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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


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.


family program addiction treatment

Why A Family Program for Addiction Treatment is So Important

Drug addictions and alcohol abuse can destroy a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Not only does addiction hurt a person’s health, but also it can isolate the addict from their friends and family. It can be troubling to witness your loved one fall down the slippery slope of addiction. You may feel helpless and not understand what is happening to them. Luckily, rehab centers in Palm Beach can help. At our South Florida detox center, we believe in total healing for addiction including the mending of broken relationships.

Importance of a Family Program for Addiction Treatment

The importance of a family program for addiction treatment should not be underestimated. Addiction is a family disease and therefore, it requires special consideration like our family addiction program in South Florida offers. The greatest benefits of family therapy in addiction treatment is education on drug and alcohol addiction, the creation of a family support system, and family healing.


teenage drug abuse

How to Tell if Your Child is Addicted to Drugs

Young adults can be especially prone to drug abuse.

It has been found that out of all the high school seniors in the United States, 58% have had alcohol, 47.8% have taken an illicit drug, and 15.5% have abused prescription drugs in 2018.1 While you may want to disregard their bad habits as something they will grow out of, addiction can often blossom from these reckless behaviors, especially in party environments like college. In the blink of an eye, your child who casually drank and did drugs in high school could become a young adult who is dependent on drugs.

As a parent, it can be concerning to see your child change. If your child is addicted to drugs, they may go from the happy child you raised to an almost complete stranger. You may be wondering if your child is an addict and if they need help with a drug or alcohol detox. As a rehab center in Palm Beach, we often see the negative effects of substance abuse on family relationships. When your addicted child pushes you away, this may be a cry for help.


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.


New year in recovery

How to Start the New Year off Strong in Recovery

With any start to a new year, this is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and to set realistic goals for yourself.

A new year is the symbol for hope and new beginnings and if you are a newly recovering addict, this is a crucial time in your recovery journey. It’s so important to start this year off with an action plan for how you will preserve your sobriety. You can learn the tools for success in addiction treatment, but it’s how you apply these tools in the everyday setting that truly matters. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we understand the importance of setting attainable recovery goals for the new year. We provide individualized addiction treatment services in Palm Beach for all who are battling with substance abuse.


holiday season- avoiding drug cravings

How to Avoid Drug Cravings this Holiday Season

While the holidays are filled with numerous celebrations and happy moments with your loved ones, recovering addicts may have a hard time navigating this time of year.

The holiday season can spark triggers when individuals encounter parties and celebrations with alcohol, and this may bring about a great deal of stress. You also may feel extra pressure to make the holidays perfect and this can lead to a potential relapse. You can still enjoy the holidays this year while maintaining your sobriety, and there are ways to avoid drug cravings. Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches is here to help you stay on track this holiday season, and here we provide tips for avoiding drug cravings. A sober holiday season is possible!


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…)


Former Cardinal Newman star who’s NFL career was cut short is now saving lives

Philadelphia, PA (CBS12) — Chris T Jones took Philadelphia by storm in 1996. The receiver from Cardinal Newman High School and the University of Miami seemed to be on the path of to be a superstar wide receiver.

But it all fell apart for him. Now. instead of being an NFL legend, he’s helping others.. whose lives are falling apart

Jones works as a supervisor for Behavioral Heath of the Palm Beaches,a drug rehabilitation program, helping those that have lost their way get back on their feet. It’s a process that the West Palm Beach native has lived through himself.

In 1996, Jones was one of the best receivers in the NFL, and was poised to sign a big contract to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles. One day during the preseason he was offered a 5 year, 15 million dollar contract.

I turned it down that day,” says Jones. “And that evening, we were playing the Baltimore Ravens, and I got tackled (and injured my knee), and I didn’t even have to be in there.

Jones never got his big contract, and his knee never was the same. Then another similar hit two preseasons later ended his NFL career.

“I had days that I went into depression from the drinking, abusing the medication, hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

But over time, Jones found a way to deal with that depression. “You ask yourself why me? But I’m a faith based individual, and I turned to God, and I guess that’s not my calling.”

Jones has found that calling now. He may not have been able to pick himself off that Veterans Field turf, but now he’s helping to pick up those that have hit rock bottom. A much more admirable feat than scoring touchdowns.

Despite playing just one full season in the NFL, Chris T. Jones remains in the NFL record books. He and receiver Irving Fryar combined for 158 catches, which remains tops in Eagles history for a receiving tandem.


The Need for Florida-Based Addiction Treatment

The Need for Florida-Based Addiction Treatment

Nefarious. Greedy. Unconscionable. Fraudulent. A few weeks ago on CNBC, the Florida substance abuse treatment industry was dragged through the mud.  This was one of many media blasts showing the industry owners as being nothing but monsters and charlatans. Over the past several years the press has been dedicated in their efforts to expose despicable owners and substandard professionals in the addiction treatment business and sober living in particular. Politicians more interested in votes than in truly decreasing addiction rates and overdoses make the problem worse by spouting popular slogans or ideas without fact checking.

Yes, there are bad players in this industry and they need to be exposed. There are also thousands of social workers, doctors, nurses, mental health counselors, behavioral technicians, and house managers working in reputable businesses that are trying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to stop the death, the suffering, the epidemic. We are the ones driving someone to treatment, answering a call from someone begging for help, comforting a family member, or administering Narcan for an overdose, while doing a sternum rub and praying that they come back to life. Sometimes they don\'t.

One of our clients recently returned to treatment following a relapse, or as we say “recurrence of substance use”. For the first two weeks of treatment, it was like meeting an entirely new person. She was motivated, receptive to feedback, and invested in her own treatment. She explained that just before coming into treatment she had been revived from an overdose after several doses of Naloxone. When she came to, she was lying next to her own body bag. The paramedics had already given her up for dead.

As this is written, she is leaving treatment against medical advice. She refuses all offers to transfer her to another facility or allow us to arrange for continuing care through sober living and outpatient therapy. Why would she do this? How could she have already forgotten the consequences?

How can tens of thousands of Americans continue to use the opiates that will ultimately kill them?

Opiate users are more likely to leave treatment early and more likely to need to return to treatment [1].  Our own research has shown that clients who primarily use heroin have been to treatment almost twice as many times as clients that primarily use alcohol. Over two thirds of our clients have been to treatment before. This might lead some to conclude that treatment doesn\'t work.

The truth is that ethical, effective treatment does exist in South Florida and these facilities are necessary. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) determined that 21.7 million people aged 12 or older needed substance use treatment in the past year. In other words, 1 in 6 young adults (age 18-25) and 1 in 14 adults (26 or older) are in need of treatment.  Unfortunately, almost 90% of these people won\'t receive the help they desperately need [2].  Even for the 10% that do receive treatment, the question remains: is that treatment effective?

The efficacy of “Florida Model” has come under particular scrutiny.  This term refers to a way of structuring treatment with transitioning levels of care, a structure used by most South Florida treatment facilities.  In the Florida Model, clients initially reside in programs with on-site, daily clinical programming in addition to medical monitoring.  After a period of time, clients progress to a less structured program where they still receive daily treatment but reside at a different location, usually a “sober home” where they are surrounded by others beginning their journey of recovery.  They have more access and interaction with the outside world and begin the process of re-integration.

This focus on integration becomes critical when we consider the epidemic we are currently facing and the specific needs of these clients.  The truth is: heroin and other opiates are different. Like most drugs, they damage the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This significantly impacts the ability to make decisions, consider risks, and stop impulsive action [3, 4, 5].  Unlike other drugs, this damage doesn\'t seem to heal. Studies have found that after months or even years of abstinence, opiate users are still more impulsive and they still make poorer decisions [3, 4, 5].  These deficits in executive cognitive functioning place these clients at particular risk for recurrence.

Recognizing this, the logical conclusion is that opiate users need more time to learn new skills for coping with these deficits, more time in a secure environment where they are safe from these often fatal impulses. Research consistently supports that more time in treatment leads to higher rates of abstinence [6,7].  A client that uses heroin must learn to navigate life not only without substances, but with an impaired ability to make sound decisions and resist impulses. By utilizing the Florida Model, clients are able to slowly acclimate to this new life. They are able to begin putting new skills into practice while continuing to receive support and ongoing therapy.   This means that the Florida Model is actually ideally structured for addressing this epidemic.

As our female client walks off property, it is easy to feel defeated, but we must remember that it doesn\'t always happen this way. We have countless alumni celebrating 5, 10, and 15 years in recovery. They are doctors, lawyers, deputies, and fireman. They are mothers, daughters, fathers and sons. They are politicians, actors, athletes, and religious leaders. What do they all have in common? Many of them left treatment prematurely and came back to treatment multiple times before finally understanding that they needed to want to live. Once they understood that their life was worth it, they accepted the support, integrated back into society and continued to follow the structure that would enable them to stay on the right path. Why did they finally do this? Well that is the million dollar question. We never know if it will take one time in treatment or multiple times in treatment but what we do know is that today, one use of heroin could and very well may be their last. We are talking about life and death. Every life matters.

We hope that none of you will ever need the services we offer, but the odds are against you. We hope you never get the call that your loved one is dead. We hope the statistics never become personal for you like they are for us. However if, and likely when, someone you know—your relatives, your spouse, your child—needs help, then you may have a different opinion of us. Let\'s hope we\'re still here to answer that call.