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Research Department



Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches is one of the few behavioral health care organizations in the world that conducts its own drug and alcohol addiction research, where our clinical treatment incorporates evidence-based practices.

We feel it is of the utmost importance to determine experiential data based on clinical studies. We are happy to share this information in the hopes of helping other treatment centers get better outcomes for their patients, as we are doing.

Research & Education Department Published Articles and Presentations at Professional Conferences

In-House Research Leading to Innovative Treatments

The field of addiction recovery is rife with questionable treatments and strategies that are based on assumptions, incomplete research and uneducated guesses. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we believe in utilizing only evidenced-based, proven therapies and techniques to treat our patient population. Recovering addicts have no time or need for trial-and-error approaches.

Long-term success in a life of sobriety is the ultimate goal for our patients, their families and our addiction care specialists. We rely on our in-house team of researchers to determine the best possible treatment options with the highest success rates available. Everything offered at any of our treatment facilities has been thoroughly researched and tested for efficacy.

Integrative Addiction Care Approach

Decades of research has shown that alcoholism and drug addiction affect individuals on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. To begin addressing and overcoming the various obstacles left in the wake of prolonged drug or alcohol abuse, a treatment strategy that accounts for all dimensions of an individual’s recovery is imperative.

Our three-legged stool approach was developed to help patients find the best path of success. This treatment model involves three pillars: creativity, service and solitude.

Creativity relates to expressive therapies, such as art, music, yoga, meditation and qigong. The service aspect of treatment refers to the communal strength gained from group counseling and therapies, in addition to our aftercare services. Solitude focuses on improving mental health through techniques such as light-sound therapy, biofeedback, EMDR, motivational interviewing and many others.

An Ongoing Effort

The scourge of addiction still plagues millions of individuals throughout the United States, so Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches continues to work to combat this issue. Our Research Department at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches is committed to ensuring our patients receive the best evidence-based practice and to furthering knowledge in the mental health field.  We collect outcome data throughout the year, which is analyzed to determine that our treatment modalities are working to reduce symptoms of mental health disorders and to keep abreast of the changing needs and concerns of our population. Additionally, we examine the information gathered by our Alumni Department to determine the efficacy of our programs at producing long-term sobriety. We also review information gathered on patients who choose to terminate treatment early as part of our efforts to encourage better treatment retention and ever improving client care. We have also worked with partners such as Nexalin Technology and Biosound(tm) Healing to conduct research on innovative new treatment interventions like neurostimulation and biofeedback.

Cutting Edge Addiction Strategies

For several years we have partnered with Florida Atlantic University's Social Work department, examining the influence of attachment style and spirituality on recovery from substance use and mood disorders. This research has been published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals and has been presented at conferences around the world. All of our research efforts are aimed at improving the quality of care we provide to our patients, ensuring that they receive the most current and empirically validated treatment. Our research department is ever-diligent in its pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the newest studies, advancements and developments within the field of addiction rehabilitation. We are dedicated to remaining at the forefront of developing the most cutting-edge addiction care strategies available.

 

PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCES

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Horton, G., & Diaz, N. (Accepted June 2015, will be published Summer 2016).
    Spirituality in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Introducing the Three-legged Stool as a Model for Intervention. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work.
  2. Luna, N., Horton, G., & Malloy, T. (In press, 2016).
    Examining Protective Factors for Dysthymia among Individuals Attending Substance Abuse Treatment. Journal of Social Service Research.
  3. Horton, G., Luna, N., & Malloy, T. (In press, 2016).
    Exploring Relationships between Adult Attachment, Spirituality and Personality Disorder Traits among Individuals in In-patient Treatment for Substance Use Disorders. International Journal of Social Work.
  4. Luna, N., Horton, G., Newman, D., & Malloy, T. (2015).
    An empirical study of attachment dimensions and mood disorders in inpatient substance abuse clients: The mediating role of spirituality. Addiction Research & Theory. DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2015.1119267
  5. Horton, G., Diaz, N., & Malloy, T. (2015).
    Exploring the Relationships between Spirituality and Personality Disorder Traits among a Sample of in-Patients in Treatment for Substance Use Disorder. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-13. DOI 10.1007/s11469-015-9596-4
  6. Diaz, N., Horton, E. G., Malloy, T., & Weiner, M. (2014).
    Depressive symptoms, attachment style, and spirituality among individuals attending substance abuse treatment.
    Journal of Social Service Research,4 (3), 313-324.
  7. Diaz, N., Horton, E. G., & Weiner, M. (2012).
    Dysthymia, Major Depression, and Double Depression among Individuals Receiving Substance Abuse Treatment.
    Health, 4 (12), 1229-1237.
  8. Horton, E. G., Diaz, N., Weiner, M., & Malloy, T. (2012).
    Adult Attachment Style, Spirituality, and Religiosity among Individuals in Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.
    Florida Public Health Review, 9, 121-131.
  9. Diaz, N., Horton, E. G., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., William, L. B. (2011).
    Spirituality, Religiosity and Depressive Symptoms among Inpatient Substance Abusers. 
    Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 30 (1), 71-87.
  10. Diaz, N., Horton, E. G., Green, D., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Mullaney, D. (2011).
    Relationship between spirituality and depressive symptoms among inpatient substance abusers.
    Counseling and Values, 56 (1), 43-56.
  11. Horton, E. G., Diaz, N., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Mullaney, D.  (2011).
    Mental health and substance use characteristics of flight attendants enrolled in in-patient substance abuse treatment. 
    International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 9, 140-150.
  12. Horton, E. G., Diaz, N., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Mullaney, D. (2010).
    Mental health and substance use characteristics of flight attendants versus other clients in residential treatment.
    Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 3(1), 25-37.
  13. Diaz, N., Horton, E.G., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Mullaney, D. (2009).
    Comorbidity among dysthymia, substance use, and other mental health disorders: Characteristics of flight attendants in residential substance abuse treatment in the United States.
    Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 2 (3), 212 - 225.
  14. Diaz, N., Horton, G., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Nelson, J. (2009).
    Dysthymia among substance abusers: An exploratory study of individual and mental health factors.
    International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 7 (2), 357-367.
  15. Horton, E. G., Diaz, N., Peluso, P., McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., & Mullaney, D.  (2009).
    Relationships between trauma, PTSD symptoms, dissociative symptoms and lifetime heroin use among substance abusers in residential treatment.
    Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, 29 (2), 81-95.

Under Review

  1. Luna, N., E. Gail Horton, Sherman, D., & Malloy, T. (Submitted December 1, 2015).
    Exploring the Psychometric Properties of the Spiritual Well Being Scale among Individuals with Substance Use Disorders. Substance Use and Misuse.
  2. Horton, G., Luna, N., & Malloy, T.
    Associations between Spirituality, Meaning in Life and Depressive Disorders among a Sample of Individuals in Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.
    Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. (Submitted January 4, 2016)

International Refereed Presentations:

The Impact of Spirituality and Adult Attachment Styles on Mental Health Disorders in Individuals Attending a Substance-abuse Treatment Center: Pre-Post Test Comparisons.
United Kingdom European Symposium on Addictive Disorders (UKESAD), England, London, May 6, 2014.

The Impact of Spirituality, Religiosity, and Attachment Styles on Axis I and II Disorders in the Treatment of Addiction. 
United Kingdom European Symposium on Addictive Disorders (UKESAD), England, London, May 10, 2013.

Risk factors for dysthymic disorder among substance abusers: Examination of suicide attempts and other mental health factors. 
Accepted for presentation at the 25th World Congress on Suicide Prevention of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, Montevideo, Uruguay, October 29th, 2009.

Dysthymia among substance abusers: An exploratory study of individual and mental health factors.
Accepted for presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Tuscany, Italy, July 21, 2008.

Predictors of depressive symptoms among substance abusers.
Accepted for presentation at the 6th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2008.

National Refereed Presentations

Utilizing mixed method approaches to examine the relationships among spirituality, attachment styles, and Axes I and II disorders in individuals receiving substance abuse treatment.
Mindfulness, Trauma and Addiction Conference, Chicago, March, 2015.

Examining the relationships among spirituality, attachment style, and Axes I and II disorders in individuals receiving substance abuse treatment: Pre- and post-treatment comparisons.
The 34th  Annual Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders Conference, Clearwater, Florida, February 9th, 2015.

The Impact of Spirituality and Adult Attachment Styles on Mental Health Disorders in Individuals Attending a Substance-abuse Treatment Center: Pre-Post Results.
27th Symposium on Addictive Disorders, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September 8th, 2014.

Axes I and II disorders: Spirituality and adult attachment style in the treatment of addiction.
The 33rd  Annual Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders Conference, Clearwater, Florida, February 10th, 2014.

The impact of spirituality and adult attachment style on Axis I and II Disorders in the treatment of addiction.
26th Symposium on Addictive Disorders, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September 5th, 2013.

The impact of spirituality and attachment style on Axes I and II Disorders in the Treatment of Addiction.
National Association of Social Workers, Orlando, Florida, June 6, 2013.

The impact of spirituality, religiosity and attachment styles on Axes I and II Disorders in the Treatment of Addiction.
Freedom & Recovery: Integrated Mental Health and Addiction Treatment for Service Members. San Diego, California, April 4, 2013.

Relationship among Attachment Styles, Spirituality and Depressive Symptoms.
25th Symposium on Addictive Disorders, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September 7th, 2012.

Addiction Treatment: The Interaction among Attachment Styles, Spirituality and Depression.
National Association of Social Workers Conference, Dania Beach, Florida, June 15, 2012.

Surprising New Research about Spirituality and Depression among Substance Abusers.
Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy Virtual Conference. February 16, 2011.

Addiction, Depression, and the Impact of Spirituality.
The 31st Annual Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders Conference, Clearwater, Florida, January 2010.

Major Depressive Disorder and Addiction: The Role of Spirituality.
Clinical and Counseling Advances on Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorder Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 2010.

Depression, Addition, and the Impact of Spirituality.
National Association for Social Worker Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 2010.

Depression, Addiction, and the Impact of Spirituality in Recovery.
Annual Training Institute on Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders, Clearwater, FL, January 26, 2010.

Spirituality, Depression and Addiction. 
The 3rd  Annual Therapeutic & Alcohol/Drug Interventions Conference, Las Vegas, NV, September 11th, 2009.

Impact of mood disorders: Addiction and recommended interventions. 
22nd Symposium on Addictive Disorders, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, September 7th, 2008. 

Dysthymia and addiction.
The 2nd Annual Therapeutic & Alcohol/Drug Interventions Conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 28, 2008.

The impact of dysthymia in substance abuse recovery.
US Journal Training, Inc. 29th Annual Training Institute on Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders, Clearwater, FL, January 14, 2008.

Dysthymia among outpatient substance abusers. 
National Association for Social Worker Annual Conference, Deerfield Beach, Florida, June 6, 2008.

The impact of dysthymia on addiction and recovery.
US Journal Training, Inc. 1st Annual Conference on Therapeutic and Alcohol/Drug Intervention, Change, Motivation and Family, Las Vegas, NV, May 2, 2007.

Non-Refereed Publications

Weiner, M., Malloy, T., Diaz, N., & Horton, E. G. (2011).
The complex relationships among addiction, depressive disorders, and spirituality.
Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals, 12(1), 28-32.

McIlveen, J. W., Mullaney, D., Weiner, M. J., Diaz, N., & Horton, G. (2007).
Dysthymia and substance abuse: A new perspective. 
Counselor Magazine, 8 (2), 30-34.