

Where can I find a comprehensive rehab program that includes exercise and fun excursions? Drug rehab may seem like a dreary program where you have to trudge through the darkness and pain of your mistakes. But it doesn’t have to be all shadows and tears! As we know, teenagers often have trouble really concentrating on something that isn’t entertaining in some way. So if you’re seeking drug rehab, look for a program that appeals to the whole person: rehab and entertainment. Read more about different styles of drug rehab programs.

Drug Rehab: Fun in the Sun

What kinds of activities should an addiction recovery center offer? Activities as part of a rehab program aren’t just for entertainment and fun. They also help lower anxiety by adding lightheartedness. Physical activities offer an outlet for all the energy built up through the challenges of detox and group support counseling. Here’s a few ideas of fun things to do during your drug rehab program:

  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Going to the movies
  • Playing frisbee in the park
  • Sailing out on the water
  • Yoga
  • Art projects

Click here to see a rehab program that offers all these and more!

Your Teen’s Rehab is Waiting in the Florida Sun

Where can I find the best, most comprehensive addiction rehab for my son or daughter? You want to find a place that’s in a beautiful, peaceful location. You want a place that has outdoor activities. Retreat at Lancaster County and Palm Beach County has all those things and more! Retreat includes a wide variety of activities for teens and adults to keep them active and engaged in the recovery process from top to bottom. See how Retreat at Lancaster County will work with your insurance to help offer your teen comprehensive addiction recovery in our serene Florida center.

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The Joint Commission recognizes Retreat at Lancaster County

Retreat at Lancaster County, part of Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, located in Pennsylvania has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for behavioral health care accreditation.

A widely recognized symbol of quality, the Gold Seal of Approval® is an internationally recognized symbol of quality and commitment to providing high quality patient care and its willingness to be measured against the highest and most rigorous standards of performance. In order to earn the Gold Seal, an organization has to demonstrate continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s performance standards.

“I would like to thank our Chief Clinical Officer Chrissy Gariano and our wonderful staff for working so diligently to get Retreat something most facilities do not have; and that is two accreditations. We are now not only CARF accredited but we are proud to announce we are now Joint Commission accredited also”, said Peter Schorr, President & CEO.

Congratulations to the Retreat Team.

About Retreat at Lancaster County

Retreat at Lancaster County is a Joint Commission-accredited addiction treatment center providing innovative drug and alcohol addiction programming. We are a private rehabilitation center located on 24 scenic acres in Pennsylvania. We customize individual treatment and recovery programs for each patient and offer a holistic approach focusing on the whole person, rather than just the disease of addiction. For more information, call (717) 859-8000 or visit: www.RetreatAddictionCenters.com

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RETREAT AT PALM BEACH JOB FAIR

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2015
Contact
Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC
Executive Director
Retreat at Palm Beach County
(561) 444-3512
dejag@retreatmail.com

RETREAT AT PALM BEACH JOB FAIR

Retreat at Palm Beach hosts Job Fair for New Inpatient Substance Abuse Facility for Palm Beach Location

Greenacres, FL – Retreat at Palm Beach will host its first Job Fair for all positions on Wednesday, October 7 th, 2015 from 3-8pm. The Job Fair will be held at Retreat at Palm Beach’s outpatient center located at 6426 Melaleuca Lane, Greenacres, FL 33463. Health care professionals in the field of addiction and recovery and behavioral health are encouraged to attend.

Retreat at Palm Beach is looking to hire for all positions; both full and part time and anticipates bringing 200+ new jobs to the Palm Beach area.

“Our goal is to connect people with employment opportunities. We are excited to bring additional substance abuse treatment resources into Palm Beach, and look forward to building an outstanding team of committed individuals for our new inpatient facility” Vice-President of Program Development, Deja Gilbert, PhD, LMHC

Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers is a fast-growing and dynamic organization with locations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Palm Beach, Florida. In four years, Retreat has grown from a single addiction treatment center in Lancaster County Pennsylvania into a network of facilitates recognized as a leader in the addiction treatment industry.

More information about the Retreat at Palm Beach can be found online atwww.retreataddictioncenters.com or by contacting 561-444-3512

About Retreat at Palm Beach

Retreat at Palm Beach County is a private, luxury rehab center in Palm Springs, Florida offering a full continuum of care with exclusive drug and alcohol addiction treatment and detoxification programs. Patients experience custom-tailored treatment and recovery plans enabling them to rebuild their lives with Retreat’s expert treatment and therapy teams. Retreat accepts most in-network insurance coverage, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care and treatment. Retreat at Lancaster County, located in Pennsylvania is also a part of Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers and is dual accredited.

 

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Katie

Li Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular.

Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules. Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores.

At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu sommun paroles. Ma quande lingues coalesce, li grammatica del resultant lingue es plu simplic e regulari quam ti del coalescent lingues.

News title placeholder Copy

Katie

Li Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular.

Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules. Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores.

At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu sommun paroles. Ma quande lingues coalesce, li grammatica del resultant lingue es plu simplic e regulari quam ti del coalescent lingues.

News title placeholder

Katie

Li Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular.

Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules. Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores.

At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu sommun paroles. Ma quande lingues coalesce, li grammatica del resultant lingue es plu simplic e regulari quam ti del coalescent lingues.