Living your best life sober and beachside!

Long before the beach was a theater of bodies stuffed into tiny suits, exposing as much skin as possible to the sun, beach-going was often a strictly medical undertaking. For centuries we looked to the sand and surf as a fully-stocked pharmacy. But first, we had to get over our fear of the sea. She’s a mysterious beast! We need beach therapy!

The Palms Recovery – Sober Living at the beach! When people think of the beach, they often think of relaxing and fun summer vacations, hungry seagulls, and refreshing waves. For some, the ocean isn’t the only thing that’s refreshing. Despite it being illegal at many beaches, people often drink alcohol on the beach. What do you do if you’ve recently decided to cut alcohol out of your life? Should you avoid the beach entirely? We’ve gotten over our fear of the ocean, so do we fear temptation?

Luckily, there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy at the beach that don’t involve alcohol or drugs just fun in the sun! Here are some ideas for sober activities on the beach.

Get Active

For individuals who enjoy being physically active, there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy the beach without alcohol! Bringing a Frisbee or football to the beach is a great way to pass the time with friends. Or maybe you’re spending the day with enough people to start up a volleyball game. If you want to get off the sand and into the water, boogie boarding and skim boarding are also fun ways to pass the time. No fear, just sober living fun!

Enjoy Some Relaxation Time

If you prefer a more laid-back beach experience, there are many relaxing activities you can enjoy at the beach that don’t involve alcohol or drugs! Bring a book, magazine, or newspaper and catch up on the reading you haven’t had time to do. You might decide to listen to some music, a podcast, or an audiobook. Taking a walk along the beach and collecting seashells can also be a relaxing way to spend your time at the beach.

If you’ve recently decided to cut alcohol out of your life, you don’t necessarily have to cut out the beach as well. Whether you prefer to be active at the beach or enjoy spending your time at the shore relaxing, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy that don’t involve drinking alcohol or drugs. So, pack up your Frisbee, bring your books, and lather on your sunscreen – it’s time to hit the beach!

If you are struggling to cut alcohol or drugs out of your life, Rehab After Work can help. Take a look at our various outpatient programs, or contact us today to schedule an intake appointment.

Why Can’t One Rehab at Home?

You may believe you can guide your loved one–or yourself–through withdrawal and rehab at home, but inpatient drug rehab is the most effective way to treat substance abuse and lead to lifelong recovery.

Home Is Not a Neutral Environment

One of the most important elements of inpatient drug rehab is a neutral environment, which gives the person with substance abuse problems a space free of temptations and other enabling factors. Inpatient rehab is a safe setting full of established tools and professional support that delivers the caring they need while relieving them from the burden of trying to manage typical daily life with recovery from addiction.

You Don’t Have the Tools You Need at Home

Recovery from addiction begins with withdrawal. Eliminating toxins from the body needs to be a professionally-supervised, guided, and supported process to minimize discomfort and relapse. Inpatient Treatment at The Palms Recovery delivers a focused method and managed withdrawal with minimal introduction of new methods or non-narcotic detox into the body. Cleansing measures also include full-body rehabilitation and wellness through methods like yoga, meditation, nutrition, acupuncture, guided imagery, pet therapy, and/or herbal therapy.

There Are Too Many Distractions Outside of Rehab

Some argue it’s important to rehab in a known environment to learn to function without drugs or alcohol in familiar spaces. An inpatient drug rehab automatically eliminates obstacles and distractions that could derail the recovery. Weaknesses and setbacks will occur, but if they happen in a completely sober environment free from distractions or access to off-limit substances, the individual will be focused on the goal of recovery. In a dedicated rehab facility, he or she will learn how to create a new lifestyle and develop healthy habits.

 The Palms Recovery – Recovery Success in Paradise!

Successful inpatient drug rehab and alcohol rehab contains many elements that cannot be mimicked in one’s own home. The Palms Recovery in Palm Beach, Florida. We’re an established rehab facility that can help your loved one recover wholly so he or she is ready to embrace a new life, free of substances. Call today at (844) 80-PALMS to speak with a trained admissions counselor.

How Drug Addiction Affects Relationships

What is Codependency?

When a person is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, family and other close relationships can be vital in helping the person to overcome the addiction, providing emotional support, motivation, and practical help throughout the treatment and recovery process.

However, some relationships can have the opposite effect, resulting in the increased potential that the individual will either never get help or relapse even after receiving effective, research-based treatment.

Codependency is one of the relationship issues that can lead to these results. When a person is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, having a loved one who is codependent can make it more challenging to quit. In addition, the codependent individual can make it difficult to stick to the post-treatment plan, resulting in relapse and a return to destructive, drug-abusing behavior.

The Palms Recovery is in-network with many insurance companies and your treatment could be free depending on your policy and deductible.

What is Codependency?

As described in an article from Psych Central, codependency defines a relationship in which one partner has extreme physical or emotional needs, and the other partner spends most of their time responding to those needs, often to the detriment of the codependent partner’s life, activities, and other relationships. Codependency can result in a difficult spiral in which the codependent partner cares for and enables the loved one’s challenges, making it easier for the loved one to maintain challenging or destructive behaviors.

Symptoms of codependency include:

  • Low self-esteem: The codependent person may feel unlovable outside of the relationship role and depends on the opinions of other people to feel personal, positive self-worth.
  • People-pleasing: The opinions of other people have a great deal of weight for the codependent individual. This person will do anything to make sure others have a positive opinion of them. The person may feel intense guilt or an inability to say “no” to others.
  • Caretaking: The person feels a primary need to care for others, often at the expense of self-care; in extreme situations, the person doesn’t feel secure or comfortable unless needed.
  • Unhealthy, or absence of, boundaries: The codependent person may not have a sense of boundaries, either for oneself or others. These individuals may offer unwanted advice, feel responsible for other people’s feelings, or want to manipulate or control others in order to feel secure.
  • Obsession with relationships: Because the codependent person feels defined by relationships, they may become an obsessive focus for the individual; on the other hand, actual relationships may lack emotional intimacy.

Codependency and Drug Abuse

Codependency does not necessarily occur with drug abuse, but it was first recognized in relation to family members of people struggling with alcoholism, as explained by Mental Health America. Codependency is commonly found in those who have close relationships with people who struggle with addiction. It can manifest in multiple ways:

  • Partners who are both abusing drugs
  • Close adult family members or significant others of individuals using drugs
  • Children of people who are abusing or addicted to drugs

The codependent partner in the relationship is not necessarily a spouse. In fact, Psychology Today explains how to recognize codependent behavior in children. Often, children of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol become codependent, especially when an addiction has gone so far that the child feels the need to take on a caretaker role with the parent.

Negative Effects and Risks for the Codependent Partner

When a person is in a codependent relationship with someone who is abusing drugs, both individuals may experience multiple negative effects and even risks based on the situation. For example, a study from the journal Science and Collective Health indicates that there can be serious implications not only to the family dynamics surrounding codependent relationships but also to the health of the codependent individual. Some of these risks include:

  • Loss of relationships with those outside the codependent relationship
  • Inability to keep up with other responsibilities outside of the codependent relationship

Codependency generally results in the individual working so hard to care for the addicted loved one that the codependent individual’s needs are neglected, which can also result in poor health, low self-esteem, depression, and other mental and physical consequences.

Negative Effects and Risks for the Addicted Partner

As for the person struggling with substance abuse, the codependent relationship can also have severe consequences on the addiction itself as well as on potential treatment outcomes. First and foremost, the codependent relationship serves as an enabling influence in a person’s life. The codependent person may want to help their loved one, but at the same time, they may subconsciously fear that the other person won’t need the codependent person anymore if the addiction is resolved. This tends to thwart any truly effective attempts to get help, leaving the loved one continuing to struggle with addiction and with the physical and mental health risks it creates.

A study from the International Journal of Culture and Mental Health states that this factor can also be a risk if treatment is undertaken. Because the codependent partner feels dependent on the addiction to maintain the relationship, returning to the relationship as usual after treatment can actually increase the risk of relapse for the addicted partner. For this reason, codependence should be considered as part of the individual’s treatment plan when the person enters a rehab program.

Codependency Treatment for Drug Abuse

Because of the issues described above, when a person who is struggling with addiction is also in a codependent relationship, this should be taken into account for treatment. There are elements of research-based treatment programs that can help both partners in the codependent relationship; for example, a study from Substance Abuse and Misuse demonstrates that having addiction treatment professionals work with the addicted person’s family members to modify codependent behaviors can have lasting effects even after addiction treatment is completed.

In more severe cases of codependency, it can be helpful for the codependent partner to seek their own treatment program. Psychiatric professionals can provide behavioral and personal therapy to improve the codependent individual’s self-image and ability to set goals, define needs, and draw boundaries that make it possible to have a stronger sense of self-worth, deeper emotional intimacy, and healthier relationships. The Palms Recovery provides you with all the support and resources you’ll need in treatment, outpatient, and for the rest of your life! No matter what your challenges will or what will be, you’ll never be alone.  Make the call 844-80-PALMS your time is now!

Drug Rehab: What you’ll need to know.

Drug Rehab: What you’ll need to know.

Drug Rehab: Everything You Need to Know

When you are looking for drug rehab in Palm Beach, Florida, or in any other part of the country, you’re probably going to have a lot of questions. What should you look for in a treatment center? What is rehab really like? Where do you start? This page should answer most of your questions (if it doesn’t, give us a call at 1-844-80-PALMS – we are always around).

First Things First: What is Drug Rehab?

Drug rehab is essentially the treatment of substance abuse. There are many different kinds of rehab centers however the best ones have the following types of treatment programs:

Types of Drug Rehab Programs

Inpatient Drug Treatment

Inpatient drug rehab is an individual’s first step after detox. Any great drug or alcohol treatment center will help residents transition smoothly from a detox program to a residential rehab program. In addition, we conduct full assessments on residents in order to determine their history and their needs and to establish an effective treatment program for them. Once the resident has transitioned fully to our inpatient drug rehab program, therapists continue to monitor and assess the resident to determine their progress. Once they are stable enough to transition from inpatient treatment to outpatient therapy, their daily sessions will decrease, but our staff is always here to offer extra support when needed.

Sober Living/After Care

Finally, studies show that the key factor to a successful recovery is continued care beyond residential and outpatient treatment. This means that they still need to remain active in their recovery by attending meetings, therapy, and working the steps. We offer services for the whole family, as addiction is a family disease. Although one member of the family may be the one identified as the addict, we realize that everyone close to that individual is affected. Family members begin to change their own behaviors and act in ways that may enable their loved one’s substance use. Without help, the family may also begin to develop unhealthy thoughts and behavior patterns that affect their own lives in negative ways. By educating the family about addiction and codependency, our clients and their families are able to begin the healing and recovering process.

Types of Drugs Which Are Most Commonly Abused 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, here are some of the most commonly abused substances:

What the Rehabilitation Process is Typically Like

The Palms Recovery provides the best drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach, Florida to those looking for help for a drug or alcohol addiction. We provide a resident-based approach to recovery, and our experienced staff uses a combination of proven techniques to help residents achieve sobriety. In addition, we use evidence-based therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, psychodrama, family therapy, and more. 

Furthermore, we are proud to offer the 12 step program, a nutrition program, and a family program to help meet the individual needs, choices, and concerns of our residents.

Our addiction treatment programs are customized so that each resident entering our long term treatment center for addiction is provided with a recovery plan that will work for them. Since our counselors work in both group and one-on-one counseling sessions, we are able to help you work through the underlying issues of your addiction. We know that it is vital to the person’s sobriety to work through those issues and help them learn to live a sober life, even when faced with stress and challenges.

What to Look For in a Drug Rehab Center

There are a few key components to look for when choosing a drug rehab program. First of all, we believe that all programs should be designed specifically for each individual. Of course, some of the therapies used and the methods for treatment would be the same for most residents. However, the combination of therapies used, the length of stay, and the issues addressed in counseling sessions should be tailored. Additionally, counselor caseloads are an important factor when choosing a treatment center. The Palms Recovery maintains a 3 resident to 1 counselor ratio to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment experience.

Another factor to consider when choosing a drug rehab program is the kind of care that is present. Someone struggling with an addiction will want to know that they are going through all the steps required for recovery. Also, a long-term drug rehab program will help ensure the patient stays on the path to a healthier life long after their stay with us is complete.

Are you or a loved one ready to get control of your life back! our admissions treatment staff are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options at 844-80-PALMS or send us an email [email protected]. You don’t need to go through this alone, we’re here for you every step of the way. 

The extreme concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, new and unprecedented precautions are taking place across the country. Here at The Palms Recovery, we are diligent in our efforts to protect our patients and staff according to guidelines recommended by the federal government.

The Palms Recovery 

At The Palms Recovery, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff members. We have a substance abuse treatment center and are taking the coronavirus threat seriously at all of our locations. Our team has started to implement specific coronavirus protocol for rehab centers in order to not only protect our current patients and staff members, but also those looking to start their recovery journey today! 

The Palms Recovery coronavirus protocol includes such measures as:

  • Screening for coronavirus before admission
  • Thorough cleaning and sanitation of facilities and supplies on a regular basis
  • Asking staff to remain home if they exhibit any symptoms of coronavirus
  • Continued monitoring of all patient’s health and signs of COVID symptoms
  • Reducing the amount of close contact among patients and staff
  • Readily available cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus in treatment. Keeping it safe for everyone. 

Along with our specific COVID-19 protocol for rehab, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined some tips on preventing the spread of coronavirus including:

  • Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Using hand sanitizer
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and immediately wash your hands after
  • Distancing yourself from others
  • Avoid contact with anyone who may be sick
  • Stay home and isolate yourself if you are feeling sick
  • Disinfect frequently trafficked areas or touched items

Regardless of your location, any treatment center may be a safe place for everyone. Along with a more controlled environment that is separated from the outside world, the treatment also offers a hospital-like setting with medical personnel on staff. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, the time may be now to get professional help. We offer extensive options for substance abuse in Palm Beach, FL.

If you’re ready to seek professional help, our admissions treatment staff are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options at 844-80-PALMS. You don’t need to go through this alone, we’re here for you every step of the way.

More and more service animals—specifically dogs— are being spotted everywhere we go.  Service animals are very useful in helping individuals with the various things they struggle with.  Service dogs or service animals are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “dogs (or other animal species) that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” The disabilities stated include blindness, deafness, loss of limb and paralysis, as well as physical diseases such as epilepsy and diabetes. Further, service animals called “emotional support animals” can help with emotional illnesses such as anxiety and can comfort those with emotional or mental illnesses. The National Service Animal Registry has been the main database for the United States for many decades, beyond the 1990s.  


More and more service animals—specifically dogs— are being spotted everywhere we go.  Service animals are very useful in helping individuals with the various things they struggle with.  Service dogs or service animals are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “dogs (or other animal species) that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” The disabilities stated include blindness, deafness, loss of limb and paralysis, as well as physical diseases such as epilepsy and diabetes. Further, service animals called “emotional support animals” can help with emotional illnesses such as anxiety and can comfort those with emotional or mental illnesses.

The ADA National Network defines a service animal as “Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals.”

“The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:”

  • Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks.
  • Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds.
  • Providing non-violent protection or rescue work.
  • Pulling a wheelchair.
  • Assisting an individual during a seizure.
  • Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens.
  • Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone.
  • Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities.
  • Helping individuals with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

Specifically, service animals are trained to do things in certain aspects of life that a disabled person can’t. For instance, these animals can get clothes, open doors, navigate routes, etc.  Even more amazing is the animals that help individuals deal with seizures, anxiety, diabetes, or even OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).  These animals are trained to know and sense the beginning of a medical episode and warn individuals so they can take measures to prevent or lessen what is about to happen.  Having a service animal can reduce stress, soothe individuals, and for many individuals-having a service animal can give emotional support.

Service Animals and Recovery

Studies are showing more and more that service animals could positively impact those delaying with addiction recovery.  This good news shows that the soothing impact of an animal companion can stop triggers, can sense oncoming anxiety attacks, and many more things to benefit those in recovery.

Many service animals help addicts make it through recovery one day at a time.  Taking care of someone else needs is also good for those in recovery and feeling unconditionally loved gives them an immense amount of support in return.  The reciprocal relationship of having an animal that is helping to take care of an addict while the addict takes care of the animal is shown to be very beneficial.  Service animals don’t judge based on a person’s past and are more than happy to forge a new future together with those they are helping through recovery.  Many find that having a service animal is the final piece that gives them purpose as well as hope during their addiction recovery.

Knowing how to register an emotional support animal isn’t common knowledge. What is an emotional support dog? That’s a question you may need to answer when someone approaches you while you’re with your emotional support animal (ESA). It’s a great opportunity to educate others on how ESAs help and comfort people who deal with certain disabilities. One thing you’ll want to take care of as soon as possible is to register your support animal. 

The Palms Recovery wants to see individuals succeed. We’re here and open to help you achieve your best life today! Call us anytime at 1-844-80-PALMS

A loved one falling ill. Kids unexpectedly out of school with no childcare. Coping with physical distancing. Daily routines interrupted. Life milestones canceled. Adjusting to working from home, or worse, not being able to work at all. These are the crises we’re all facing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

At The Palms Recovery, we are bracing for how all these awful circumstances will come together to impact the addiction crisis in America. We must recognize the scope of the problem and start moving urgently to prevent future tragedies.

To understand how COVID-19 may compound the addiction crisis in America we must examine healthcare, economic, and social factors.

The healthcare system is being strained, and those with addiction face dire consequences.

COVID-19 is taxing all areas of our healthcare system, including treatment and recovery services.

Necessary coronavirus containment measures, like physical distancing and closures of public spaces, are making it harder for people with substance use disorders to seek help, keep up their treatment regimen, or access social supports. Groups such as AA or SMART Recovery have been shown to increase members’ ability to cope with risky social contexts and negative emotions, reduce impulsivity, enhance well-being, among other positive effects. While they’re often coupled with individual therapy, medications, and other interventions, many people do rely solely on groups. With in-person gatherings canceled, millions of Americans in recovery are now without a crucial lifeline.

On a positive note, more and more virtual meeting options are emerging as the coronavirus outbreak wears on. While this is an exciting test of telehealth capabilities, we must be aware that the switch to virtual groups was not made voluntarily, and many in recovery may be struggling. 

It’s also important to remember that, amid all of this, individuals with addiction could face greater risks related to COVID-19, particularly those who smoke tobacco or marijuana, vape, or use opioids or methamphetamines, because of the negative effects these substances have on respiratory and pulmonary systems. 

This crisis is demonstrating what we at The Palms Recovery already know and have been fighting for: The addiction treatment system needs reform.

When it comes to addiction, life-saving treatments are subject to overly burdensome restrictions that are rooted in stigma and would be abhorrent, even criminal, if applied to other chronic health conditions. In the context of COVID-19, we see clearly that those suffering from substance use disorders are not granted adequate access, protections, or support by the healthcare system—specifically when it comes to access to medications for addiction treatment (MAT).

Access to these medications, which have a demonstrated efficacy to treat addiction, are limited in the quantity dispensed and prescribed to patients. For some, daily visits to opioid treatment programs (OTPs) is required. While recent guidance from The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), allowing states to request blanket exceptions for all stable OTP patients to receive 28 days of take-home doses, is a step in the right direction, it is critical that states take action to make programs aware of this change immediately. Moving forward, more broad strokes adjustments to these policies must be considered. 

COVID-19 is posing an immediate and longer-term threat to the health of the country, but especially to those with addiction.

Not only from the virus itself but also from the consequences of physical distancing on access to necessary treatment and recovery resources. We should anticipate potential relapses and dangerously reduced access to addiction treatment for those actively using who are ready to seek care for the first time. 

Economic indicators point to increased substance use.

The economic impact of COVID-19 is already proving to be disastrous. While many employers have been able to go remote, this is simply not possible in other industries. Servers, workers in the travel industry, and many other occupations are simply out of work. Hourly workers and those without sick leave are already in crisis. For others, the tanking stock market is resulting in layoffs and depleting retirement plans.

The U.S. economy is changing. That’s a signal of concern for trends in addiction and mental health overall.

Deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide, often called deaths of despair by the media, are highest in regions with economic distress. Studies show that drug use increases in recession times because unemployment increases psychological distress. Remember, not only is unemployment already rising, but the mechanisms typically available for coping with psychological distress are less readily available, as community support groups are canceled and healthcare providers are diverted to treat COVID-19 patients.

While U.S. unemployment recently reached a half-century low of 3.5%, a drastic change is predicted due to COVID-19.

 Just last week, 70,000 Americans filed for unemployment. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that COVID-19 could drive up unemployment to 20%. We know unemployment and recessions are associated with higher drug and alcohol misuse, which have a multiplier effect of consequences to productivity, the healthcare and criminal justice systems, and families. But another concerning factor is the impact on the food services industry specifically. 

The hospitality industry already sees higher rates of addiction. With COVID-19, that’s likely to get worse.

The latest SAMSHA report examining substance use and addiction trends by industry showed that individuals in the accommodations and food services industry had both the highest illegal drug use in the past month and the highest rate of substance use disorder in the past year. 

Thousands of restaurant and hotel workers are out of work or being laid off due to closures or coronavirus containment restrictions. While some of these workers will be able to return to work when the immediate threat of the virus passes, others will not have a business to return to. Connecting these workers to psychological support to deal with the immediate distress of being out of work and to deal with the potential long-term consequences of this crisis is critical to prevent a surge in drug use and related deaths. 

Social factors pose still more risks.

Physical distancing is a new phenomenon for many, and even those without mental illness are struggling to adapt to this new way of life. While an abundance of resources is peppering the internet with tips on how to cope, some people may need professional medical help.  But these undeniable social triggers and lack of access to treatment are not the only concern here.

Kids across the U.S. are dealing with an unprecedented change in routine. That’s dangerous.

The COVID-19 response has resulted in school cancellations for nearly 30 million children. For those that rely on school lunches, this means food insecurity, for others, this may mean being quarantined with a potential abuser, while others are missing milestone events like graduations and proms, and instead of facing boredom or perpetual screen use. 

Decades of research show that there are both risk and protective factors for drug use. For example, lack of parental supervision, drug availability, and poverty are risk factors, while parental monitoring, academic competence, and strong neighborhood attachment are protective factors. It is highly concerning that the COVID-19 response could tip the scale, increasing risk factors for so many of American’s youth. What’s more, families were not anticipating the need to monitor school-age children around the clock, and the increased free time may increase drug experimentation.

The impacts of the pandemic will likely increase childhood trauma, which increases addiction risk.

Childhood trauma is linked to future substance use disorders and other negative mental health effects. COVID-19 may increase exposure to potentially traumatic childhood experiences, like harassment, abuse, loss, disasters, and even medical trauma, which can be caused when children or their families experience single or multiple medical events. 

What to do? Reform the system to ensure support and treatment access for all—not just in times of crisis, but all the time.

Addiction is a chronic disease. It can be prevented, and it can be treated. It is critical that we do not forget about the nation’s addiction crisis in our response to COVID-19, and instead build a comprehensive approach that will prevent the spread of addiction and ensure access to treatment for all those in need.  

At a systems level, reform is needed to ensure every American has access to treatment for substance use disorders, and that psychological support is widely available not just in times of crisis, but all the time. Working tirelessly to drive these changes, and we need your support. 

At a personal level, we must be vigilant to the struggles of those around us—mental, physical, emotional, economic. Everyone is struggling in their own way and we may be physically distant from each other, but we certainly are not struggling alone. Check-in on your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. We must work even harder to build community in times of COVID-19 containment. 

Stay safe and healthy. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the main topic of conversation on television, social media, and even in our own homes over the last few months. As more cases have come to light across the U.S., the pandemic has affected every American, causing widespread panic and uncertainty in this trying time.

It’s natural for humanity to feel vulnerable at a time like this, to be afraid of the unknown, to discuss our concerns, and look to others for support. Yet, if you’re currently struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), this pandemic brings to the surface a unique set of concerns of its own. An AUD is a chronic, relapsing disease that is diagnosed based on an individual meeting a certain set of criteria within a 12-month period.

How COVID-19 Affects Those Struggling With Alcoholism

With the threat of COVID-19, a person with problematic drinking behaviors may face:

  • Anxiety.
  • Loneliness; can be brought on by the need for social distancing and being instructed to remain in our homes.
  • An alcohol-related decrease in immune system health and the potential for increased susceptibility to certain infectious processes.
  • Drastically restricted access to alcohol, which may lead to symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

During this time, it’s important to acknowledge and understand these challenges that you may face in order to avoid using alcohol to self-medicate, potentially increasing certain COVID-19 related risks.

Anxiety When Faced With the Unknown

It’s human nature to worry. And when faced with the unknown, even the most steadfast among us can go through periods of fear and doubt which can lead some of us to self-medicate in whatever way we feel works best. With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, it’s understandable why many may feel stressed and anxious for themselves or their loved ones.

If you’re also struggling with alcohol, you may experience anxiety as a side effect of the disorder, thus enhancing your feelings of unease during this confusing time. Furthermore, not fully understanding the potential of what this virus can do, receiving contradictory information on television and online, and the fear of losing your financial support can also be scary. However, reaching for a glass of alcohol can enhance your anxiety or make it more likely for problematic patterns of alcohol use to start or continue.

Studies show that there is a clear relationship between anxiety and AUDs. Both prolonged drinking and alcohol withdrawal is associated with an increased incidence of anxiety. One study estimated that 18.3% of people with general anxiety disorder self-medicate their condition with alcohol while 3.3% self-medicated with alcohol because of panic disorders.  Additionally, nearly 13% of people with anxiety who self-medicated with alcohol developed an AUD, based on the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

To combat your feelings of anxiety, it may be helpful to stay off social media sites or limit the amount of time you spend watching the news each day. Being proactive about your mental health can help reduce triggers that may keep you in a constant state of worry. While the threat of COVID-19 is real, your mental health should be the main priority as well. Get outside, go for a walk or run, eat balanced meals, and make restful sleep a priority.

Isolationism From Your Support System

In an effort to flatten the curve and minimize the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised Americans to abide by social distancing strategies, by staying home, keeping 6 ft. away from others in public, and at this time, congregating in groups no larger than 10 people

The challenge with this recommendation, though, is that if you are struggling with alcohol abuse or have an AUD, you may already be feeling alone. Studies have shown social withdrawal increases loneliness and depression, which themselves may be factors associated with substance abuse. In these cases, isolating from friends and family, while important to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, may have an unintended adverse effect as it may take away your ability to socialize with your support system.

For many struggling with alcoholism, creating and maintaining healthy social connections fuels their motivation to either stay sober or continue working toward sobriety. It’s no surprise then, that in a time like this, you may be feeling even more vulnerable and potentially triggered to pick up an alcoholic beverage.

Thankfully, technology has made it easier to connect with our loved ones whenever and wherever we are. Use this time as an opportunity to speak with friends, family members, therapists, or anyone who may help you get through these uneasy times. As we all continue to socially distance ourselves, some programs have also begun offering virtual 12-Step meetings should you wish to join one online.

A Weakened Immune System

The coronavirus family of viruses, and the human illnesses associated with them—for example, respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases (e.g., MERS, SARS)—are not new to us. 8 COVID-19, however, is a new virus whose symptoms may range from mild to severe, with the potential for more serious (and in some cases, lethal) illness in people over 65+ as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems. Currently, around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and need immediate medical attention.

Over the years, studies have shown a clear association between excessive alcohol consumption and a weakened immune system, specifically, when it comes to a person’s susceptibility to pneumonia. Because of this, those diagnosed with AUD may be among a particularly vulnerable population. Yet, even if you think you may have your drinking under control, research shows that even non-chronic alcohol drinkers can still face negative health consequences. In fact, acute binge drinking also compromises the immune system.

Alcohol abuse can also lead to various issues with your cardiopulmonary system (i.e., heart and lungs). In times like these, our bodies need to function at their highest levels in order to fight off the symptoms of this virus and decrease the potential harm of COVID-19. But care must be taken, even in just getting sober. Although you may be tempted to quit alcohol use altogether until a vaccine for the coronavirus arrives, if you’ve developed a physical dependence on it, you may face serious or life-threatening symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

In order to keep individuals as comfortable and as safe as possible, medical detox is an essential first step in combating alcoholism. Although alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease, with professional treatment and ongoing recovery efforts, this disease may be effectively managed. Treatment for problematic alcohol consumption can slow down, stop, or altogether reverse many otherwise progressive, drinking-related health issues.

How to Get Help For Alcoholism

The Palms Recovery treatment facility in Sunny Palm Beach, FL, and ready to help you work toward recovery today. The Palms Recovery understands the fear and social anxiety associated with COVID-19 and we recognize our responsibility to support ongoing efforts to reduce these challenges.

We are monitoring and updating our procedures and policies as needed and in line with the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC, and federal and state authorities. Changes and updates for COVID-19 evolve rapidly, which leads to rapid changes in policies, protocols, and recommendations. We are committed to supporting our patients and their families who struggle with and are impacted by alcohol use disorder.

We offer a safe treatment environment for those seeking freedom from addiction and a community of like-minded and caring individuals to oversee your entire recovery journey.

If you’re ready to seek professional help, our admissions treatment staff are available 24/7 to discuss your treatment options at 844-80-PALMS. You don’t need to go through this alone, we’re here for you every step of the way.

Many addicts make the mistake of believing they are addicted to one drug. Alcoholics think that if they just stop drinking, everything will be fine. Opiate addicts tend to think if they can just stop taking opiates, everything will be fine. But addiction is a tricky disease. When a person becomes addicted to any substance, they increase the likelihood that they will become addicted to other substances.

One reason for this is that addicts learn to cope with normal life problems by taking a substance. When an addict enters medication-assisted treatment (MAT) like Suboxone or methadone, they no longer have their drug of choice as a way to cope with normal life problems. Medication-assisted treatment on its own only treats the biological part of addiction. The addict no longer has withdrawal symptoms but they also don’t get high. Without high, they don’t have a way to cope with their problems.

MAT, Coping Skills and Cocaine

At this point, the addict needs to learn new coping skills to deal with their problems. Most medication-assisted treatment programs offer counseling to help the addict learn new ways to cope with their problems. However, an addict new to recovery may resist new ways of coping. Normal coping skills need to be practiced on a regular basis. They don’t work as fast as a substance would. They take work on the part of the addict and awareness of when they need to be applied.

Addicts who are new to recovery may not be willing to put in the work or are resistant to counseling. They want the easy fix that drugs afforded them. They may be overwhelmed by normal everyday problems because they are not accustomed to dealing with them. They may be in denial about the need for coping skills. Most addicts who are new to recovery believe addiction is a physical problem. They believe that once they stop using their drug of choice, life will get better on its own. When it doesn’t, they become frustrated and look for other ways to cope.

This is where other drugs come into the picture. An addict on medication-assisted treatment quickly learns their drug of choice no longer works. Suboxone and methadone block the euphoric effects of opiates. The addict looks for another drug to replace opiates. Often this is a subconscious process. They don’t even realize they are replacing one drug for another. They find that they can’t cope with life and they need something to make them feel better.

Since opiates no longer work, the addict may turn to drugs like cocaine to fill the void. For the opiate addict, drugs like cocaine are nothing new. Most addicts try a number of different drugs by the time they reach medication-assisted treatment. Addiction is a gradual process that takes years to develop. For someone who has never used drugs, cocaine seems like a dangerous drug. However, over time, addicts lose their fear of taking substances. They block the dangers of these drugs from their mind.

Side Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine has many side effects on its own and when combined with powerful opioids like Suboxone or methadone, it becomes even more dangerous. Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a part of the brain’s natural reward system. When the brain releases dopamine, it makes us feel good. This is where the euphoric effects of cocaine come from. However, cocaine keeps the brain from recycling dopamine back into the cells. This excess of dopamine can cause some of the serious side effects of cocaine.

What are the physical side effects of Cocaine?

  • Constricts blood vessels
  • Dilates pupils
  • Increases body temperature
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Causes headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite (which can lead to malnutrition)

What are the psychological side effects of Cocaine use?

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations

What are the dangers of Cocaine use?

Some of the side effects of cocaine use can lead to serious health problems. The body is not designed to function with such high levels of dopamine.  Cocaine use can cause:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

In addition to the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, cocaine users are at risk for other health problems depending on how they use the drug. Intravenous (IV) cocaine users are at increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis from sharing needles. Cocaine users who snort the drug can lose their sense of smell; have chronic runny noses, hoarseness, nosebleeds, and trouble swallowing.

Confidence dating and enjoying life Sober Sexy

A mindful sober subculture is emerging, indicating that we’re seeking out deeper, more meaningful connections to others. The days of meeting randoms at bars to forget their name the next day to detox, jumpstart an exercise program, or sober up can often mean one of two things: social hibernation or momentary relapse. The high on drugs or booze culture is beginning to fall by the wayside, with a wide range of sober, mindful, after-work activities—making happy hour a little more meaningful, and the morning after a lot happier. Not everyone is a drinker by any means, and this social shift is welcome news, indicating that we’re striving to deepen (and actually remember) our tangible connections with others.

While the romanticized idea of showing up at that birthday party with your healthy green smoothie in hand because you’re cleansing seems doable, when put into practice it might sometimes feel easier just to stay home. Life is short and just because your sober now, you can still enjoy all life’s got to offer! Daytime fun in the sun, to Nightlife! 

You’ve got a plethora of options!

Depending on where you reside, the season of course, and what you’d like to do and what you’re looking for in a new mate, friends, or new like-minded hobby oriented associates.

On line Dating

Here are five dating apps for people in sobriety or don’t drink or do any drugs! Five Sober Dating Apps! Get your swag on again! Are you ready to meet someone? Have you been sober for at least a year, and getting lonely?

Take a class

Once I got out of the fog of my first few weeks of sobriety, I had a bit of an identity crisis of what my hobbies were and what I liked to do for fun. Sobriety is a great opportunity to rediscover yourself and take a class in something you’ve always wanted to try — and maybe meet someone in the process.

Wingman Needed

Lean on your friends and family. Send an email to your support network and let them know you’re looking to date and open to meeting new people. If you can avoid being too picky, include a few sentences about some qualities or types of people you’re looking for. And if you end up meeting someone through a friend or family member, don’t be a flake and ruin the relationship for your loved one. I’m getting very close to putting up my own ad on my Instagram stories… if I’m not my biggest PR advocate, who is?

A substance abuse problem changes the way a person looks at the world, and treatment does much the same thing. A lot can change due to drug and alcohol addiction, and successful rehabilitation entails rebuilding a person’s life. When it comes to relationships, the realities and rules of abstinence after addiction become all the starker. Whether as a client or a companion, a guide to sober dating is very important in understanding how matters of the heart change.

Dating in Recovery

Many treatment programs discourage their members (either actively or otherwise) from pursuing romantic or sexual relationships in the aftermath of their recovery. 

A substance abuse problem changes the way a person looks at the world, and treatment does much the same thing. A lot can change due to drug and alcohol addiction, and successful rehabilitation entails rebuilding a person’s life. When it comes to relationships, the realities and rules of abstinence after addiction become all the starker. Whether as a client or a companion, a guide to sober dating is very important in understanding how matters of the heart change.

Many treatment programs discourage their members (either actively or otherwise) from pursuing romantic or sexual relationships in the aftermath of their recovery.  The Palms Recovery is here 24/7 to serve you and your family professionally and discretely with all your addiction needs 1-844-80-PALMS.

If you exude confidence, you’ll always be #SoberSexy