Cocaine Addiction Treatment in FL

cocaine addiction treatment

The Best Cocaine Addiction Treatment In FL

You arrived here for a reason. You have been looking for cocaine addiction treatment in FL. Perhaps you seek treatment for yourself. Or, you have had an up-close-and-personal look at someone else suffering from cocaine addiction. You have had enough. Decided that the time has come for something to change. Welcome to next step in your journey.


Recovery By The Sea will give you some of the answers you look for. Here, we will consider these items:


  • Where did cocaine come from?
  • Short-term effects of cocaine use.
  • Long-term effects of cocaine use.
  • What is cocaine addiction treatment like?
  • More information about cocaine addiction treatment.


Where Did Cocaine Come From?

Ancient civilizations chewed the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca). Beginning in the 1860s, chemists isolated cocaine from the coca plant. The following decades saw cocaine introduced into the medical industry. Slowly but surely, it gained acceptance among physicians. Sigmund Freud, an important figure in the development of psychology, battled cocaine addiction himself.


How Do People Use Cocaine?

As a powder, people typically inhale or snort cocaine. Or, they might rub it into their gums. Cocaine also comes in a crystal variety. We refer to this form as “crack.” Consumers of crack will melt it and then smoke it. Crack cocaine tends to have greater strength than powder cocaine. On the street, people may refer to cocaine as:


  • Snow
  • Flake
  • Icing
  • Pearl
  • Coke

What Does Cocaine Do To The Mind?

Researchers designate cocaine as a stimulant. This means that it causes all the body’s processes. Under the influence of cocaine, anything the brain does will speed up. For this reason, people tend to become more alert and on edge. They may experience sensory date more quickly or more intense than when sober. Cocaine works by manipulating the absorption of the neurotransmitter dopamine.


What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

Dopamine rewards us when we get something good. It makes us feel pleasure when we meet a goal. If you eat your favorite meal, your brain makes dopamine. When you speak to a loved one, your brain churns out dopamine. Cocaine causes dopamine to remain in the brain for too long. People on cocaine can become irritable and angry. They may exhibit fear, anxiety, or paranoia.


What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

If a person continues to consume cocaine, they risk cocaine use disorder (CUD). Cocaine use disorder represents a particular substance use disorder. If a person compulsively consumes cocaine, particularly when stressed, they may have cocaine use disorder. Currently, no medications exist to specifically treat CUD.


Long-term cocaine use can devastate the body. Cocaine wears away the skin of the nose and mouth. Consequently, consumers of cocaine can lose their senses of smell and taste. Further prolonged use can wear away these tissues. Nosebleeds afflict both short-term and long-term consumers. If left without medical attention, this can lead to “coke nose.” Smoking crack can destroy the lungs. Long-term consumers of cocaine also risk exposure to HIV and hepatitis.


Cocaine And The Cardiovascular System

Cocaine increases the heart rate. It also raises the temperature and blood pressure. This can lead to conditions like hyperthermia. Hyperthermia involves a remarkably high fever that becomes difficult to control. Conditions like these put cocaine consumers at risk for decreased blood and oxygen flow. As a result, long-term consumers expose themselves to heart attacks.

Cocaine Overdoses

Between 2013 and 2018, cocaine overdoses tripled. Cocaine overdoses also increased in 2020. Because of its effects on the cardiovascular system, cocaine brings the dilemma of overdose. An overdose occurs when a person consumes too much of a substance. Their bodies cannot adequately deal with the stress the substance causes. Overdoses can stop the breath, and cause loss of consciousness.

What Is Cocaine Addiction Treatment Like?

As mentioned earlier, no prescriptions exist to treat cocaine use disorder. However, research into effective cocaine treatment continues. Cocaine does not just influence dopamine. It also acts on other neurotransmitters like:


  • Norepinephrine: motivates the brain and body to act
  • Serotonin: influences how we feel, learn, and remember
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid: slows our brains down
  • Glutamate: tells nerve cells to communicate with other nerve cells


Scientists have begun studying medications that act on these neurotransmitters. Some of them may help reduce relapse in those suffering from cocaine use disorder.

What If I Want More Information About Cocaine Addiction Treatment?

Recovery By The Sea offers evidence-based, research-backed treatment for cocaine addiction in FL. Remember that hope exists. If you struggle, you do now struggle alone. If you know someone who struggles, do not allow them to feel isolated.


We feel grateful you read this far. Do not let this be the end of your efforts. Contact Recovery By The Sea today for more information.



The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

The Advantages and Disadvantages of PHP

If you’re seeking a way to treat drug and alcohol addiction, you might be considering a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). Before you decide, it’s vital to know the pros and cons of PHP treatment. While these type of treatment programs can be helpful, PHP isn’t right for everyone. Those with very serious addictions might require a higher level of care in residential treatment. They might also need full detox before entering any kind of treatment. Those who have less serious addictions might not need the structure of PHP. They might be better off with something less intensive. By understanding PHP, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right program.

What is PHP?

Partial Hospitalization is a level of care for treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In most PHP settings the patients receive care during the day at a facility and then return to a sober living environment in the evening. PHP is even higher in intensity than Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), but not quite as high as the full Rehab or Residential levels where a patient remains at the treatment facility 24 hours a day.

While at the facility they receive various types of treatment to manage their SUD. One of the advantages of the PHP level of care is that it allows patients to get a full day of treatment including individual therapy and groups similar to what they’d have in a residential program. Many patients appreciate the ability to stay in a sober living environment overnight rather than sleeping at the facility itself.

Who is PHP For?

Typically, PHP is used by people who have either completed a residential treatment program or whom don’t require that level of 24 hour medical care. Residential programs are those wherein the patient stays at a facility overnight. This level of care is necessary for some patients, however it can be more costly per day. Many patients find they are able to get a longer overall length of stay in the PHP level of care. Another goal of PHP is to provide support for those who are still at a high risk for relapse. Programs of this type include a great deal of emphasis on relapse prevention. The aim is to help people transition into a sober life.

PHP is often used by those who do not require residential treatment, but want an advanced level of care to treat their addiction. Generally, these are people who don’t need 24/7 medical supervision in residential care, but still want a full day of treatment and the security and structure that sober living homes deliver.

Most people with SUD benefit greatly from following this basic recovery plan:

  1. Detox (and sometimes Residential)
  2. PHP
  3. IOP
  4. OP
  5. Aftercare

People who have been to treatment before and want to make sure they get a longer length of stay often find PHP helpful.

What is Involved in PHP

During partial hospitalization, a person will undergo a variety of treatments to help them. In quality partial hospitalization programs, evidence-based therapies are used. These therapies have shown to have the greatest success with treating SUD. The types of treatments most beneficial in a PHP are:

  • Specialized care for specific addictions, such as:
    • Alcohol dependency.
    • Opioid treatment programs.
    • Heroin specific treatment.
    • Methamphetamine addiction.
    • Crack and cocaine programs.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
  • Behavioral therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives, or others.
  • Group therapy supervised by a qualified therapist.
  • Family therapy.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Support groups.

This is by no means a total list. Every facility will provide different services. However, seeking PHP treatment that includes as many of the above as possible improve the chance of success.

The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

Here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of PHP treatment:

PHP Pros

  • Provides a strong structure in order to help a person new to sobriety learn the tools necessary to live sober.
  • Can lead to a longer overall length of stay and the patient getting more help.
  • Reduces the sense of being “institutionalized” because the patient leaves the facility at the end of the day for a home-like environment.
  • Offers a full day of treatment very similar to residential treatment without the need to stay at the facility 24/7.
  • Less expensive than residential care and insurance may cover more time.

PHP Cons

Here are some drawbacks of PHP treatment:

  • May not be enough care for someone with a very serious addiction who also has medical or psychiatric problems that require more observation..
  • Requires more of a time commitment than Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient.
  • May interfere with work, school, family and other responsibilities.
  • Sometimes asks for a commitment from family members who may not be willing to sacrifice their time.

If You’re Ready to Begin PHP

Hopefully this has clarified how PHP treatment can be beneficial, as well as the potential downsides. If you feel that PHP is right for you, or are looking for alternatives, please contact us. Our staff is available to answer any questions you might have. They are also equipped to help begin the intake process if you’re looking to get into treatment as soon as possible. Our programs are built around our patients so that every person receives exactly the type of care they require. Reach out today and let us help you build a treatment program to fit your life. You can do it, and Recovery by the Sea is here to help.

Trauma Theory and The Addicted Mind

hands holding a old lightbulb

Trauma Therapy And The Addicted Mind

Trauma therapy examines causes of addiction. Addiction can have different elements. Things that occur alongside it. Like mental illness. Researchers call this comorbidity. Memories of trauma can also occur comorbidly with SUDs.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What is trauma?
  • How is trauma one of the causes of addiction?
  • What is trauma therapy?
  • How can trauma therapy help me?
  • How can I learn more about trauma therapy?

What Is Trauma?

Nailing down a single definition of trauma seems complicated. It entails the ways we respond to extremely stressful events. Trauma can lead to a sensation of freezing. Like a person is stuck inside the trauma. As such, traumatic memories complicate the present. Trauma sufferers cannot live in the present. Because their bodies believe they still live in the past.

Symptoms Of Trauma

You’ve likely heard of PTSD. It stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent discovery also includes complex PTSD or CPTSD. But a person needn’t have an official diagnosis with one of these disorders. Trauma affects people differently. Absence of a diagnosis doesn’t mean an absence of trauma symptoms.

Recent research draws a relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and trauma. Symptoms of trauma include:

  • Traumatic memories disrupting your thoughts
  • Evading specific things, places, or people
  • Persistent unpleasant emotions
  • Reacting above and beyond a given problem or situation

How Is Trauma One Of The Causes Of Addiction? 

Dr. Gabor Maté’s work provides help here. In his book In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, Dr. Maté defines addiction as, “any repeated behavior, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life and the lives of others.” The book explores the relationship between trauma and childhood brain development. Dr. Maté also indicates that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) shape how people deal with stress later in life.

Trauma can lead to maladaptive patterns of coping with stress. For example, a person feels stressed out. They’re having a hard time at work. So they begin drinking to relieve the stress. They feel a combination of anxiety and despair. Sobriety might help this person. So might an antidepressant. But these tools would just make symptoms go away. They would do little to address the person’s underlying trauma.

A few key things to remember about trauma and addiction:

  • Trauma (and its symptoms) cause stress
  • Trauma can lead to unhealthy means of coping
  • Trauma can contribute to the onset of mental illnesses
  • Trauma can likewise lead to struggles with substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Sobriety and abstinence, while helpful, do not represent the final goals of trauma therapy

What Is Trauma Therapy? 

Recovery can present a long journey. We’d all like it to be a gradual, though steady, climb. But it involves different challenges. Different obstacles for different people. Instead, recovery journeys involve sidetracks and rabbit trails.

Therefore, trauma survivors need therapy specific to their needs. It’s good to get sober. It’s wise to address mental health problems. However, trauma therapy focuses directly on what’s beneath the substance use disorder.

Find some examples of trauma therapy below.

Examples Of Trauma-Focused Therapy 

Sobriety makes for a worthwhile goal. Balancing one’s mental health is another. For some people, these might serve as endgame goals. But those coping with trauma require deeper measures. Examples of trauma-specific therapy exist. These treatment models help address trauma as one of the causes of addiction.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy 

Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) entails slowly wearing away traumatic feelings. It usually lasts for 9-12 90-minute sessions. With the aid of a therapist, clients will imagine traumatic scenarios. Over time, clients become strong enough to confront imagined trauma. From there, PE brings the client into confronting trauma outside of therapy.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Trauma often results in inaccurate or false beliefs. We tell ourselves untrue stories about true events Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) teaches the client to ask questions. Doing so helps them uncover unhelpful beliefs about the trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR) 

During an EMDR session, the client recalls a traumatic memory. With the eyes, the client tracks with the clinician’s hand. The client moves the memory forward in their mind. Usually, with little input from the clinician, the client forms a new relationship with the memory.

Examples Of Non-Trauma Focused Therapy

Focusing directly on trauma can disorient some people. Not everybody feels ready to make that leap. Not even in a therapeutic environment. To that end, therapists have developed non-trauma focused therapies. Let us look at a few examples.


Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can provide relief from trauma. They can help offset painful automatic thoughts. Breathing techniques, like holotropic breathing, can improve feelings of self-acceptance. Yoga can also aid in trauma therapy.

Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) 

Donald Meichenbaum first developed stress inoculation training in the 1970s. It offers limited exposure to minor stressors. This way, it treats stress like a disease. You get a small, controlled dose. Once you become accustomed to this dose, your body can defend against greater doses.

Interpersonal Therapy 

Interpersonal therapy attempts to help clients recognize emotional triggers. Once they notice a trigger, they can examine the underlying emotion. In understanding themselves better, they can articulate their experience better. IPT thus helps improve the client’s relationship with others.

How Can Trauma Therapy Help Me?

Sobriety can level out your body. Proper mental health care can straighten out your thinking. But for some people, those are just the first steps. Trauma therapy tries to uproot a painful memory. To detach you from it. To offer you freedom from a cycle of suffering. Wholeness is the goal. Healing, health, and completion.

How Can I Learn More About Trauma Therapy?

Recovery By The Sea offers numerous trauma therapy options. We offer trauma-specific therapy and non-trauma-focused therapy. No matter what you’re looking for, know that hope is real. Recovery is possible. If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma, call Recovery By The Sea now at 877-207-5033.

Is it OK to use CBD in Recovery?

cbd oil bottle on abstract background

What Is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is made directly from the hemp plant. Cannabidiol is the second most common ingredient in marijuana. According to the World Health Organization, consuming CBD by itself will not produce the same effects as marijuana. CBD is currently legal in all 50 states. Project CBD includes research that attributes CBD to reductions in inflammation, pain, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. Thus far, the only FDA-approved CBD medication is Epidiolex. Epidiolex shows efficacy in treating seizures. National Geographic’s documentary Cannabis For Kids shows medical administrations of Epidiolex to children while they are having seizures.

What’s The Big Deal?

It seemed like CBD took the world by storm. It became the latest health and wellness fad. Everybody was talking about it; everyone had an opinion. Some touted CBD as a miracle. They said it helped reduce depression and anxiety. It made you sleep better. It reduced your appetite, which made you lose weight. It’s supposed to improve your concentration and memory. Sounds good, right? Surely there mustn’t be anything wrong with using it. There’s no THC in it, so you can’t get addicted to it. Can you?

Is CBD Safe?

Much misunderstanding surrounds whether or not CBD contains THC. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high.” Some manufacturers of CBD do not label their products correctly. This means that a consumer could be ingesting trace amounts of THC without their knowledge. The FDA requires that CBD products contain less than 0.3% of THC. While the FDA supports sound scientific investigations into CBD and its benefits, they have also sanctioned manufacturers who make false medical claims when advertising their products. Using CBD oneself requires proper research into exactly what a certain CBD product contains. Know what you’re buying.

Isolate V. Full-Spectrum

Consumers can usually find CBD in 2 varieties: isolate and full-spectrum. CBD isolate contains cannabidiol only. By contrast, full-spectrum CBD also has terpenes and flavonoids. By virtue of these additional components, full-spectrum CBD may help ease anxiety, inflammation, pain, and more. Unfortunately, full-spectrum CBD products are more likely to produce a positive result on a drug test. A person looking for the benefits of a CBD product without this risk could look into CBD isolate. Knowing this helps clear up a common misconception. Drug tests don’t measure for cannabidiol. They measure for THC. The isolate does not contain THC, but the full-spectrum does. Even a minuscule amount (less than 0.3%) can show up in a drug test.

Should A Person In Recovery Use CBD?

As with most questions in life, the answer is: it depends. CBD does seem to show promise in reducing pain, stress, insomnia, and inflammation. A study in The American Journal of Psychiatry indicated that the CBD-derived Epidiolex may help reduce drug cravings among those struggling with opioid addiction. In the future, addiction recovery and treatment programs might indeed employ CBD. But that doesn’t matter. To a person in recovery, what matters most is what happens right now. Your life is not a study. It’s a life. Each action has a personal consequence that affects you. Each action likewise impacts the people around you.

Speak With Your Doctor

In recovery, you want the best for yourself. You want to have all the tools in your toolbox. Deprive yourself of nothing that might help you press forward. That said, make certain you assemble a trusted team of advisors. In recovery, you’re battling for your life. But you shouldn’t battle alone. Get counsel from wise people in your path. If you think a CBD product would help your recovery, ask your doctor. CBD might not mix well with some medications. Your doctor will be able to advise you of that. If your doctor does recommend CBD for your recovery, make sure you stick with the CBD isolate. Your doctor might have some particular brands to recommend. They might provide some product lines that they trust.

What If I Want To Use Full-Spectrum CBD?

You’re a thoughtful, thorough person. You’ve done your homework. You know your own mind and what’s good for you. The research indicates that full-spectrum THC helps relieve some of your mental health symptoms. You can quote studies that say so. But what’s your intention? Are you consuming full-spectrum CBD every time you feel stressed? “It’s better than drinking, smoking, or injecting,” you may think. Perhaps it is. But if that’s your reasoning, then you aren’t recovering. You’ve just substituted one substance for another. You’re still leaning on a crutch. You aren’t growing. You aren’t getting better. Whether or not CBD does what it purports isn’t the point. What matters most is what you are doing and why you are doing it. The purpose of recovery isn’t ceasing a certain behavior or exchanging it for another. Recovery involves newness and wholeness. It’s about changing your identity and your choices to make a better life. Therefore, if you’re asking whether or not something is “ok” for recovery, you’re thinking too small. If you must ask, the answer is “no.”

What If I Just Keep It To Myself?

You have an absolute right to privacy. Nobody should infringe on that. But what are you using your privacy for? In recovery, what is the purpose of your right to privacy? If you decide to use CBD, shouldn’t that just be your business? Perhaps the best way to answer these questions is with another question. If something is legitimately helping you recover from substance addiction, why should you conceal it? This is similar to substituting CBD for a different substance. Concealment, evading, secrecy – these tactics indicate that you’re still in bondage to addiction. Cloak-and-dagger behaviors like these prevent you from dealing with the problems beneath addiction.

What’s The Verdict?

In a word, if you’re in recovery then it’s best to avoid CBD. It’s in close proximity to other substances that alter your mood and mind. If you’re genuinely curious about it, speak with your treatment provider. If they opt to include it in your treatment plan, then use it as they direct you. No more, no less. If you need help relaxing, look for substance-free ways to do so. This approach will strengthen your mind, as well as your resolve. It will make you transparent and vulnerable. And that is where authentic wholeness and healing begin.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

female therapist providing patient with cognitive behavioral therapy

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become one of the most popular forms of mental health treatment in recent years. This is because CBT is based around empirical evidence, making it an evidence-based treatment (EBT). It works across a wide range of mental health issues, but is most effective at treating:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Criminal behaviors
  • Chronic pain

How CBT Works

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gets its name from the idea that thoughts drive actions. It works by addressing a person’s thoughts – their cognitive process – to help modify their behaviors. By finding thoughts that damage their mood and perspective, the person then challenges those thoughts or replaces them with new ones. Through altering their outlook, the person can then transform their mood and mindset to one that is more useful.

Once the person identifies thoughts or beliefs which are hurtful, they then seek alternative beliefs to adopt in place of the negative ones.

Example: A person loses his or her job. While this event can be seen as negative, it can also be viewed as an opportunity to pursue new avenues, explore new interests, or seek new opportunities. By seeking a different set of beliefs, a person can literally change their mind.

CBT is particularly effective at treating addiction. It helps patients identify the reasons behind their substance use, better equipping them to combat the destructive state of mind that accompanies a relapse. They are then able to find solutions to combat cravings and helpful ideas to address the underlying causes of their addiction.

A Brief History of CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy came out of psychotherapy, frequently known as talk therapy. It is largely attributed to Dr. Aaron T. Beck’s pioneering work in the 1960s. Dr. Beck and other therapists observed that many patients were suffering due to erroneous beliefs. The theory arose that if a person’s beliefs could be altered, their mental state would improve.

Testing of this theory continues to this day, and the results have been profound. Nearly every type of mental illness is positively impacted by the use of CBT, according to extensive research. Even those with no diagnosed condition benefit from challenging beliefs or “negative thinking” which impact their mood. Clinical studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, show more constructive thinking assists anyone in living a happier, more fulfilling life.

It is this exhaustive research that puts CBT firmly in the category of evidence-based practice since it has been so thoroughly and repeatedly tested with similar results.

How to Use CBT

There are several forms of CBT. In the most popular form, a person uses the “ABC” model. In the ABC model, a person identifies an Activating event (A). They then identify their Beliefs (B) in response to the activating event. Finally, they look at the Consequences (C) surrounding the event. The idea is to determine what thoughts or beliefs create their behaviors. Writing out each step then allows the patient to review their thoughts – often with the aid of a therapist or mental health professional. The ultimate goal is to find what negative beliefs are leading to negative consequences.

CBT is best done with the assistance of a therapist. However, anyone can begin recording their thoughts and identifying patterns that are having an adverse effect on their life. Changing these thoughts may unlock a better state of mind.

Benefits of a Sober Living Environment

Tropical pool at Recovery By The Sea sober living

Choices And Changes

As humans, we make choices. Our brains change with our choices. Personal experiences also alter how our brains work. Life teaches our brains how to function. Our senses, what we eat, how we sleep, what we learn from our parents. All of these important variables affect the brain’s processes. What comes from inside us shapes what’s outside us. The reverse is also true. Our external environments impact what’s going on in our heads.

The Brain’s Role

Our brains want to make life easy for us. As easy as they can. Our brains adapt to our behavior. The brain influences our motivation to chase down goals. It makes no difference what those goals are. The brain’s role is the same. If you’re an addict, reflect on your external environment. What choices did you make to nurture your addiction? How did your environment contribute to your addiction? Your interpersonal relationships might have enabled your addiction. You might have structured your eating and sleeping habits around your addiction. That’s one of your brain’s biggest jobs – making what you want happen as efficiently as possible.

Sobriety And Stability

Once you’re sober, you won’t want to go back to that same environment. You’ve made incredible progress. But your recovery journey is just getting started. Your home life must support your sobriety. You’ll need a stable, balanced routine. You’ll need a community that fosters your recovery. You may have a committed, constructive family at home. But if you don’t, you ought to consider a sober living house.


Humans have an innate need to belong. We tend to ascribe the behaviors of the people we surround ourselves with. If our immediate friend-group includes addicts, we will likely become addicts. But if our group esteems sobriety and recovery, then that enables us to succeed. Other people, for better or worse, influence us. In sober living, we partner with others who understand our struggle. We learn from them, and they learn from us.

Living On Purpose

All groups have a common mission. Even the most dysfunctional groups. Known or not. Acknowledged or not. Even if that reason is something simple. Like having fun. If the group doesn’t define a mission, then a mission will still manifest. That’s the nature of groups. So if you’re newly sober, you will want a group that consciously practices sobriety. You want a group that places sobriety as a thing of ultimate value. When a group values something, by default it must not value other things. That means that the structure of the group will revolve around what it values. If your group values sobriety and recovery, then it will focus its activities and mission around those values. And subsequently so will you.

Tested, Tried and True

A sober living house provides you with a proving ground. It’s a stable, controlled environment. There, you can begin implementing life changes that benefit your recovery. You can test out what works for you, and put aside what doesn’t. Your home life might be very difficult to mold to your new lifestyle. But sober living environments are intentionally set up to promote recovery. After some time, you’ll have new habits and skillsets. Once those become better ingrained, you’ll be able to take them with you into your home life.

If you have more questions about sobriety and recovery call Recovery By The Sea now at 877-207-5033.

Can Someone Suffering From Addiction Be Cured?

man sitting on a bench smoking

Can someone suffering from addiction be cured? If you or someone you love is currently struggling with a substance abuse disorder, this is probably a question you’ve wondered about for a long time. If so, you’re certainly not alone. In the following sections, we’ll have a look at this rather thorny question.

Problem Use Vs Addiction

Before we can address the question of ‘curing’ addiction properly, there are a few basics we need to go over. First, most addiction professionals make a fairly sharp distinction between ‘problem use’ and ‘addiction.’ Problem use is pretty much just what it sounds like. It’s a term that applies to someone whose drinking or drug use has started to cause problems for them in one or more life areas. Perhaps the best way to think of ‘problem use’ is as an intermediate stage between, say, a casual or social drinker and someone who has developed a full-fledged alcohol use disorder.

Addiction is different. Although the DSM-5 has a fairly specific set of criteria for substance abuse disorder, things can get a bit more ‘fuzzy’ in real life. Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of this article to delve too deeply into the technical definition of addiction. For our purposes, it’s enough to say that the term ‘addiction’ is typically applied to someone whose substance abuse has progressed far beyond that of a ‘problem user.’ In short, if drugs or alcohol are controlling your life, you’ve probably progressed into the so-called ‘addicted’ stage.

In any case, this is the set of people to whom the question ‘can someone suffering from addiction be cured?’ actually applies. Generally speaking, if someone is still in the ‘problem use’ stage of drinking or drug use, they can stop or reduce their use without professional help. But what does that mean for someone who is truly ‘addicted?’

So, Can Addiction Be Cured or Not?

The short answer to this very complicated question is a resounding ‘no.’ While there are exceptions, most people who have progressed into a full-blown substance abuse disorder need professional help to begin to recover. The word ‘recover’ can cause some confusion in this area. The same goes for the idea that addiction is a disease. After all, ‘recovery’ means ‘cured’ most of the time, right? And if you suffer a disease, you can sometimes be ‘cured’ as well.

Well, this is where it might seem like we’re crossing over into semantics. However, substance abuse involves a great deal more than words. Perhaps the best way to think about a substance abuse disorder is in terms of a ‘disease model.’ What this means is that a person who is suffering from addiction displays the characteristics of a disease and should be treated as such. When you look at it this way, it doesn’t matter if substance abuse is a disease like diabetes or cancer.

We can sum up with a brief discussion of the word ‘recovery.’ In terms of substance abuse disorder, recovery is a process, not a permanent state of being. At the present time, there is no cure for addiction. However, an addicted person can recover. But this can only come about with professional help and a consistent aftercare program.

How Long is Drug Rehab?

Recovery By the Sea patient area

The decision to go to rehab is not always easy but recovery is its own reward. If you find yourself reading these words, chances are you are at least considering treatment for yourself or someone you care about. That is great news, as willingness is the key to beginning the recovery process. Here are some essentials regarding the length of drug rehab and what to expect.

Most drug rehab stays begin with medical detox. The detox phase is designed to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and ease the transition to sobriety safely. It typically takes between 5 to 14 days, depending on the substances involved, quantity, length of use, and the patient’s overall health. A safe medical detox is the best way to begin recovery. Withdrawal without it can be incredibly uncomfortable and often results in immediate relapse. In the case of alcohol, benzodiazepine, or barbiturate withdrawal, the symptoms can be fatal, so this must be taken seriously.

Following detox, the usual course is to move into some form of residential treatment that can last anywhere from three weeks to three months or more. (1)

What will happen during inpatient treatment?

Inpatient treatments are structured and organized. The primary goal is to create new and healthy habits to prepare to return to recovery outside the controlled environment. (2)

Some of these may include:

  • Group and individual therapy
  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Medication management
  • Healthy sleep and personal hygiene routines
  • Strategies for continued personal growth in recovery

Road to Recovery

The relapse rate for people who attend treatment is markedly lower than it is for those who try to quit cold turkey. Getting sober is a challenge as it is, so there is no reason to make it more difficult than it needs to be. The wisest course of action is always to get as much help as possible. It is also critical to have a plan for recovery following treatment. Drug rehab is not a cure for addiction. What it does is to stabilize you and give you the tools you need to remain sober, but recovery is a process that we stay in for the rest of our lives.

Most quality drug rehabs will help you develop an aftercare plan that may include:

  • Counseling and Psychotherapy: Focus on changing behavior and continued growth
  • Medications: Medication Assisted Treatment and/or psychiatric medications
  • Support Groups: 12-step fellowships or alternatives like Rational Recovery™

Sober living is a great option following more intensive treatment. Some offer the residence for a period of up to 2 years. This housing provides support to transition the addict to independence by offering stable housing and surrounding themselves around others in similar situations. Case management is also offered to maneuver through options such as insurance, medical and psychological services, food, and clothing and assistance to resources that are available to assist the patient during their stay. Recovery is best thought of as a journey or a process. Your journey will be your own and at your own pace. There is no such thing as receiving ‘too much help’ for addiction, so never be shy about advocating for yourself. (4)

If you or a loved one is looking for help, please reach out to us at Recovery By The Sea.

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What Alcoholism Does to Relationships

man and woman sitting on a bench arguing

Let’s get straight to the point here– alcohol use disorder is a disease that eventually has a negative impact on every life it happens to touch. In other words, it’s virtually impossible for an active alcoholic to maintain healthy and mutually beneficial relationships. It’s an unfortunate fact, yes, but one that every addict has to confront if they are to have a chance at true recovery.

In this post, we’ll examine some of the most common difficulties that alcoholics and other addicts face in their romantic and family relationships.

The Effect of Alcoholism on Romantic Relationships

The effect that alcoholism has on any type of intimacy is almost always destructive to both parties. No matter how much two people might love one another, an active alcoholic (often with a great deal of help from their well-meaning partner) is often so cruel, absent, erratic, and unhappy that the relationship ends in disaster.

Here are just a few examples of what alcoholism does to romantic relationships:

  • The erratic behavior of the heavy drinker leads to feelings of anxiety and fear
  • Deep feelings of mistrust can arise because of the alcoholic’s unreliability
  • A preoccupation with alcohol and self can lead to systematic neglect of the drinker’s partners
  • Social embarrassment, job loss, and obviously low self-esteem can lead to a loss of respect
  • Personality changes can destroy the shared values that make a relationship stable
  • Alcoholism can also result in mental, physical, and verbal abuse
  • Codependency is a frequent outcome of a relationship that’s poisoned by alcohol

Again, this is just a small sample of the destructive effects alcoholism has on romantic relationships. Fortunately, a little recovery often goes a long way in resolving even the worst conflicts. 

Alcoholism and The Family Dynamic

Alcoholism can damage a once healthy family dynamic in a distressing variety of ways. Here’s what can result if one or more family members progress into alcoholism

  • Fractured relationships
  • Suspicions and mistrust
  • Deep resentment
  • Divorce, separation, or the alcoholic being forced to leave the family home
  • Neglected and traumatized children
  • Enabling behavior and/or codependency
  • Various types of familial abuse

Perhaps worst of all, certain family members can end up feeling disregarded when everyone is forced to deal with the alcoholic’s chronic instability. If possible, these relationships must be repaired if the alcoholic is to recover and the other members want to live happier, more productive lives.

The Importance of Healthy Relationships in Recovery

It might seem like a contradiction in terms, but stable, supportive relationships are critical to individual recovery. This doesn’t mean that romantic partners and family members should jeopardize their quality of life just to give an alcoholic one last chance, but it does require the heavy drinker to make the internal changes that healthy relationships demand.

Unfortunately, most alcoholics can only make these changes with the help of supportive relationships. But this isn’t the stalemate it might look like on the surface. There is strength and wisdom in numbers, especially when the persons involved are pursuing similar goals. For good or for ill, relationship skill-building usually has to begin with other people working toward recovery.

While this might sound frustrating at first, it won’t take long before these newly learned skills start to bleed over into your non-recovery based relationships and you start to build a network of friends, family, and, just maybe, a romantic partner that inspires you to improve your insides even further.

Top 5 Tools for Addiction Recovery

group of people in recovery putting their feet in a circle

Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction requires commitment and dedication. Fortunately, recovery is a well-traveled path. Millions of people have overcome addiction and built successful lives free of drugs and alcohol. Learning how to rely on the essential tools of recovery is one of the secrets to success. But, it is vital to let go of the notion that you can ‘go it alone’.  To succeed in recovery, that delusion must be crushed. Accept that willpower by itself cannot keep you away from your drug of choice.

So, if you’re at the very beginning, your first stop should be a drug and alcohol treatment center. Your best chance of success will come from getting a medical detox if needed, followed by at least several weeks of treatment. This may be an inpatient stay at a facility or attending partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) therapy. Ideally, you will live at a sober living facility for the duration. Once you’ve completed treatment  you begin the first chapter of your life in recovery. Here is a list of five of the most useful tools in recovery.

A 12-Step Program

Alcoholics Anonymous (1) and Narcotics Anonymous (2) have helped tens of millions of people live well in recovery. Approach the idea with an open mind. Having a system and a fellowship for support are tremendously helpful to anyone in recovery. Don’t overthink it. Use the system and trust the process.

An Alternative Recovery Program

Traditional 12-step programs aren’t a perfect fit for everyone. That said, it is still critical to have structure and support in recovery. Alternatives to AA and NA exist. SMART Recovery (3) and Celebrate Recovery (4) are two of the most well-known. If you are a person of faith, you may find appropriate support through those channels. What matters is that you have a plan and you have people you can rely upon who understand. Recovery works best as a team effort.

Health and Exercise

Abusing drugs or alcohol takes a toll on the body and the mind. Several studies have shown that exercise actually helps people stay sober. (5) Not only can proper nutrition and exercise help counteract the effects of an addiction lifestyle, but they also help the body produce more endorphins. Endorphins are the natural “feel good” chemicals that can give us a sense of well-being.

Activities and Aspirations

Once drugs and booze are out of the picture, many people in recovery find they have time to fill. Dedicating yourself to learning a new skill or trade is conducive to a healthy recovery. Whether it’s recreation or professional or both, setting goals for yourself is also powerful medicine to enrich your recovery life.

Literature and Learning

There is a wealth of books, audiobooks, videos, and more related to recovery and self-improvement. Dive in and take advantage of what is out there. You may be amazed at what a difference something as simple as regularly listening to positive audiobooks or speakers can make. Always be looking for new ways to input positive energy.

Remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Many are tempted to think the work is over once the finish treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab. The good news is that recovery doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s about becoming your best self and that is something to get excited about! If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or recovery, give us a call at (877) 207-5033. We can help.

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