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President Obama Addresses Addiction as a Health Problem

Monday, April 4th, 2016

President Obama Addresses Addiction as a Health Problem

On March 29, 2016, President Barack Obama spoke at a National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. At the summit, Obama committed to tackling the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation by focusing on prevention and treatment, rather than on dated “war on drugs” policies. Obama emphasized the importance of altering the lens in which we view drug addiction. Instead of looking at substance abuse as a criminal problem, President Obama suggested that we view addiction as a health problem.

Changing the Discourse on Addiction

Obama’s statements build on this month’s congressional movements to change the political discourse regarding addiction and to allocate government funds to fight the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States. Historically, addiction has been viewed as a criminal problem, not as a public health concern. The Obama administration is working to overturn that perspective on addiction and shift it towards a health concern. Obama stated, “If we treat addiction like a crime, we aren’t doing anything scientific and it’s ineffective.”

In many societies, substance abuse became heavily criminalized due to the belief that addicts and alcoholics were immoral, weak in character, selfish, and lacked self-control. In essence, addiction was seen as a moral issue. Over the years, advocates have worked tirelessly to convince the public that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. They attempted to change the approach to treating addiction from a punitive approach to a more rehabilitative one.

Obama said that historically, addiction has not been viewed as a public health concern, primarily because it was believed to affect “the poor and minorities.” Addiction was seen as a character flaw, rather than as a disease affecting people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Taking Steps to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic

The Obama administration has taken steps to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. According to Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “research clearly shows that [the medication-assisted treatment] approach, when combined with behavioral therapies, is more effective at sustaining recovery and preventing overdose.” The Obama administration plans to expand access to treatment by issuing $94 million to 271 community health centers across the country to increase substance abuse treatment, with a focus on expanding medication-assisted treatment in underserved communities.

In addition, President Obama signed a memorandum calling for the creation of an interagency task force to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) will soon release a new $11 million funding opportunity to states to purchase and distribute naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. It was the CDC’s first-ever recommendations for primary care physicians on prescribing opioids. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced safety-labeling changes for all immediate-release opioid pain medications, which included requiring a new warning about the serious risks of opioid abuse, opioid addiction, and opioid overdose deaths. As evidenced above, the White House and several government agencies are working hard to combat the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic affecting the United States. Addiction is a chronic, progressive and fatal disease if left untreated, but recovery from opioid addiction is possible. With treatment and support, you or your loved one can recover from opioid use disorder.

Recovery is Possible

Are you or a loved one struggling with drug addiction? If so, help is available. Individuals struggling with substance abuse can experience hope and healing at The Treatment Center. We offer a variety of treatment programs, services, and therapies to best suit the needs of each individual patient. To find out more about our facility, contact us today at 877.392.3342, or chat with an admissions counselor online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

Monday, March 28th, 2016

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged doctors to avoid prescribing powerful opiate painkillers for patients with chronic pain given that the risks for taking such drugs far outweigh the benefits for most people. The CDC is taking action to combat the nation’s fatal prescription painkiller epidemic.

The new CDC guidelines include an exception for patients receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care. If doctors determine that such painkillers are necessary in other situations, the CDC suggests that doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.

The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers

According to the CDC, roughly 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers. In 2013 alone, an estimated 1.9 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opiates. CDC director, Thomas Frieden, commented, “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently…These are really dangerous medications that carry the risk of addiction and death.” Many prescription opiates are as addictive as heroin and poorly control chronic pain.

The CDC hopes their new guidelines, directed to primary care physicians who prescribe nearly half of the opiates, will help doctors determine better practices for prescribing prescription painkillers. Although doctors aren’t legally obligated to follow the guidelines, such directives often have a significant influence. For the first time, the government is communicating that the practice of treating non-fatal pain conditions with long-term opioids is dangerous and inappropriate. Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, called the guidelines a “game changer.”

Nonopioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

The CDC recommends nonopioid therapy to treat chronic pain outside cancer, palliative and end-of-life care. What types of nonopioid therapy exist for chronic pain? The Treatment Center’s outpatient care center, Restore, provides evidence-based treatments for chronic pain sufferers by offering a wide variety of holistic treatment services. We believe in teaching our patients how to safely and effectively manage their chronic pain. Our alternative pain therapies include chiropractic care, cold laser therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, traditional physical therapy, yoga and meditation:

  • Chiropractic care: Can increase mobility in your neck, back, legs, and arms; relieves stress, tension, and headaches you may experience when quitting narcotic painkillers
  • Cold laser therapy: Effective in reducing joint inflammation and muscle spasms; also increases the effectiveness of chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture: Useful in treating depression and insomnia; reduces drug cravings without the use of other prescription drugs
  • Massage therapy: Can ease anxiety and muscle tension; promotes restful sleep
  • Physical therapy: Can improve your physical health and mobility, particularly if you experience chronic pain or have endured an injury
  • Yoga: Boosts self-esteem; improves physical strength; improves mind-body-spirit connection
  • Meditation: Can improve your ability to cope with stressful situations; promotes feelings of calmness and happiness

At The Treatment Center, we believe that holistic therapies are an essential component to an effective pain recovery plan. Our pain management program will teach you safe and effective ways to manage your chronic pain. With the proper treatment and support, it is possible to learn how to manage your pain without depending on opiate medications.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. The Treatment Center is here to help suffering individuals find lasting recovery. Call our 24-hour confidential helpline today at 877.392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions staff will find you the appropriate help you need to combat your addiction.

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Our Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

On March 10, 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Senate bill passed 94-1 to combat opiate addiction. The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription painkillers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

Prescription drug abuse and heroin use has taken its toll on the country, while also straining law enforcement and addiction treatment programs. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, as well as the prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and others.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the bipartisan bill, known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) would expand access to naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, and provide opiate addiction treatment to people who are incarcerated due to drug use. CARA has been in development for three years and is currently the only bill in Congress that includes all four aspects of an appropriate and effective response to combat opiate addiction: prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement.

CARA would provide a series of incentives and resources designed to encourage states to pursue a wide variety of proven strategies to combat opiate addiction. The bill is comprised of six major sections: prevention and education, law enforcement and treatment, treatment and recovery, addressing collateral consequences, addiction and recovery services for women and veterans, and incentivizing comprehensive responses to addiction and recovery.

Senator Whitehouse commented on the bill saying, “This legislation identifies specific steps that will help us combat addiction and support those in recovery, and provides the tools needed for states and local governments –in coordination with law enforcement, educators, and others — to take them. It’s a comprehensive approach to a problem that demands our full attention.”

Improvements in 2016 CARA Bill

What are some of the major features of CARA?

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction with evidence-based treatment
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid treatment and interventions program
  • Strengthen and improve prescription drug monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals in order to combat opiate addiction

Although there are some concerns with CARA, the effort made by the Senate shows a shift in the political discourse regarding the nation’s opioid epidemic. Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance, commented, “the momentum behind CARA offers hope that lawmakers are starting to evolve toward treating drug use as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.”

On March 7, 2016, the bipartisan bill passed its first procedural hurdle with the Senators voting 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. A vote on the final passage of the bill took place on March 10, with the Senate almost unanimously voting in favor of the legislation. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives and Senate leaders are pushing for quick action. The bill is expected to face a more difficult battle in the House, but if CARA reaches the White House, the president is expected to sign it.

Help for Opiate Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an opiate addiction, help is available. Call us today at (877) 392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admission counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays.

From Doubting Recovery to 2 Years Clean and Sober

Monday, March 7th, 2016

Doubting Recovery | Clean and Sober | Addiction


Angela found herself experimenting and abusing drugs in her early teens. She was involved in a horrible motorcycle accident that left her seriously injured. It wasn’t long before she began abusing opiates, which soon progressed into heroin and crack cocaine. Although she knew she had a problem, she couldn’t bring herself to quit and felt the drugs were more important to her than her family and friends.

One day she saw herself in the mirror and she had dropped to a mere 90 pounds. All she cared about was chasing the next high, not about her loved ones. It was then that she realized that she couldn’t continue living that way.

Before attending The Treatment Outpatient Services, Angela was lost and hopeless and felt she would need someone to push her to get addiction treatment. When Angela first started her journey in recovery, she didn’t think she’d be able to do it. She felt she needed encouragement and someone there to push her to complete her treatment.

Angela went from doubting recovery to 2 years clean and sober. The Treatment Center Outpatient Services gave her the foundation, understanding, and freedom from addiction that she hoped for. Find out how she’s doing today in the video below:


5 Common Questions in Early Recovery

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Common questions in early recovery

By alumni, Christian McLaughlin

As an alumni of The Treatment Center, I am asked a lot of questions on the best way to transition into early recovery after receiving inpatient treatment. Here are a few common questions about early recovery that may help you through the process:

1) What Do I Look for in a Sober Home?

It’s best to go to a single gender home that requires you to attend meetings and have a sponsor. Be sure to ask around about the home. Chances are others will know about them and be able to guide you in the right direction. Continuing care is a good resource for finding out about local sober homes that are accredited. All of us here in the alumni department went to sober homes so don’t hesitate to reach out to The Treatment Center as well.

When looking for a reputable and safe sober home, it’s best to do some research. Be sure to check into whether the home is accredited with state and local agencies, for instance the Florida Association of Recovery Residence (FARR) and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Ask around the sober community, chances are people will know of the good and bad sober homes and be able to guide you in the right direction. Find out the cost of the home and what the expectations are if you’re living there. Generally, a good sober home will require you to attend meetings, have a sponsor, a job, and pay rent.

2) What Are AA/NA Meetings?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings are gatherings of fellow individuals who have struggled with substance abuse. The common feelings and experience with substance abuse amongst the group is what allows us to relate with one another. The people within the meeting all have the shared experience of having overcome their substance abuse. They can help guide you through issues that may arise in living a sober life. It’s much easier to stay sober when you have support around you and people who can relate to you.

3) What Are “The Steps” and Why Do I Need a Sponsor?

“The Steps” as you will frequently hear are tools to help you live a sober life. They have been an effective approach in staying substance free for millions of people. Although they differ between AA and NA, the basic idea is the same. They are a resource to help you look at yourself and find root causes of your substance abuse. They further help you develop a new way of living a happy and sober life. The purpose of the sponsor is to guide you in doing these steps. You cannot take yourself through the steps, as you are the problem.

4) How Long Must I be Sober to Work at The Treatment Center?

We generally want alumni to have at least a year sober before working for The Treatment Center and the Teen Treatment Center. It’s best to stay involved with the alumni community and stay familiar with The Treatment Center, that way when a position opens, we’re able to let you know. We always love hiring alumni because they know our program the best and can help guide others on the same path.

5) What Can I Do for Fun When Sober?

There is plenty to do once sober. One big plus is that now you’ll have money to do many of the things you weren’t able to when you were using and drinking. If you’re an outdoors type, you’ll now be able to actually participate in sports, hiking, camping, golfing, and hunting without worrying about your next high or drink. Plus, you’ll be able to remember doing it. If you’re an indoors type, you can enjoy sporting events, museums, concerts, squash, reading, and dancing. These are just a few examples of sober activities.

If you’re an alumni of The Treatment Center, and want to know how to get more involved with the alumni community, contact us at (561) 876-8745 and follow our alumni page on Facebook for an alumni specific event or find out more information on our alumni page.

For Couples in Need of Addiction Treatment

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Couples Addiction Treatment | Couples Drug Therapy | Couples rehab

Addiction is a disease that affects all areas of life. The physical and emotional effects are suffered not only by the addict, but their friends and family as well. These consequences are felt severely by the romantic relationship, possibly more than any other. Whether it’s a lifelong marriage or the earlier stages of a relationship, addiction can quickly destroy a union between two people. When one or both partners are suffering from addiction, the steps to save the relationship are similar. When couples choose to receive help together, they have a higher chance of recovering together.

For couples who are wondering if they are in need of treatment, there are many consequences to consider if they refuse to receive help. Addiction causes a lot of distrust, anger and resentment. When one or both members of a couple are in active addiction, many unhealthy behaviors begin to develop. If these behaviors are not addressed and dealt with, the future of a relationship will be in jeopardy.

Oftentimes, if couples want to save their relationship and family, their only choice is to receive treatment together. With many unhealthy coping mechanisms already in the works, couples need outside help to rebuild a happy and healthy relationship. Whether both members are addicted or only one, the need to heal together remains the same. The first step is admitting there are things to work on for both parties and a willingness to work on healing both together and individually.

It’s important to recognize there are many issues that will still be there once addiction treatment is complete. Long-term treatment in the form of therapy and support groups are key for a lasting recovery. For a non-addicted partner, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon have proven to help many who suffer from a loved one’s addiction. In order for a relationship to last after rehab, the work is far from over.

Couples addiction treatment is the most successful when both members fully support one another. Whether it’s couples rehab, couples drug therapy or other sources, there are many ways to receive help together. If you are ready to receive help for an addiction or better understand your loved one’s substance abuse, we are here to help. Contact us today: 877-412-3342.


The Best of the Week: #NoMoreShame Quotes

Friday, June 20th, 2014

#NoMoreShame is a movement to break the stigma of addiction. This movement creates awareness that addiction is a disease, recovery is possible and nobody should be ashamed to ask for help. Here are uplifting quotes that share the #NoMoreShame message:


Sobriety is a journey, not a destination. #NoMoreShame You are stronger than you think. #NoMoreShameRock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. #NoMoreShameYour strength is greater than your obstacles. #NoMoreShameYou are NOT a lost cause. #NoMoreShame I am not what I have done. I am what I have overcome. #NoMoreShameRecovery is about progression, not perfection. #NoMoreShameI choose recovery. #NoMoreShame






































Learn more about #NoMoreShame:

#NoMoreShame: What’s The Message Behind the Movement?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Whether it is through a before and after image or a wristband, the core message of #NoMoreShame remains the same. By continuing the conversation that addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, those still suffering will see the opportunity they have to recover. #NoMoreShame is a movement that brings people together and allows them to share their stories to ignite hope in others. Breaking the stigma of addiction becomes possible when people come together, raise awareness and are honest about what it means to be an addict.

The current statistics show that in 2012, 23.1 million individuals 12 and older were in need of addiction treatment. That is 1.5 million more than the previous year. With only 10.8% receiving help, 20.6 million people were left suffering in their addiction. That is 20.6 million daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and friends.

In order for those still struggling to receive the help they need, they must be shown that a life in recovery is possible. Everyone who has been touched by or struggled with an addiction should experience the freedom of not feeling ashamed. As those who are proud of how far they have come continue to share it with others, the stigma of addiction can be diminished. There is freedom from addiction, and by sharing the stories of #NoMoreShame, families and individuals will have the opportunity for their hope to be restored.

#NoMoreShame has spread quickly across the world, reaching 45 U.S. states, Canada, the U.K., Australia, South Africa and India. The impact that #NoMoreShame supporters have goes far beyond posting an image. Addiction affects not just the individual, but their friends and family as well. Every person touched by addiction carries with them a story of hope, perseverance and triumph. It is up to those people to start the conversation that those suffering from addiction deserve to receive help, unashamed and without judgement. By sharing these stories, those still suffering will see that it is possible for them to begin a life in recovery.

To receive your free #NoMoreShame wristband, go to


From the Desk of Our CEO: On Recovery Month and #NoMoreShame

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

With so many families affected by addiction, it is our responsibility to continue Restoring Hope in our community so the chains of this disease can be broken. We are reminded daily how devastating the effects of addiction can be; but on the other side of despair is hope. Raising awareness about addiction and recovery is an integral part of helping those still suffering from this disease. With National Recovery Month upon us, we have the opportunity to promote with others around the world that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

By working with organizations in our community, we are able to provide the necessary help and support to individuals and families affected by addiction. We are the 2013 Sponsor of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC), a community organization making an effort to prevent substance abuse. PBCSAC works with local schools, businesses and recovery organizations to raise awareness and prevent youth and adults from abusing addictive substances. We are proud to work alongside an organization whose mission is to reduce and prevent substance abuse in order to create a drug free community.

Unfortunately, prevention is not 100% effective, which is why we must continue to raise awareness that help is available. The events that take place during Recovery Month make it possible for people to realize that they are not alone, and that addiction treatment is effective. We know that addiction is not a life sentence, but it is our duty to spread that message. When those in the community are better educated about the disease of addiction and its effects, more struggling addicts will have the opportunity to recover.

The best way to Restore Hope in individuals and families affected by addiction is to show them that people can and do recover. Our #NoMoreShame movement is an effort to break the stigma of addiction. #NoMoreShame allows us to raise awareness that recovery is possible, and no one should be ashamed to reach out for help. During the past few months, many recovering addicts have shared their stories with us in an effort to break the stigma of addiction. I continue to be overwhelmed by the positive messages of hope and success we are receiving. By continuing to share these stories, those still suffering are able to see that they have the opportunity to recover as well.

This Sunday, The Treatment Center’s #NoMoreShame movement will be represented at the Recovery Month event, Voices of Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness. #NoMoreShame wristbands will be handed out in our interactive booth where people will have the opportunity to take their own custom #NoMoreShame photo. We look forward to sharing our message of hope and recovery with the community. Through our continued efforts, we believe that those struggling will find that there is freedom from addiction, and they will begin the path to recovery.

Best Wishes,

Bill Russell, CEO

The event will take place Sunday, 9/15 from 11am-4pm at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center in West Palm Beach. For more information about the event, click here.

From the Desk of Our CEO: A Reflection the #NoMoreShame Campaign

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

We often underestimate how powerful it can be to share our story with others. When an effort is made to be honest and connect with someone else, we begin to grow ourselves. I have gained a wealth of understanding from listening to our patients stories of struggle transform into stories of hope and achievement. My hope is that every one of our patients will experience the freedom of not being ashamed of where they have been, but instead be proud of how far they have come.

For an addict, realizing that they should not be ashamed of their past is a monumental step in their recovery. Too often I have witnessed addicts who are stricken by the stigma of addiction and don’t believe that they are worthy of building a positive future. I believe that it is our responsibility to prove to our patients that they deserve this new life. That is why we launched our No More Shame campaign. In an effort to break the stigma of addiction, we have asked people to share with us photos from before they joined recovery and today with #NoMoreShame attached. By sharing a before and after picture, people are taking action against the stigma and showing that they are not ashamed of their life before recovery.

Viewing the photos we have received from our alumni and members of recovery has been overwhelming. I have read positive responses from people all over the country along with people from India, Australia and more. It is truly an honor to witness the power of recovery in action. Seeing messages such as, “I feel brand new!” and “I don’t have to live that way anymore, I can enjoy life as it comes!” are all-inspiring. It is a wonderful reminder that through this fellowship, the chains of addiction can be broken.

We know that there are many who are still struggling in this life threatening battle. The other intent behind the No More Shame campaign is that those still suffering from the disease will see these images and realize that there is hope for them. When someone struggling reads a message of recovery, they realize that it is possible for them to recover as well. So please, continue to extend your messages to us and your community. Spreading the word that it is possible to rise above this disease is what allows us to continue helping others. You never know when you are going to touch someone who needed to hear your story.

Best Wishes,

Bill Russell, CEO

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.