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Author: Lisa Downing

Case Study: How the Family Affects Treatment Outcomes

July 21, 2021

We know family involvement in the treatment process increases the probability of a client experiencing a successful outcome. We know this because addiction is a family disease, so naturally the family must be supported as well.

Family sitting together finds substance abuse treatment program for their adult daughter at Destination Hope with family therapy to mend relationships damaged by addiction.

Today we discuss the case of a 25 year old female. This client presented for treatment for substance abuse disorder, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. This client admitted to several treatment centers prior to her admission at Destination Hope. She reported a deep self-hatred due to a near fatal accident involving a close family member for which she blamed herself. She also struggled with obsessive compulsive behaviors which impaired her ability to complete college and was the source of family conflict. While prescribed prescription drugs to manage the pain from the accident, she began abusing them. However, upon admission she denied being an addict and was closed to discussing her abuse of substances although admitted to the detox level of care.

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What to Look For When Choosing a Behavioral Health Center?

July 14, 2021

Finding a behavioral health center can be a process. Seeking help for your mental or behavioral health, or that of your loved one, is a deeply personal decision. You want to find a center that has experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy people, but you’re in a rush, not wanting the window of opportunity to close. This article will help you know what to look for in a behavioral health center – to choose a place that best fits you and the condition you are struggling with, and a facility that can best help lead you toward a path of recovery.

Woman walks her journey from addiction to recovery along sandy beach as waves wash her feet clean at Destination Hope, a substance abuse treatment facility in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Mid-Twenties Client with Cooccurring Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

June 30, 2021

Client was a mid-twenties male from the West Coast. He presented for treatment to address problem areas such as Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type, with symptoms of rage, anger, physical aggression and substance abuse issues. The client has a history of being administratively discharged from previous treatment centers.  The client reported “I am trying to get my life right.” Client struggled with communicating and interacting positively with others as evidenced by verbal and physical abuse of others, disrespect for others, throwing chairs and increased profanity. Client reported that he had a history of abusing substances daily for the previous 5 years. Client presented with mental health symptoms related to depression and anxiety. The client lacked coping skills and had very little insight into his substance abuse/mental health issues. The client realized he was homeless, had no finances and had burned his bridges with his family and friends. Initially, the client denied needing treatment, but realized he would like to work on “having a successful and happy life.” Client then realized the importance of building a positive sober support network.

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Case Study – Middle Aged Female with Co-Occurring Disorders

June 9, 2021

A middle-aged female arrived at Destination Hope’s residential level of care voluntarily due to mental health diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder with alcohol and cocaine abuse in remission. The client had spent time in recovery prior to her admission, reporting to residential level of care due to her inability to manage her severe mental health symptoms – sharing with staff members “I didn’t relapse, things just got really bad for me, and I want to just nip it in the bud”. The client arrived to treatment from her halfway house expressing to the therapist: “I took some advice to get some help, that’s why I came here, I didn’t relapse.” The client demonstrated motivation at both Residential and PHP levels of care to address her underlying mental health symptoms, gain coping skills, and participate in the therapeutic process. The client also presented with secondary emotional / psychological symptoms of unresolved grief, anger and resentment, and unresolved feelings of guilt. Lastly, poor stress management and lack of balance in her life became important focuses of her treatment as well.

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DH Case Study: Successful Middle-Aged Woman – Depression with Substance Abuse

May 26, 2021

Client was a middle-aged successful businesswoman, an active mother to her children, and a wife to her husband. She presented to treatment to address areas such as mood instability, anxiety, trauma, and substance use disorder. Client reported the day before entering treatment, she was severely depressed, and informed her mother and husband that she did not want to wake up anymore. This is reported to be the breaking point for her to seek treatment. Client also struggles with co-dependency issues with her mother that was caused by her toxic relationship with her husband, as she would constantly turn to her mother for help and support.

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Q&A with Anna Racicot, DH’s Wellness Coordinator

May 19, 2021

Q: You’re the Wellness Coordinator here at DH. What does that mean?

A: I act as the organizer for groups like our yoga therapy group, which is one of our most popular. We also have mindfulness and meditation which is a huge part of the recovery process in dealing with depression and anxiety – it’s really beneficial. We also introduced a music group which includes the use of music as a therapeutic tool and is highly effective – it’s really fun, too! The clients absolutely adore it.

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Case Study: 50-Year-Old Woman Bipolar with Substance Abuse

May 12, 2021

Client was a 50-year-old female presenting to Destination Hope for substance abuse and mental health treatment. Client presented with a history of trauma, depression, anxiety and PTSD and was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Client’s mental health symptoms were exacerbated by her substance abuse history. Client had abandonment issues that stem from her parents divorcing and client’s mother leaving her when she was 13 to work and live on her own. Client had been a primary caregiver throughout her life and suffered from ‘burn out.” Client has a history of sexual and physical abuse which caused her to act out in promiscuous ways. She attempted treatment many times but always relapsed which added to her guilt and shame. Client was licensed in the medical field until she had to surrender her license due to her substance abuse and mental health decline. Client also had multiple suicide attempt with acute feelings of hopelessness.  Client entered into our residential level of care with high hopes of building a sober support network gaining back her self-esteem and developing healthy relationships.

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Why In-Person Substance Abuse Treatment Is Better Than Online

May 5, 2021

The COVID pandemic has created a new age of alternatives to in-person therapy in the form of telehealth. While this has been beneficial in slowing the spread of the virus, does the outcome of online therapy measure up to the outcomes of in-person treatment? In this article we will weigh the pros and cons of in-person therapy and online therapy to discuss which is best suited for mental health and substance abuse treatment.


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Case Study: Alcohol Abuse with Co-Occurring Anxiety

April 28, 2021

Our client was a male in his early 20s and presented for treatment for alcohol use disorder and reported he had been drinking daily for 2 years. He was on short term disability and employed. This was his first-time seeking treatment.

Person in a gray hoodie with a beer bottle looking down at a freeway

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Case Study: Meth Overdose with Co-occurring Mental Health and Medical Issues

April 21, 2021

Client was a 39-year-old male from S. Florida.  He presented for treatment after overdosing on Methamphetamine. The client reported “I lost too much control.”  Client reported a history of substance abuse and mental health issues. In addition, client struggled with medical issues including heart attack and strokes and employment issues. Client presented with mental health symptoms related to depression, anxiety and trauma. Client was unemployed and had a strained relationship with his parents who he lived with prior to treatment. Initially, the client denied needing treatment, but he realized he would like to work on “discipline,” and the need of building a sober support network.

A Man's Arm with a bracelet and tattoo reaching out palm up during sunset in a neighboorhood

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