Addiction Treatment Programs

Movies About Drug Abuse

Hollywood is known for its glitz, glam, and drama.  With new movies coming out every year, the goal is to entertain, and dramatization is one way to capture and captivate their audience.

Unfortunately, with drama also comes many inaccuracies. There are many movies about drug abuse in particular, but as a South Florida behavioral healthcare center that has plenty of experience working with drug addicts, we know that a lot of them get it wrong.

Inaccurate Films About Drug Addiction

Not only do the films get it wrong, but many movies related to drug addiction glorify drugs. They focus on the high and the fun of partying rather than the crash and the impending negatives that come with it. These films aren’t just inaccurate, but they can be a bad influence as well. One study found that teenagers with the most exposure to alcohol use in films were more likely to try alcohol than their peers who had minimum exposure.1

Our residential rehab in Palm Beach is listing some movies related to drug abuse that got it wrong.

Pineapple Express

This action comedy is a memorable film about marijuana that shows the drug in a comedic light. Although the main character is on the run because of his smoking habits, the exaggerated story seems so farfetched that it does little to actually deter anyone from smoking. The movie’s comedic tone also doesn’t show the reality of a drug addiction and the negatives the come with it. Instead, it may only make someone want to try marijuana more.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Prescription drugs, alcohol, and cocaine play a major role in this movie. Based loosely on the true story of Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street often uses drug use as comedic relief or as a way to enhance the lifestyle of the rich and famous. The main characters are always partying and when Belfort overdoses and tries to drive home, the scene is meant to be hilarious. Besides the financial trouble that ensues, the movie doesn’t discuss withdrawal symptoms, a drug detox, or the negative health effects of long-term drug abuse. The real-life daughter of Tom Prousalis, an associate of Jordan Belfort, even spoke out about the film saying, “Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining…We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges?”

We’re The Millers

A great movie for a good laugh, We’re the Millers depicts drug smuggling in a comedic and less than accurate light. A group of four people pose as a family on vacation in Mexico and use an RV to transport an enormous amount of drugs back to the United States. While the movie take a lighthearted look at what can happen when people get mixed in with the drug trade, the comedic moments overshadow the actual danger. The film also has a happy ending for the “family” of drug smugglers even though they broke the law.

Superbad

This comedic tale of two misfit teenagers mentions drugs and alcohol a whopping 172 times. The focus on partying and drinking neglects the negatives that come with drug abuse. Instead, drug and alcohol abuse are seen as cool, harmless, and lots of fun.

Real life addictions are often much more serious than what you will see in the movies about drug abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, get help immediately. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get started and to learn more about Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches.

 

Sources:

  1. AAP News & Journals Gateway – Alcohol Use in Films and Adolescent Alcohol Use

 

 

Read more...

Signs of A Functioning Alcoholic

To many people, the stereotypical alcoholic is someone who is noticeably drunk most of the time.

They might be isolated from their friends and family because of their drinking. They may have lost their job because they were hungover and may even be homeless carrying around a bottle in a brown paper bag. While some people with alcohol abuse disorder may fit this mold, not everyone qualifies. Some alcoholics you may never suspect.

(more…)

Read more...

Cocaine Found Floating Off the Coast of The Florida Keys

Many tourists flock to the Florida Keys for their fishing charters, but fish may not be the only things you will find in those waters.

Cocaine was found floating off the coast of the Florida Keys in early August. The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the cocaine bails and an investigation on where they came from began.

In the span of three days, the Coast Guard found six bails total of the illegal drug after boaters began reporting the floating bails. The first bail of cocaine was found floating 10 miles east of Islamorada. The next day, two more bails of cocaine were found. Finally, on the third day, three more bails were discovered, only this time 15 miles east of Marathon. Together, the bails contained over 280 pounds of cocaine that is worth an estimated $3.8 million.

(more…)

Read more...
Florida drug bust

Florida Drug Bust

The Largest Drug Bust in Brevard County History

Known for the Kennedy Space Center and the quiet beaches, Brevard County is not usually the place for crime or drug busts, but recently this sleepy county made big news. After a six-month investigation, there was the largest drug bust in Brevard County history. 60 people have already been arrested and more than 100 people have warrants out for their arrest. Brevard County police found firearms, $100,000 in cash, and a combination of drugs including kilos of fentanyl, meth, and heroin. Brevard County Sherriff Wayne Ivey commented, “That is enough fentanyl to kill everyone in Brevard County.”1

Not only was this Brevard County drug bust spanning across the county, but the sheer enormity of the bust leads to suspicion that the illegal activity was reaching outside of Florida as well. The suspects involved in the drug operation range in age and gender, proving that drug abuse knowns no bounds. The three suspected leaders of the drug trafficking include Brand Huff, Jonathan Walker, and Megan Wilborn who were taken to Brevard County Jail with high bails. 1

(more…)

Read more...
divorcing an addict

Divorcing an Addict

It can be difficult to watch your significant other struggle with an addiction. It can be even harder when their addiction exacerbates the cracks that were already present in your relationship.

Unfortunately, addiction and divorce can often mix. As a South Florida detox center and behavioral health care providers, we see firsthand how substance abuse can ruin marriages.  If you are divorcing an addict, we have pulled together a list of what you should expect.

What to Expect with Drug Addiction and Divorce

Divorce can have different effects for different people, especially when you have the added layer of divorcing an addict. The whole process can seem overwhelming, but our behavioral health center wants you to be prepared for the whirlwind that is about to come.

(more…)

Read more...
holistic treatment approach

Holistic Treatment vs. Traditional Treatment

Like many other diseases, addiction can be treated through a variety of options and there are many factors that come into play when determining the best level of care.

Everyone will experience a unique journey through recovery and there are many benefits to holistic addiction treatment as well as a more traditional route.

The addiction experts at our drug rehab in Palm Beach explain the differences between holistic treatment and traditional treatment for any addiction that is present. There are numerous benefits for both options and through professional care you will be able to start over and fully recover from addiction. If you are in need of addiction treatment in Palm Beach, read on to understand the different approaches to treating this disease.

(more…)

Read more...
professional treatment for addiction

Why Professional Treatment is Needed for Addiction

While some people think that addiction is a moral failing, this is not the case. Addiction is a struggle that can be perceived as a disease, and the physiological manifestations of addiction reinforce this opinion.

Studies show that when someone is an addict, their brain has a deficit in the function of the prefrontal cortex – the region of the brain responsible for reasoning, reward, and more [1]. When someone is an addict or alcoholic, their prefrontal cortex does not understand how to properly respond to stress [1]. Many argue that this is a learning disorder more than a disease, in which a person’s mind and body have learned to count on substance abuse rather than other natural coping mechanisms. Whether you consider addiction to be a learning disorder, a disease, or an unfortunate circumstance, professional treatment for addiction is key. (more…)

Read more...
photo of a judge gavel and law book from a courtroom next to illegal drug needles

Does Mandatory Addiction Treatment Work?

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment in the United States has evolved considerably in the last 50 years. Our nation has slowly moved away from the philosophy of incarcerating people with addictions to providing treatment. While it has been shown that treatment is much more successful in helping people with substance use disorders (SUDs) than punishment, the question of whether or not mandatory rehabilitation can be effective remains unanswered.

Many subscribe to the belief that an addicted individual must “hit rock bottom” before he or she can get better, thus making mandatory treatment inherently flawed. The “rock bottom” theory implies that a person must get to a certain low-point in his or her life (either professionally or personally) in order to make the decision to get help and be treatable. This theory would make mandatory treatment useless, because the addicted individual did not choose to get help. Others argue that a person with a drug or alcohol addiction is unlikely to voluntarily seek treatment and needs to be pushed into it, making mandatory rehab a viable option.

Boston Medical Center’s global analysis of mandatory drug treatment programs determined there was no evidence that these programs were effective.

The Boston Medical Center is the most recent group to offer its two cents. In June 2016, the organization conducted a global analysis of the efficacy of mandatory drug treatment programs and determined there was no evidence that these programs were effective.[1] In addition, the medical center found that these programs violate human rights principles laid out in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a U.N. treaty signed by 160 states.[2]

Not All Mandatory Treatment is the Same

For the purposes of the global analysis (which did not include drug courts in America), mandatory treatment was defined as, “Any form of drug treatment that is ordered, motivated, or supervised by the criminal justice system.” But within this broad definition lies differing degrees of severity:

  • Quasicompulsory: Person is offered a choice between incarceration and treatment.
  • Compulsory: Authorities mandate treatment without allowing the person the option to give consent, decline treatment or choose the type of treatment received.[3]

mandatory addiction treatment programMost mandatory drug treatment programs within the U.S. and around the world fall somewhere in between these two extremes. In this global analysis, mandatory detention was a part of many of the programs observed by the Boston Medical Center, where hundreds and even thousands of people are detained for periods ranging from a couple of months to multiple years. These facilities are run by police officers and members of the military, rather than by medical and addiction care professionals.

This is an oppressive form of addiction rehabilitation and is not allowed in the United States or in many other developed nations. Instead, our country has relied on drug courts as a diversionary programs since the late 1980s. The first drug court was established in Miami-Dade County, FL in 1989.[4] The program was created in response to growing frustrations over repeatedly seeing the same faces in court for non-violent drug offenses. As of June 30, 2014, there were 2,968 drug courts in the United States, with programs operating in every U.S. state and territory.[5]

Specifics about U.S. Drug Courts

mandatory addiction treatment planDrug courts combine drug treatment with the structure and authority of a judge and court system. The programs provide nonviolent people with substance abuse problems with intensive court supervision, mandatory drug testing, addiction treatment and other social services in an effort to keep them out of jail or prison. When faced with the alternative of incarceration, many happily choose drug courts. Ideally, these programs help participants break the cycle of substance abuse and addiction.

It’s important to note that these programs are optional. Drug offenders must agree to all of the program’s requirements and successfully meet all obligations in order to avoid jail, have their sentences lessened or have charges reduced or dismissed. While there could be some debate as to how ‘optional’ these programs are in reality, the fact that U.S. Congress has continuously supported its development is a sign that drug courts are considered to be effective.

Since their creation, drug courts have been evaluated on the following three types of analyses:

  • Cost Savings: The amount saved in comparison to what would’ve been spent with incarceration, adjudication (court trying and sentencing) or criminal victimization.
  • Impact: Whether or not drug courts improved the lives of drug offenders compared to those who were incarcerated. Recidivism rate, employment and future substance abuse are among the factors evaluated and compared.
  • Process or Operations: This type of analysis focuses on the program’s details, such as the number of participants, referrals to treatment and the number of individuals successfully graduating from the program.[6]

How Successful Have Drug Courts Been?

While it’s widely believed that drug courts are certainly an improvement over the incarceration-focused policies of the past, there is some debate about their effectiveness in reducing substance abuse. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), drug court programs have been wildly successful in America. Here are some of their supporting facts:

  • mandatory addiction treatment requirementsNationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free for at least two years following the program’s conclusion.

 

  • mandatory addiction treatment resourcesDrug courts reduce crime by as much as 45 percent, compared to other sentencing options (probation, jail or prison)

 

  • mandatory treatment for drug addictionDrug courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 – $13,000 per client. These savings reflect reduced prison cost, lower recidivism and reduced victimization.

 

  • mandatory addiction treatment methodsParents who are in family drug court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.[7]

Despite these supporting facts and figures, there have been many criticisms of the programs, namely in the evaluations themselves. Since funding is often dependent on a drug court’s ability to demonstrate effectiveness, many argue that the programs’ operators may be inclined to only report positive results or create evaluation methodologies that will ignore negative outcomes.

For example, the majority of drug court evaluation programs have no comparison group, such as offenders who refused treatment. This means that any success numbers reported by drug courts lack the context to put them in proper perspective.

“Drug court programs do not have much interaction with participants following graduation — meaning there are no long-term success or failure rates to examine.”

Another criticism is that treatment outcomes are only reported for those who graduate the program, meaning that it is not a true measure of the program’s overall effectiveness. Additionally, much of the drug court data is based on the self-reporting of participants (who are obviously motivated to report no drug use), adding another flaw. Lastly, drug court programs do not have much interaction with participants following graduation, meaning there are no long-term success or failure rates to examine.

Addiction Treatment is a Must

Though opinions vary on the efficacy of drug courts and the validity of their success-rates, there is little argument that they are more effective than incarceration. Many researchers believe that despite criticisms of drug courts, they are one of the most effective tools for combating addiction available.[8] This is because after centuries of research and observation, it has been shown that you can’t incarcerate a person’s addictions away. Drug courts allow addicted individuals to remain employed and to be productive members of their household and society.

At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we firmly support a treatment over punishment approach to addiction rehab. We offer an intensive DUI rehab alternative program and professional intervention services to help give your loved one the push he or she needs into treatment.

While it would be great if people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol took it upon themselves to get treatment, there are many who need extra motivation. We believe that the only thing stronger than addiction is love. If there’s a person in your life who needs help defeating an addiction, show how much you love and care for him or her by calling one of our representatives at 888-432-2467 to learn more about our treatment options.

 

[1] http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2943
[2] https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-3…
[3] http://www.medicaldaily.com/drug-addiction-united-nations-human-rights-3902…
[4] http://www.nadcp.org/learn/what-are-drug-courts/drug-court-history
[5] http://www.ndcrc.org/content/how-many-drug-courts-are-there
[6] https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41448.pdf
[7] http://www.nadcp.org/learn/facts-and-figures
[8]http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/criminal_justice_sect…

Read more...
photo showing the words chronic diseases next to bottle of pills and drug needle

Where’s the chronic-care approach to this chronic disease?

Most of us know someone with a chronic disease. I think of my friend who has type 1 diabetes. He’s doing OK now, but he has been hospitalized on two occasions in the 25 years I’ve known him. After being discharged from the hospital, he had numerous outpatient appointments with his endocrinologist. The appointments became less frequent as his blood sugar stabilized. To this day, he monitors his blood sugar daily. My friend knows that he has to follow a daily plan to treat his disease. If he doesn’t, he could wind up in a hospital again or have to see his endocrinologist more often. In fact, this has happened on a few occasions.

My friend used to live in New York, and moved to Florida a few years ago. When he moved, he searched for and found another endocrinologist. He has regular checkups with his new
(more…)

Read more...
silver-platter.jpg

People Who Do Not Deserve to Have a Problem: Issues Related to High-End Care

Seaside Palm Beach opened the doors to “high-end” treatment for substance use disorders in 2009. I would like to share the experience of having been the first Director, and as a person who has maintained his involvement with Seaside to this day.

When Seaside opened it was the only substance use disorder treatment program in Florida describing itself as “high-end.” It’s possible that we were the only one on the east coast. The number of programs currently describing themselves as “high-end” has grown considerably in Palm Beach County alone.

It’s worth taking a moment to ask what exactly “high-end” care is. Although there is clearly no precise definition, adjectives used to describe this manner of care have included “executive” and “luxurious.” The term “high-end” connotes “expensive,” “wealthy,” “rich.” It may not be politically correct to openly use these adjectives, nevertheless, they exist.

Discussing the reasons for the exponential growth of high-end care is not the purpose of this article; discussing the lessons learned since 2009 is.

Seaside Palm Beach is one of four treatment facilities owned and operated by Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches (BHOPB). BHOPB’s experience in providing quality residential care for substance use disorders dates back to 1996. In 2009 providing high-end care was new for us, but providing high-quality residential care wasn’t. Seaside was planned by people who had years of administrative and clinical experience with the provision of quality care. Even so, there were lessons to be learned along the way. Sharing knowledge acquired through experience and research with our professional community has always been an integral aspect of BHOPB’s mission.

Selecting and Preparing Staff

When staffing Seaside, we looked for the most highly qualified, credentialed, and experienced staff that we could find. We searched from within our organization and externally. It didn’t take long for us to see, and to recognize within ourselves, that we held attitudes that were negatively impacting the delivery of care.

We had staff providing services who made less money in a year than our residents made in a week or a month. In fact, residents whose income was dependent on investments sometimes had more income during their stay than the staff member did. Residents often owned homes in attractive locations around the world while a staff member may have been struggling with rent (p.s. we do pay staff well). I could go on.

Staff, who ordinarily would go the extra mile for a resident, didn’t. Negative remarks about residents could be overheard among staff. Staff whom had demonstrated remarkable empathy in the past all of a sudden became unable to demonstrate that essential quality. How could they? Residents were perceived to be people who did not deserve to have a problem.

Residents were being talked about as people who lacked “humility.” How do people with extreme wealth demonstrate humility?

Staff who had been trained to help residents look deeply into themselves, now had to look deeply into their own selves. It became obvious that residents coming from wealth had to be treated as a sub-culture (NAADAC, 2009). As F. Scott Fitzgerald allegedly remarked to Ernest Hemingway, “The rich are different than you and me.”

We needed to do cultural sensitivity training with current and perspective staff. No one can change until the need to change is recognized.

We did locate some staff who did come from wealth and made the choice to give back by helping others.

What do High-End Patients Look Like?

This may be a good time to mention that residents seeking treatment at Seaside were and are significantly older than residents at BHOPB’s other centers. The average age at Seaside is approximately forty-eight years. At BHOPB’s other facilities it ranges from early to mid-thirties. There are numerous reasons for this. The most obvious is that it often takes some time to accumulate wealth.

Seaside residents tend to be proud people. They do not respond well to confrontation, particularly when it comes from a staff member perceived to be very young. Maturity should be a sought after characteristic for on-site staff. 

Age and wealth are correlated factors. Wealth is likely to have enabled substance abusers to avoid the consequences of abuse.

It is also likely that wealthier residents have not been confronted in the workplace. They don’t get referred to management, they are management. Sometimes the wealthy substance abuser is simply too powerful to confront. Confrontation as a therapeutic tool needs to be used very carefully.

It is also likely that the Seaside resident comes from a sub-culture who could not possibly be addicted. After all, they don’t deserve to be. They feel the stigma more than any other sub-culture. “With everything you have, how could you let this happen?”

They are more likely to be referred for mental health care as opposed to care for a substance use disorder.

Want to know who else didn’t think that people from this culture could have a problem. We didn’t. I feel certain that there have been patients whom I’ve treated over the years whom I perceived to be not in need of intense services because of the privileged culture they came from. Possibly I recommended people from this culture to a lower level of care than was necessary.

We Are Products of the World We Live In

When we opened our doors in 2009 we did not expect residents coming to us who had more substance use related physical deterioration than we had previously seen. There were more frequent occurrences of high blood pressure, unstable blood sugar, impaired liver and pancreas functioning, and organicity than we had previously experienced. There were ambulatory problems, particularly among women.

Having to treat chronic pain as a co-occurring disorder was also more likely. Consequences like pancreatitis are painful. So are things like falls and neuropathy. The list is long.

Severe alcoholism often requires a longer period of withdrawal management.

Since the issues mentioned above are more likely to occur, lengths of stay for withdrawal management and treatment are likely to be longer. This was recognized by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM 2013) when their recommendations included five levels of withdrawal management.

It is important that expected lengths of stay be talked about at the outset.

As part of its pre-treatment assessment process BHOPB asks each patient, including Seaside patients, to complete the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI III). The resulting personality profile is used to help the therapist and the patient identify both problem areas and strengths to focus on during the course of treatment.

The initial three scales (Disclosure/Desirability/Debasement) can give the therapist some insight into how the patient presents for treatment. They are referred to as “validity” scales. Patients being treated at BHOPB represent a cross section of patients who have been presenting themselves for treatment since BHOPB’s opening in 1996. Wealth may well be represented in this randomly chosen sample of 100 patients being treated in 2010. If you look at the first three scales in Figure #1

BHOPB Patients

[embed:render:full:node:1602]

You will notice that “Disclosure,” and “Debasement” are high relative to “Desirability.” A reasonable hypothesis would be that BHOPB patients are self-debasing (low self-esteem, self loathing) and are willing to tell you about it. This pattern on the “validity” scales tends to falsely elevate scores on clinical scales. In other words, BHOPB patients may not be as impaired as their personality profiles would indicate. Whatever their issues are, the issues are probably complicated by low self-esteem.

A major goal of treatment would be to increase the patient’s self-esteem. Continued low self-esteem could be counted on to be a relapse issue.

Now look at Figure # 2. For Seaside patients, “Desirability” is elevated when compared to “Disclosure” and “Debasement.” This pattern is totally opposite that seen in Figure # 1.

Seaside Patients

[embed:render:full:node:1603]

This “validity scale” pattern is indicative of patients who are suppressing clinical issues. The remaining clinical scale scores will be artificially low. Therapists will have to pull teeth to get issues to work on from these patients.

This is not to say that Seaside patients are lying. They may be totally unaware of where to start.

Ironically, it’ easy for the therapist to follow them into the trap. At the end of a busy day it may seem delightful to have a patient without problems walk through the door.

Perhaps this is another argument for lengths of stay. It will take these patients a longer time just to scratch the surface.

Are “High-End” Patients More Narcissistic? If all you do is look at Figure # 2 you might conclude that they are. However, it’s probably worth stopping to think that the MCMI III was normed on a broad range of people, not just a “high-end” group of people. Are patients seeking “high-end” care using self-centeredness and grandiosity as a means of avoiding issues, or are they really that important?

These are not people who think they are God; people have been treating them that way. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

Point is that a sense of self-centeredness and grandiosity may not be a means of avoiding issues for this population. It may be who they are.

In that case, it would not be an issue to work on.

What is Powerlessness and Unmanageability to this Group?

We’ve treated people at Seaside who have been pushed out of companies they may have started. When this occurs there’s usually a financial package, a golden parachute that goes along with the departure. Golden parachutes have ranged up to $40,000,000.

There are other times when there isn’t a severance, but the person is simply not involved in the company. Their name may remain on the door, but they are basically ignored and everyone knows it. However, the person is still receiving a very significant financial benefit.

Question becomes would a salaried therapist recognize this as powerlessness and unmanageability? A skilled, mature therapist who recognizes the downside of wealth would. It could be said that the head of a company has taken a bigger fall than a salaried person losing a job. Having spent time with a high-end population, I know this to be true.

There have been instances when relatively young people have sold companies and have looked forward to a life of leisure. They soon realize that playing golf goes only so far.

Of course people who have experienced wealth have also experienced powerlessness and unmanageability. Therapists need to be trained on where to look for it. They also have to be trained to empathize with a patient who has made more money than the therapist can imagine. This is not always possible, skilled therapists have to be selected.

Abandonment/Attachment Issues

There’s no evidence that high-end patients differ from more traditional patients seeking treatment for substance use disorders when it comes to abandonment issues/attachment issues. Having observed high-end patients for a considerable period of time I’ve come to believe that their abandonment/attachment issues are just different.

We’re used to seeing patients who have been abandoned by sexual abusers, substance abusing parents, parents who left the household, etc.

High-end patients may never have felt that they were abandoned by a parent. The parent was never available. They were brought up by a series of nannies some of whom they became attached to. Inevitably, that nanny was replaced.

As they got older it was a matter of moving from one boarding school to another.

It’s harder to identify abandonment/attachment issues when patients believe that the issues are not there. After all, everyone else they knew was brought up in a similar fashion.

So, a therapist should never conclude that abandonment/attachment issues don’t exist. Therapists need to learn where to look for them.

What Does High-End Recovery Look Like?

Traditionally, patients completing treatment for an addictive disease would be recommended to do 90 in 90: 90 12-step meetings in 90 days. It’s likely that they would be referred to a lower level of care such as intensive outpatient, and would likely be referred to a one on one therapist as well. This certainly doesn’t describe all discharge plans, but it’s close.

Sometimes there is resistance, but options are limited by financial issues, insurance coverage, ability to be given time to blend recovery and work.

Some people just don’t like the 12 step recovery process.

I know all of the arguments. I’m a person whose life has been saved by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). However, I can understand the resistance.

We can’t push 12-step recovery down someone’s throat.

The problem is that there is no other form of support for recovery that is as available as 12-step recovery. It’s also free. “Free” is a wonderful thing, 12 step recovery is a wonderful thing, but what about people who have more options and more resources.

Some “high-end” patients might have a therapist or team of therapists available to them 24/7. Is this as good as 90 in 90? It may be, but it’s not free. In fact, it could be incredible.
I’m aware of a patient who traveled with a personal therapist and a nurse. Sober coaches and sober companions are really good sources of support.

Fact is that patients with wealth have more options than other people. I can only wish that all of these forms of support were available to everyone, but they’re not.

What happens on some occasions is that a wealthy patient is being case managed by a person who has resentments. It may be a person who is thinking “I got sober with AA, why can’t she?”

Summary and Conclusion

At Seaside, we\’re going on our 6th year of providing care to people who are frequently referred to as “high-end,” “executive” or exclusive in some way, shape or form. BHOPB’s mission has always included the sharing of experience, strength, and hope with our professional community. “High-End” programs seem to be popping up everywhere. So we are sharing what we have learned.

One thing is to pick and train staff very carefully. If a salaried staff person tells you that they don’t have resentments toward people with extreme wealth they’re either in denial or out right lying. It’s important to recognize it.

It is also important to look for staff who can relate to, or come from wealth themselves. Believe it or not they exist. Maturity should be a sort after quality when choosing staff.

High-end people come to us with patterns of denial, issues and character traits that are not all that different than our more traditional patients. They are just displayed differently and a trained therapist needs to know where to look.

The world is not fair or equitable. It\’s not the fault of the patient. It’s important to accept that people with resources may have a path to recovery that is different than those we’ve seen in the past. The objective should be to bring everyone up, not to bring a fortunate person down.

Most of all, these are people who deserve to be cared for. Addictive diseases do not discriminate. If anything, they hit a person with wealth much harder. Being able to avoid consequences is not always a good thing.

We are also treating people who are smart, creative, and often become passionate about recovery. Sometimes they are in a position to help others.

Mostly what I’ve learned, people are people.

Read more...