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The True Cost of Seeking Addiction Treatment in Florida

June 13, 2019

Florida is one of the epicenters for drug treatment in the United States. Hundreds upon hundreds of addiction treatment centers have opened, especially, in South Florida in the past several years. With promises of serene walks on the beach, effective treatment and beautiful surroundings, many clients and their families believe that Florida is the ideal place to recover.

To be sure, Florida offers a multitude of benefits, but ultimately a person’s recovery will depend on a number of factors including their willingness to recover, level of support from family and friends and the quality and care provided by the treatment center.

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Open House

October 12, 2018


We cordially invite you to join Destination Hope for the Grand Opening of our new location on Friday October 26 
Everyone is welcome to attend. There will be food and dessert trucks. come mingle and meet the DH staff!

Please RSVP below or contact Meredith Turnbull, Professional Relations
at 850-273-2112 or e-mail:

Friday, October 26 from 12-3pm
8301 W. McNab Road
Tamarac, FL 33321




8301 W. McNab Road
Tamarac, FL 33321

How to Speak to Your Employer about Addiction

October 25, 2017

If you have recently returned to work after attending a rehabilitation program, or are beginning a new position, it is important that your employer understands the position you are currently in (if you feel comfortable speaking to them about it).

Not only will having a discussion with your employer about your addiction help you understand your employment rights, but it will help them understand you a bit better. Read on to learn a few helpful tips when speaking to your employer about your previous or ongoing addiction.

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What is the Best Remedy to Fight off Depression after Consuming MDMA and Methamphetamine?

October 6, 2017

Q: What is the best remedy to fight off depression after consuming MDMA and Methamphetamine?

A: MDMA primarily affects the brain’s chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, which enable the nerve cells to communicate with one another. The drug causes a greater release of serotonin and dopamine, which gives users their enhanced mood. However, once the MDMA wears off, there is a depletion of serotonin. That depletion can cause anxiety, irritability, sadness, sleep disturbances, and more.

Similarly, methamphetamines also increase the levels of dopamine. Continued methamphetamine abuse can cause users to have difficulty feeling pleasure other than what is provided by the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Neuroimaging studies have shown that there are alterations in the activity of the dopamine system, which can account for the emotional problems observed among those who use methamphetamine.

Drug Usage and Depression

Depression can arise from a number of different sources, including an imbalance of chemicals that regulate mood and energy levels. As a result, depression can be triggered by the altering of brain chemistry after continued drug usage. When body chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), are impacted by drugs, it could lead to depression.

If an addiction and depression are present, it can be considered co-occurring disorders. Depression is not something someone can “snap out of,” and there is no “remedy” which is why getting treatment is essential.

A dual diagnosis program can help you focus on the addiction as well as the issues that surround dependency. You will also have a chance to learn more about depression and how to manage it. Treating depression may involve the use of antidepressant medications. By enrolling in a dual diagnosis program, you can learn to manage using these medications while also recovering from drug use or addiction. Therapy, family or individual, will also help in treating depressive symptoms and drug addiction.

The best remedy to fight off depression after drug usage is achieving sobriety and getting treatment for depression.

Local Aftercare Recovery Support Groups

September 28, 2017

Aftercare recovery support groups provide support and tools following treatment. Aftercare meetings teach new strategies, coping skills, and help you build a support system. These new tools will help you continue your wellness journey.

Aftercare meetings usually start as soon as you complete your rehab program. These programs can assist your transition into everyday life. Plus, they provide you with tools to avoid risky environments and temptation.

Find a local aftercare recovery support group near you.

A.A. Meetings

Alcoholic Anonymous is an international support group to help anyone undergoing or recovering from a drinking problem. Aftercare recovery meetings focus on the twelve step system, which is designed to help attendees find happiness and learn useful tools to cope with their addiction.

There is a local group that serves the South Palm Beach County Intergroup area and has been in service for over 30 years. Click here to see local meetings. All aftercare meetings are open to the public, with open discussion formats, as well as step meetings.

N.A. Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous is a global community that helps anyone suffering from drug addiction. N.A. offers a safe place for communication and guidance as recovering attendees’ transition from treatment to the world. Narcotics Anonymous approaches aftercare recovery through peer support networks and with healing process guidance.

The local N.A. group serves the Gold Coast Area, which is home to 61 groups, holding up to 120 meetings near you. Click here to see all local meetings available and their recurring schedules. Each session has a different format. This way you can choose the ones that resonate better with you.

SMART Recovery Meetings

SMART meetings focus on self-management for addiction recovery. Their 4-point program is designed to help attendees recover from any type of substance abuse and addictive behaviors, including drug addiction, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and more.

Local meetings are serving the Fort Lauderdale area almost every day. Click here to see local meetings near you. Also, SMART recovery meetings are available online through daily meetings. Plus, they also offer an online 24/7 chat room for ongoing support. Click here to see daily online meetings.

The road to recovery doesn’t have to be lonely and complicated. Seek support, create a strong network of peers that you can relate to, and that can provide you with true companionship and support through this journey.

Aftercare programs were designed to help those struggling find a better path to recovery and to provide them with ongoing tools that will ensure they live an invigorating substance-free life, well past treatment.

You Have the Right to be Happy, Especially Today!

August 8, 2017

National Happiness Happens Day is August 8th, and with this in mind, it is only right to list out a few small things you can do to lift your mood.

For many addicts, the focus on tackling addiction pushes any consideration for their own happiness out of the picture. However, it is just as important to keep a positive outlook on life as it is to focus on your sobriety.

No matter what your past may look like, you deserve to be happy and enjoy life. Not only will focusing on your own happiness lift your spirits, but it will aid in your journey in sobriety, as you will begin to realize all the aspects of life which are not related to your addiction that boost your mood. Follow these simple tips, and remember to stay positive!


Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it”? If there is nothing in particular that you feel like smiling about, remember this phrase and smile anyway. When we smile, the muscles in our face send signals to the brain that will actually boost our mood.

This might sound silly, but it really works. At least 4-5 times a day, shoot someone a smile (even if this is directed at your pet, or yourself as you pass by a shop window). You will instantly feel a bit more upbeat.

Pencil in a Fun Activity

Having something to look forward to will boost your mood whenever you think about your plan. Even if this is something small, such as grabbing coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, putting tangible events on your calendar is certain to lift your spirits.

A great tactic is having a standing appointment with a friend, co-worker, or family member. Whether it is grabbing lunch every Wednesday, or meeting for a pedicure, make sure to write the activity down and think about it if you are having a rough day.

Show Gratitude

Recalling all of the little things in life that you are grateful for is an effective method to immediately boost your mood. Focus a few moments every day to reflect on what you feel grateful for having. Give it some thought, and don’t forget all of the small things. You can be grateful for a family member who has stayed close to you through the good and bad, or maybe you are just grateful that it was a sunny day and you got the chance to take a walk outside. Nothing is too big or too small.

To take this up a notch further, write a letter of gratitude to someone who you appreciate in your life. Maybe this is a past teacher, a sponsor, or a friend who has kept in touch with you over the years. Whoever it is, they will be happy to receive your note.

Show Kindness

Every small action that we do for someone else will help boost our happiness. Maybe we let someone go ahead of us in line at the grocery store because we see they are carrying more food than we are. Maybe we just give our grandmother a call to check in and remind her we love her. Whatever the selfless act is that you choose, it will improve your sense of well-being and lift your spirits.

Cook Something Delicious

Cooking (or baking) is a relaxing act that boosts the spirit and contributes to our contentment. Maybe there is a recipe you have been meaning to try, or maybe you have a favorite dish that you haven’t found the time to make in a while. Pencil into your schedule exactly what you want to cook. Look up the recipe, and make time to visit the grocery store and pick up all of the necessary ingredients.

To make cooking even more enjoyable, invite a friend or family member over to enjoy your dish with you. Receiving positive feedback on how your cooking tastes will lift your spirits even more. Plus, you will have someone to share in good conversation with while you enjoy your dish.

Make the conscious effort to partake in at least one act every day that aids in your happiness. Whatever your current situation is, you should always place emphasis on being happy and finding joy in the little things. Have a lovely Happiness Happens Day!

Returning to School after Rehab

August 7, 2017

If a loved one has recently completed a rehabilitation program, returning to school to finish their education and receiving a degree is a natural and noteworthy goal. Addiction treatment should not deter anyone from completing their education and moving forward with life goals.

However, there are potential problems that may arise along with returning after a gap in the school term, and they should be considered prior to returning. Transitions such as this in adolescent’s lives can often lead to stress, anxiety, and other problems. On top of this, social challenges will need to be thought through, especially if returning to the same school is the only option.

Plan Ahead

Begin working with the school long before treatment has finished. If you are making arrangements for a child or minor, know ahead of time exactly when treatment is scheduled to discontinue. In certain districts, re-enrollment might be the only option if there has been an extensive absence. This is normal and is no cause for alarm. It is also important to take note of changes that the student will need to know ahead of time, such as a new locker assignment or a new class schedule.

It will also be vital to set up a meeting between the student and the school’s mental health staff. This may be someone specifically hired to deal with students who have experienced conditions such as this, or it might be the school’s general counselor. In any case, request a meeting ahead of time and inform the school that you would like to focus on a transition plan so that everyone know what to expect. This will help lessen the stress and anxiety for the returning student during the first weeks back.

Push for Positive Choices

The returning student will need to begin positively interacting with teachers and peers to stay on a healthy and successful path. Although the adolescent will not necessarily need to be told what to do in order to reinforce recovery, it is always helpful to push them towards engaging positively with peers and joining positive school activities.

A great idea is to share with the staff the goals and interests the student specified during and after recovery. By bringing these up, teachers and other staff at the school may be able to link these to specific teams, clubs, and after-school programs that the student will enjoy taking part in.

Tips for Sober Success

The process of returning to complete education after rehab is a long and difficult journey. Ultimately, however, it is always worth it. If a student seems nervous about making the return to school after completing time in rehab, it may be helpful to share the following tips for success:

• Take your time – if you are not ready to pile on all of the classes you were in before and join an after-school program on top of this, that is understandable. Take time to adjust to school again while still maintaining sobriety.

• Do not let the pressure get to you – you are on a different path than other peers, so try not to compare where you are in your education to where they are.

• When you are ready to become involved in extra-curricular activities, they are a great option for students in recovery. Not only will these activities keep them busy after school, but they will keep their mind busy as well.

Make Yourself Available

As a parent or supporter for the student returning to school after rehab, making yourself completely available to both the school and the student during this time is vital to their success. Before the student returns to school, offer the teachers and staff your contact information. Make sure they know you are a resource if any concerns are raised. This small gesture will create a sense of partnership, and will help the student and you feel more at ease with their return.

Remember to offer the student acceptance and understanding as they go through this challenging transition. Keep expectations high, but be sure to express patience as well. With achievable goals and a plan in place for the student before they even leave rehab, you will help set them up for success as they return to school to complete their education.

Is Your Casual Drinking Becoming a Problem?

August 2, 2017

It is difficult to determine if your drinking has become a problem when you don’t fit the stereotype of the common alcoholic. Maybe you aren’t homeless, maybe you have a job, and maybe you even have a family you are taking care of. There is no way you could be an alcoholic, right?

Before dismissing this idea, it is important to remember that alcoholism can take on many different shapes and forms. Although you may compare yourself to the stereotype and convince yourself that you are nowhere near a full-blown alcoholic, there is a point when drinks out with friends can develop into an addiction.

Casual Drinking vs. Alcoholism

If you do not have an established a prior problem with alcohol, there is nothing wrong with relaxing from a long week by having a casual drink or two out with friends. Ordering a glass of wine at dinner or a flute of champagne at a party is synonymous with unwinding and having fun. The problem starts when you take drinking up a notch and begin abusing the substance.

Alcohol abuse can be defined as the pattern of behavior where a person drinks in excess, understanding that this may very well lead to negative consequences but continuing to drink heavily in spite of this knowledge. Excessive drinking can be broken into two categories:

• Heavy drinking – For men, heavy drinking can be calculated by having four drinks or more in one day, and having more than fourteen drinks within a week. For women, heavy drinking is three or more drinks in one day and more than seven drinks in one week.

• Binge drinking – For men, binge drinking can be calculated as consuming five or more drinks in the span of two hours. For women, it’s four or more drinks in that same time frame.

Signs of Alcoholism

Partaking in heavy drinking or binge drinking rarely, while still unhealthy for your body, might not be a life-altering problem for you. However, there are certain behaviors which indicate that you may have an ongoing issue with alcohol abuse and possibly be suffering from alcoholism.

One of the major signs of alcohol abuse is if you are continuously neglecting or turning away from responsibilities. This can take many different shapes and varies from person to person. However, if you find yourself caring less about commitments, skipping work or performing at a lower level because you are drunk or hungover, or not paying attention to children or loved ones, these signs of neglect could mean there is a big underlying problem.

Taking unsafe and unnecessary risks, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, and putting your life and the lives of others at risk, is a huge sign that you have a problem. If you have been told by friends or loved ones that your risky and dangerous behavior is worrying to them, it may be time to seek help.

Finally, drinking heavily even after a spouse or loved one have advised you that you should slow down or stop is a huge sign that you have an addiction that requires professional help.

What You Can Do

If you believe your casual drinking has developed into an addiction, treatment is always an option. It is important to learn the facts about alcoholism as a disease, not a lack of willpower or moral failure. Open up to your spouse or family members about your concerns, and do not wait to seek professional help. Contact on-call counselors at Destination Hope today to learn more about treatment programs offered. 888-358-8422.

Founder and CEO Ben Brafman Discusses 22 Years of Fighting the Stigma

July 10, 2017

Even though 1 in 4 adults are likely to experience some form of mental illness each year, and 1 in 17 live with a serious mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness. In fact, the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is the main reason many people don’t seek treatment.

Ben Brafman, CEO and Founder of Destination Hope, LLC has been working to remove the stigma during his 22 years in the mental health field. He began his career as a mental health tech and worked his way up to clinical director. During this time, he recognized “what was lacking for patients and how they were being treated.” He founded Destination Hope, which now includes specific men’s, women’s, and mature adult programs as well as a wellness center, training academy, and the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. Having a conversation may be one way to reduce the stigma of mental illness and letting people know they don’t have to carry the burden alone.

Read the entire article here.

Reach More Patients by Marketing to Older Adults

June 30, 2017

The number of people who are in their 50s and 60s continues to rise, and this population is not immune to substance use disorders (SUDs). In fact, SUDs are on the rise in this segment of the population, including both illicit drug use and alcohol abuse. In order to reach baby boomers and older adults, treatment centers must design programs that meet their specific needs and use marketing strategies and messaging that resonate with them.

Older adults need to be assured that they will not be in a room full of 18-year-olds. Just letting them know this is one of the greatest marketing messages, says Ben Brafman, CEO of Destination Hope, LLC, based in South Florida. This should be front and center on all marketing materials. Also, create an alumni program for continued support. This not only helps the center achieve positive outcomes, it is an excellent marketing tool.

Click here to read the entire article.

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