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Substance Abuse


Determining the Appropriate Level of Care

Admissions team and client work through which level of care is appropriate for substance abuse treatment at Destination Hope based on client history and needs

While there is plenty of research and guidance on substance abuse and mental illness, the fact is that each of us is unique and our needs are specific, as is the treatment plan., This is true from the first admission to a recovery program through the last day of treatment. One potentially confusing area of behavioral health treatment is the level of care required for a particular client. With several levels of care (some sounding or seeming similar), it can be helpful to learn more about them straight from Rob, one of our primary therapists, and an admissions specialist.

We look at several factors when considering which level of care is appropriate for each client. This process begins at the first point of contact with our admissions department. To fully understand how we can address the needs of each client, multiple assessments are administered by our trained professionals.

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Six Ways to Stay Sober While Traveling

Woman in recovery works to stay sober even when traveling disrupts her normal routine after substance abuse treatment at Destination Hope

Temptation is all around us; it’s just a fact of life. However, when traveling, it can be even harder to resist. This can be for several reasons. First, it seems that the opportunities to drink or abuse substances are more plentiful in your travels. Second, the stress of travel increases the likelihood of making a mistake. Finally, the laid-back and relaxed nature of a vacation may tempt you into a false sense of security, thinking that one drink or one hit will end there. Unfortunately, these issues can make it very difficult to avoid relapse. In this article, we discuss five ways to minimize the risk of relapse during your trip.

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Cocaine & Other Drug Effects on Your Eyes

Eyes show signs of our overall health including hints of substance abuse according to addiction experts at Destination Hope

It isn’t a surprise that addiction and drug abuse affect all parts of the human body. For some of us, we learned the hard way. And through treatment, we have come to understand that what we were doing to our bodies while dependent on drugs was the slow unraveling of many of our mental, emotional, and physical systems. Simply put, addiction was chipping away at all parts of us. We may not have understood or noticed it at the time, but we have learned that these effects are far more significant than we probably ever realized.

Our body systems, our mental and emotional processing, and even our mood, equilibrium, and sense of well-being are all conditioned while under the influence. Some of this deterioration and damage is no doubt physical, as substance abuse fundamentally compromises our organs and senses.

One of these is our eye health and vision. 

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Addiction Within the Veteran Community

November 11th marks Veteran’s Day in the United States. Veteran’s Day exists to honor those that have put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. Many veterans have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice a great deal throughout their life and may have seen things that should never be seen by anyone. These experiences can lead to self-medication through drugs or alcohol to try to dull the pain that memories bring.

Veteran sits with a healthcare provider discussing recovery and treatment for mental health and substance abuse at Destination Hope

It is easy for veterans to feel alone even when others are around. It’s easy to believe no one understands their thoughts or what they went through. However, help is out there, and people care deeply about supporting veterans through addiction and mental health treatment.

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October – National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Beginning in 2011, October became National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This is a month dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse and a call to action for prevention. Substance abuse has effects on both an individual level as well as a community level – giving us plenty of reason to stay informed and do our part to guide people toward help and provide support and prevention.

Hand intervenes to stop the progression of falling blocks representing how we can step in to prevent substance abuse at Destination Hope

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Elizabeth Holmes and Her Potential Trial Defense Involving Intimate Partner Abuse

Elizabeth Holmes’ rise to fame and fall to infamy was spectacular in many ways. The youngest self-made female billionaire according to Forbes – a media darling – was soon after charged with defrauding patients and investors alike by covering up issues with what was thought-to-be a transformational technology. Shortly, Ms. Holmes will be going on trial to determine if her actions were indeed fraudulent. Regardless, of her guilt or innocence, her defense team may be using a rather uncommon approach to avoid a guilty verdict – that of intimate partner abuse.

Lady Justice holds the scales as trial begins for Elizabeth Holmes who plans to use a defense including intimate partner abuse.

This article is not meant to pass judgment, one way or another, on the defendants in this trial. Nor does it seek to offer an opinion on the validity of intimate partner abuse as defense for committing this or any crime. Rather, this case presents an opportunity to shine the spotlight on a very real problem for millions of Americans and what can be done to treat the effects of intimate partner abuse, which can include long-term mental illness and trauma along with substance abuse.

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

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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 Darren’s Story of Addiction and Triumph

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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Substance Abuse: America’s Problem

Drug tablets and capsules arranged to spell out detox, the first step in many substance abuse treatment programs at Destination Hope In Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Substance abuse overdose is epidemic in our society. Statistics show that in 2019 over 7 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 reported that they drank more than a sip of alcohol in the previous month. 20% of seniors in high school report they have taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. And the overall overdose rate in Americans rose by 4% from 2018 to 2019.

Not only do Americans begin to abuse drugs and alcohol an earlier age, but the abuse is following many in our society through the remainder of their adult lives. For example, substance abuse has reached outrageously high levels in the senior citizen community. Studies indicate that 33% of alcoholics developed their problem in their later years of life.

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The ABCs of Choosing a Treatment Plan

Clients in Support

Admitting you have a substance abuse problem and seeking treatment takes courage. The ideal treatment option depends on your age, physiology, medical history, and whether you have other pre-existing mental or physical health conditions. Before treatment, you should understand the ABCs of choosing a treatment plan, plus what to expect from your clinician and from yourself. The primary objectives of addiction treatment include education, detoxification, and developing positive coping strategies.

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