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Author: Lisa Downing

Q & A with Clinical Director Bridgette Fong, LMHC

September 15, 2021

Q: In your experience what is the key to developing a good clinical team?

A: The key to developing a good clinical team includes having a shared goal to always strive to provide quality care to our clients, the ability to be flexible in a team setting, having knowledgeable staff that are passionate about the field we work in and being able to develop trust. Our current clinical team exhibits all of those qualities as well as many others.

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A Significant Number of Adults with ADHD May Struggle with Substance Abuse

September 8, 2021

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a debilitating mental illness. It is estimated that upwards of 5% of adults suffer from ADHD, which can manifest as difficulty concentrating, organizing, hitting deadlines, and following directions. ADHD often occurs in children, but up to 60% of these kids do not outgrow it in adulthood. ADHD can also cause lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. As a result of these deficits, those with ADHD may not feel the same pleasure response as those without the disorder.

The letters ADHD on cork board as we discuss the rates of substance abuse in ADHD Adults.

A Canadian study of almost 7000 20 to 39-year-olds showed that those suffering from ADHD had a greater risk of having a substance-abuse issue. While most of these substance-abuse disorders involve alcohol or cannabis, it was shown that one in six were suffering from abuse of harder drugs including cocaine and heroin.

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Case Study – Middle Aged Male Steroid Abuse and Addiction

September 1, 2021

Family hikes together as they begin to come together after dad recovers from steroid abuse at Destination Hope

Client was a 41-year-old male from the Midwest.  He presented for treatment for acts of rage and anger, steroid addiction and substance abuse issues. The client reported “my life is unmanageable right now.” Client struggled with communicating and interacting positively with others as evidenced by increased agitation, manipulation, mood swings and poor coping skills. Client reported that he had a history of abusing substances for the past 20 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. He was having conflicts with peers at work and had burned bridges with his family and friends. Initially, the client denied needing treatment, but he realized he would like to work on “getting back to work and seeing his 2 children.” Client then realized the importance of making better choices, controlling his temper and anger and with building a positive sober support network.

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What Is an Addiction Medicine Specialist?

August 18, 2021

Compassionate doctor who specializes as an Addiction Medicine Specialist works with client at Destination Hope to treat addiction and find recovery from substance abuse.

An addiction medicine specialist is to addiction what a cardiologist is to heart disease: the right expert for the respective condition. Unfortunately, the terms “expert” and “specialist” is often thrown around lightly in the addiction field and this often leads to substandard care and a bad reputation for the industry. While there are many comprehensive and competent treatment programs, there are also many that simply do not provide a sufficient level of care. Addiction medicine is fully recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and addiction medicine specialists are fully trained and specialized physicians.

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 Darren’s Story of Addiction and Triumph

August 11, 2021

Healthy man stands with arms open happy to regain his life after substance abuse and addiction treatment at Destination Hope.

My story began as a child witnessing what I thought were the best parts of life. Up late on weekends, little supervision, and get to hang out with grown-ups. My parents were young when they had me and as an only child, I got to see a lot of stuff. Growing up we weren’t poor, I always had a roof over my head, hot meals, and clothes. So, from an outside perspective our family looked like we had it together. Behind closed doors is where I got a close up of madness and chaos. I witnessed domestic violence, rowdy friends, little to no respect for females, let alone anyone, strong hate for certain races, sexualities, and authority. My parents divorced at the age of 5 and the new man in the picture was of the same nature as my father. Party lifestyle. Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll. The next 3 years of my life, I moved to a different city each year – new friends, new town, new house, new beginnings. At the age of 8 I had my first drink on a camping trip and I remember loving the feeling. I had snuck drinks before in the past and had grown up in the bar scene, being back and forth with my mom and dad. Finally landed in Fort Collins, Colorado where I would remain until I graduated.

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Case Study: Stress, Trauma and Substance Abuse

August 4, 2021

Client came to Destination Hope in her mid-twenties from the southern United States where she worked in customer service. She self-reports that the primary factor resulting in her mental health decompensation is due to the combination of stress and trauma. With a history of daily marijuana use, client presented with denial and poor insight into how the drug contributes to her current state of mental health. Other contributing factors leading to treatment included medication non-compliance, poor impulse control, poor judgment, problems within the family as well as interpersonal problems, inability to function, employment problems, relationship problems, and anxiety.

Female in addiction and mental health recovery deals with her history of trauma and substance abuse at Destination Hope in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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The Treatment Process – From Identifying Addiction to Breakthrough

July 28, 2021

The treatment process for addiction is a long, winding road. The time it takes from admitting you have a problem to overcoming your obstacles differs from person to person depending on the intensity of the addiction and the willingness of that person to commit to bettering themselves – for their own sake and for that of those that love them.

Multidisciplinary team of addiction treatment professionals collaborate on a patient’s care at Destination Hope to treat substance abuse and cooccurring mental illnesses

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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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