Our Top 10 Tips for Parents (or Loved Ones) of Someone Battling Addiction

10 Tips Image 13Embrace Early Screening & Early Intervention

As a parent or family member, you may recognize early signals of addiction in your loved one. It’s never too early to discuss the dangers of addiction with them or to have them pre-screened for early detection. This may help identify risk factors that will help prevent further and future damage to both to their health and livelihood. An early screening and intervention will help clarify if their use and profile is suitable for treatment. Treatment is a significant financial and physical commitment so you want to be sure they really meet the clinical standards for treatment. Much can be done in the early stages of addiction with the help of therapy, intensive and outpatient care. Visit a local outpatient treatment center to have them evaluated if they’re willing.

Don’t Worry About Timing

You may never know exactly when the right time is to help your loved one get help. Studies show that even if the addict hasn’t “hit rock bottom”, they may still reach long-term recovery if their addiction treatment enables them to understand a new, safe and successful way of living. And as we all know, so many families have experienced that waiting too long to intervene can cause them their loved one’s life.10 Tips Image 2

The Importance of a Professional Intervention

In the grips of addiction, it is often difficult for the addict to accept they have a problem and agree to long-term treatment, let alone see the damage they are doing to themselves and their family. Staging and intervention may be the best opportunity to allow them to understand the depth of their problem and agree to get help. Unfortunately, the least effective members of an intervention tend to be close family. So choosing a professional interventionist, or escorting a loved one to an outpatient center for an evaluation is often the best opportunity to see them into a treatment setting. Help from an outside interventionist, someone who understands their pain and their journey, who also has an objective viewpoint, is the best voice of reason for an addict. The interventionist will also help you stage the intervention, develop a strategy and lead the conversation for the most successful opportunity at getting your loved one the treatment they need.

10 Tips Image 4Recognize That Self-Detoxing Can Be Deadly

If your loved one has decided to begin the process of quitting their drug of choice, even if they’re not ready for treatment, it’s critical that they detox in a medically supervised detoxification center. Most people don’t realize that detoxing can lead to death. For those who abuse alcohol and drugs like opioids (painkillers) or benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety medication), a tolerance has been built that causes the body severe, adverse reactions when withheld from the system.  Alcohol is notoriously linked to life-threatening withdrawal reactions, such as seizures, which may cause fatal head trauma, heart attack, stroke, lethal dehydration, or asphyxiation. A medically supervised detox will help your loved one detox in comfort and with dignity, and helps prevent the propensity for relapse during this critical phase. Withdrawal symptoms may begin hours or days after the last use, and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the type of drug and level of use. During this withdrawal phase, they are at the highest risk of relapse AND life-threatening symptoms that require 24/7 monitoring.

10 Tips Image 6Invest In Recovery, Not Relapse

The cost of treatment can seem steep, but when compared with long-term use, the cost of treatment is just a fraction of the price of continued drug use. However, choosing an “inexpensive” institution, or cutting down the time a loved one stays at a facility due to the cost, may lead to an early relapse. Staying 90+ days in a treatment facility will offer them the greatest opportunity to reach long-term recovery. Enlist them in an aftercare program following treatment, like a transitional living facility or three-quarter home. This is an excellent way to help them reach the long-term goal, while being supported and encouraged by a close-knit community of other recovering individuals. It will be an investment, but is far less costly than continued relapse or ongoing drug and alcohol use.

Start with 30-Days

You may not be able to convince your loved one to stay in treatment for 3 or more months, but you will likely be able to convince them to commit to 30-days. Most facilities find that the desire to continue treatment will manifest within those first 30-days, and you want your loved one to be able to continue with their treatment plan where they’re at if they do choose to stay, so make sure the facility can accommodate up to 90 days of treatment.

Addiction treatmentChoose A Specialization

Choose a treatment facility that offers specialize programming that caters to your loved ones needs, such as their drug of choice, a co-occurring disorder like PTSD, an eating disorder, social anxiety or a mental disorder, to name a few. This will help them beat their addiction along with the other psychological ailments that have contributed to their substance abuse. Since most people who suffer from addiction also suffer from another co-occurring disorder, choosing treatment at a facility that specializes in their particular ailment(s) will springboard their growth versus being left untreated.

Embrace A Geographical Change

Map of USA with state borders, 3d render

It is important to understand what can and what cannot be achieved with a geographical change for your loved one who is suffering with addiction. May people benefit greatly from a geographic change if they commit to receiving long-term, monitored care at a reputable treatment facility that’s located in a thriving recovery community. There are several located throughout the country, like Florida, Texas and Southern California.  They may also benefit greatly from being separated from family members and friends that have become “triggers” for their use. However, if your loved makes a geographic change simply to leave the environment which has “made them use” without seeking help, it is highly unlikely that their addiction will cease, and they will find themselves in the same addictive pattern wherever they move to. Geographic changes are encouraged when it comes to receiving treatment and/or working a fully committed program of recovery.

Honor New Boundaries

While therapy will be helpful to rebuild the family as a result of your loved one’s addiction, depending on their progress, it may not occur during treatment. If your loved one welcomes family sessions during their stay, take advantage of the clinical services offered at their institution. If this is an important factor, make sure the treatment center offers family programming and therapy. But don’t be discouraged if your loved one opts out. The first few months, and sometimes the first few years is often a time for them to fully understand their journey, and they will likely grow to a point in their recovery where they will be able to initiate therapeutic healing for all.

AddictionEliminate Enabling

Many loved ones feel responsible for helping the addict, especially as it relates to emotional and financial support. It can be impossible to cut them off as a supportive role. While this all comes from a place of love and concern, it’s critical to understand that as long as you are in some way enabling them to continue “running the show”, they are unlikely to feel the pressure to change in the long-term. Shutting off any access to support of their habits will force them to change their ways. The addict must recognize the breadth of their choices and arrive at a place where they have no choice but to initiate positive, responsible changes. As a loved one, you are a critical piece in enabling this change to happen. Also, don’t mistake your generosity for help. Enabling them to continue using is hurting them and may even lead to death. Follow this rule before, during and after treatment to offer the greatest opportunity for your loved one’s long-term success.

Addiction treatment

Someone Else’s Addiction Is Not Your Fault

It’s natural to feel hurt or even responsible for a loved one’s addiction, but it’s important to recognize these are naturally occurring emotions that stem from love. In most cases, for those who have “done all the right things,” they’re addiction has nothing to do with how you have treated them. Holding onto fear and anger for too long can make rebuilding family trust difficult. Support groups like Al-Anon help family and friends accept these feelings while learning how to support an addicted loved one — and themselves — during and following the rehabilitation process. Visit http://www.al-anon.org/ to find a local gathering near you.

Design Your Future with Vocational Rehabilitation

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation Infuses “Design Thinking” Into Their Vocational Rehabilitation Program To Help Clients Discover Their Passion, Purpose and Professional Potential.

The Hope Center has a staff dedicated to helping clients successfully maneuver back into the real world while maintaining a balanced life of recovery; by assisting each client in building a foundation and future through the delivery of a comprehensive Vocational Rehabilitation curriculum.

SuitVocational Rehabilitation is the practice of offering patients a guided curriculum to uncover what their unique interests, skill sets and experience levels are in order to design a path toward personal and professional success, while balancing a life in recovery. Vocational Rehabilitation also focuses on offering healing therapies to counter threatening, fearful or traumatic past events that may have contributed to addictive behavior, stemming from one’s past educational or employment history.

Inspired by the “Design Thinking” movement, the staff at The Hope Center for Rehabilitation took notes from thought leaders, like Stanford Universities Bill Burnett. Burnett developed the “Designing Your Life” course at the ivy-league university for his graduating seniors, and within a few years, the course had become so popular it is now being used throughout the country to help anyone reach their full, desired potential.

While originally developed for emerging workforce students, the process of finding your “flow”: identifying those moments, actions, and behaviors that elicit pure joy, positive challenges and heightened energy, help people from all walks of life discover their true vocation, or calling. The staff at The Hope Center took these principles and infused them into their vocational curriculum to help clients format their personal and professional journey in life while uncovering their true passion and purpose.

Vocational Rehabilitation“With the incorporation of ‘Design Thinking’ into our Vocational Program, we are helping our clients not only pursue a successful life in recovery, we help them tap into deep-seeded aspirations that they might never have gotten the opportunity to uncover,” says Vocational Program Director Ed Sergison. “Using these concepts to design their future, in addition to offering therapeutic healing, emotional building and soul searching techniques, our clients are leaving our program with a renewed sense of self and purpose, with a path to achieve their potential.”

After an initial meeting to pinpoint each client’s background, education and employment history, the vocational counselors assist them with developing a plan to incorporate education and/or career goals into their transition from a residential environment to an independent atmosphere.

For those looking to begin a new career, the counselors work with each client on an individual basis to assist them with the creation of a proper résumé. A selection of potential referrals are determined, followed by an overview of interview questions and techniques. The counselors pinpoint unique skill sets and interests of the client, and finally reinforce the importance of presentation, including choice of vocabulary, appearance, attitude and preparedness.

Vocational RehabilitationFor those who wish to pursue a furthered education, like acquiring a GED, associate or bachelors degree, or technical certification, the counselors create a specifically tailored roadmap for the client that offers a realistic timeline and financial plan to achieve their educational goals. The client is presented with Federal financial aid forms, scholarship opportunities and grant applications as part of the process, completed together with the counselor to ensure accuracy and thoroughness.

For clients who already have a seasoned work history, The Hope Center for Rehabilitation has a strong local network of professionals who can help clients receive job placement so they can begin working while developing into their long-term recovery process. It is recommended that a client stay 6-9 months under the care of a rehabilitation facility, or in a transitional-living sober environment for the best chance at achieving long-term recovery. With the help of local job placement services, we can, even temporarily, help our clients build a strong foundation for when they are ready to return home full-time.

The goal of this program is to empower clients to pursue a thoughtful, comprehensive growth plan for sustained employment, offering not just financial but emotional stability as well. This can be a daunting, insurmountable goal on one’s own following treatment, so the relationship between client and counselor weeks and months after treatment is critical as it offers the support needed to sustain the effort. They meet in person or via electronic communication to reflect on progress and discuss challenges that arise so the client can stay motivated and encouraged until they have achieved long-term success on their own.

For more information on Vocational Rehabilitation at The Hope Center, contact Program Director Ed Sergison at 631-793-9415 or via email ad Ed@hopecenterrehab.org.

All Cannabis Is Not Created Equal

Marijuana, or Cannabis, is the most commonly used drug throughout the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and the number 3 in America behind alcohol and tobacco. Though still federally illegal to purchase and use, recreational marijuana is becoming legalized by individual states across the country, and blurring the lines between it’s predecessor, medical marijuana. In a world where the term for it – in it’s many colorful forms – means “the same thing” to most of us, we want to share clarifications on the difference between the two and what you should know as a user, a parent or if you’re considering trying it for the first time. As a substance abuse provider, our mission is to clarify the risks associated with recreational and medical cannabis, respectively. It is our chief concern to identify the highly variable risk factors relative to both, and let you decide if one of these choices might be a consideration for you or a loved one.

CannabisTo start with, there is no specific ratio of chemical compounds that clearly identifies the difference between medical cannabis and recreational weed … yet. In the future, there may be regulations on how much of certain chemicals are present in each for qualification. But as it’s still yet unidentified, it’s difficult to put either version into a clearly defined “box” for accurate scrutinization to be achieved.

For our purposes of identifying a broader explanation, our article will explain in general terms what the differences are between medically derived and recreationally produced cannabis so you can better understand the social and ethical debate that is sweeping across our country.

From a legal perspective, legislature prohibits medical marijuana from being sold at the same dispensary as recreational marijuana. Furthermore, recreational marijuana cannot have medicinal claims, and respectively, medical marijuana cannot have recreational claims. Also, medical marijuana requires a doctors written prescription to obtain, and does not include the hefty taxes that recreational cannabis comes with.

Medical cannabis can be administered using a variety of methods, including liquid tinctures, vaporizing or smoking dried buds, eating cannabis edibles, taking capsules, using lozenges, dermal patches or oral/dermal sprays. In this comparison, recreational marijuana can be used in the same way. The major difference in the ratio of chemical compounds found in each. In short, medical marijuana is almost devoid of the psychoactive chemicals that give recreational and illicit marijuana their “high”.

Understanding Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is medicineMedical marijuana is typically high in the naturally occurring chemical, Cannabidiol (or CBD). This chemical is rich with medicinal benefits that have been associated with helping people who are battling chronic illnesses or diseases such as chronic pain, epilepsy, schizophrenia, cancer, nausea, nerve pain, unintentional weight loss, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis for both adults and children. Many medical marijuana forms contain very low amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC as it’s commonly referred to. This is the “psychoactive” chemical ingredient associated with marijuana, which offers users the “high” we typically associate with taking the drug. In medical marijuana, the levels of THC vary but are typically so low that they don’t cause the euphoric effects that recreational users are interested in. In this way, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis is meant to help people suffering from truly debilitating conditions without posing the threat of addiction or abuse, that which may be more likely from using recreational weed.

According to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, cannabis relieves convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabis to be as effective as antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. In November 2007 it was reported that CBD reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness. It is also a neuro-protective antioxidant.

Droves of activists across the country are hotly protesting the need for medical marijuana. They focus on the health benefits it has for patients who are battling chronic illnesses or are in need of pain management. Modern medical professionals do agree that there are benefits to using cannabis for medical needs. In fact, marijuana has been used for thousands of years for it’s medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Chinese and Indian texts. The hotly debated topic today, of course, is whether marijuana has a place in modern day medicine considering all of the alternatives we currently have available to us.

Which segues into the debate over other prescription medications. Activists who are for medical marijuana claim that the side effects of using medical marijuana are greatly less when compared to using prescription painkillers, like opioids for instance. Considering prescription painkillers are the leading cause of both addiction and overdose death in the United States, that is a valid claim.

But nonetheless, many people throughout the world use marijuana to self-medicate without medical supervision, whether knowing it or not. This condition, known as “Cannabis Use Disorder”, affects about 30% of all users according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Because of the potentially positive psychological effects as well, many people may unknowingly be using the drug to combat naturally occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression that should otherwise be treated by a doctor with legal prescription medication. It is no less cause for concern then than a person who is self-medicating on prescription opioids. The difference is, of course, that prescription opioids can and do lead to lethal overdoses. Because cannabis is not associated with lethal overdoses, it’s simply not scrutinized the way prescription pain medications are.

Understanding Recreational Cannabis

Pot PiecePutting aside the debate over medical cannabis vs. prescription opioids, let’s focus on the difference between recreational marijuana. Recreational cannabis, which is considered the legal variety of marijuana grown in the United States, contains significant levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, as described earlier. This chemical compound is associated with feelings of euphoria, but can also cause adverse effects for users, especially if the potency is high – in some cases several times higher in some batches than others, or if the user is inexperienced. Like all drugs that are not administered under professional guidance, the tolerance of the user will affect how they react to the substance.

Since the effects of recreational cannabis depends on the user, it’s difficult or impossible to know exactly how someone will react to using the drug. Some users experience anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. This may cause an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity. In contrast to the trace amounts of THC found in medical marijuana, which is also prescribed with specific usage instructions by a physician, it is significantly safer to use medical marijuana in order to treat any medical condition.

In addition to the psychological effects that THC has on the mind, it also significantly impairs judgement, motor coordination and reaction time. A study conducted by the Road Safety Observatory found that there is a significant relationship between a person’s blood THC concentration and impaired driving. Their findings concluded that marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood stream of drivers who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents, including fatal ones. Statistics aren’t yet available on the correlation between motor-vehicle accidents and those under the influence of “recreational marijuana”, however, considering their levels of THC are considered comparable, we can assume that the same risks apply.

But THC is not only temporarily dangerous to the user’s mind, many studies have found significant correlations to recreational cannabis use and permanent regressive brain development. A study from Northwestern University found that heavy users who began in adolescence had the potential do develop structural abnormalities in certain brain areas. Another study in New Zealand found that continued marijuana use starting in adolescence was associated with an average loss of 8 IQ points measured in mid-adulthood. Additional concerns include memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction and schizophrenia in young people.

Understanding “Recreational” Versus “Illegal” Cannabis

CannabisThere is a very significant difference between legal, recreational marijuana and illegal “street weed”. Illegal marijuana is typically carried over the border into the United States by crime-ridden cartels and operations that are in no way regulated. These batches are commonly transported in importable conditions, are sprayed with toxic chemicals to ward off drug-sniffing canines, and can include things like lead, for instance, to taint the weight of the product. With the ever-changing climate of illicit drugs pouring into our country, there is no way to predict what may be in the product you are ingesting, making the street form of cannabis the most threatening of any variety.

Why Abstinence Is The Best Policy

Aside from the temporary euphoric effects that may be produced by marijuana use, the cons heavily outweigh the pros. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 30 percent of users may develop some degree of problem use, which can lead to dependence and in severe cases takes the form of addiction. Most users move on from marijuana and use other drugs, considered a high-risk gateway drug especially since it’s effects are stimulated by combining cannabis with other drugs. Marijuana use has also been linked to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens. Users also report less academic and career success. For example, marijuana use is linked to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school. It is also linked to more job absences, accidents, and injuries. Research suggests that people who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely than adults to develop problem use. Even before birth, studies show that marijuana (and THC) ingestion in pregnancy is linked to increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies.

Weed WithdrawalWhile medical marijuana may be a good option if you are suffering from a debilitating, chronic disease, it is important to speak to your physician about all possible therapies. If you find yourself fixated on any form of cannabis, you may already be addicted to the chemical compounds found within. There are plenty of non-addictive options for you or a loved one considering pain-management medication. Understanding the difference between recreational, medical and illegal cannabis can help you understand the risk factors involved so you can make the right choices for your health and for your future.

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation receives the gold standard

With upwards of 15,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you or a loved one. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment program is to consider the facilities certifications. A seal of approval from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) is considered the highest award available Continue reading The Hope Center for Rehabilitation receives the gold standard

This is my #drugofchoice

As addicts, drugs and alcohol take over our actions, as well as our thoughts. The “great obsession” of using liquefies any desire to pursue interests that we either used to love or might find enriching to our lives. Refreshed and renewed, many of us feel the overwhelming need to replenish our desires with healthy actions. And this is where the concept of a new #drugofchoice is formulated. Continue reading This is my #drugofchoice

Women & Modern-Day Addiction

Women and Addiction

As the stigma of addiction begins to lessen, more studies and stories are being released explaining the reasons for addiction in our culture. In specific, women have unique realities – both physiologically and societally – that differ from men, which researchers have been identifying lead them to addiction.

Overall, studies still show that more men in the United States are dependent on drugs and alcohol than women, about 20% of men suffering versus between 7% and 12% of women.

However, the dangers of addiction have been shown to be significantly greater for women primarily because of their physiology. Women weigh less than men, which means that alcohol affects them quicker and with more severity. In addition, women typically store more fatty tissue, where alcohol is retained while it is filtered from the system. Finally, two enzymes which help to break down alcohol – alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase – are lower in women, leading to more absorption into the bloodstream. Hormonal differences in women are also highly influential on the potential negative side effects of substance abuse. Hormones have also been shown to affect relapse rates in women as it affects their emotions, urges and will-power during abstinence.

Experts have concluded that women develop dependency and physical deterioration much more rapidly than men do too, leading to earlier onset problems like brain atrophy and liver damage. In addition, a theory known as “telescoping” identifies that women appear to more rapidly accelerate from the first drink or drug to full-blown dependency than their male counterparts.

Women also are more susceptible to emotional or physical trauma, which if experienced, makes them highly susceptible to substance abuse and addiction as a means to self-medicate. Some of these experiences include violence, sexual abuse, trauma and low self-esteem, just to name a few. In a recent study, 74% percent of addicted women reported sexual abuse and 52% percent reported physical abuse in their personal histories. Addiction is similarly apparent in women suffering with a co-occurring disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or bipolar disorder.

But increasingly, substance abuse has unquestionably become a mainstream affliction – not just affecting women who are genetically disposed to addiction or those with a history of emotional trauma. Stay-at-home-moms, sorority girls and high-functioning professional women have become the latest wave of sufferers of substance abuse. The number of DUI arrests of women rose 30% between 1998 and 2007, helping support the claim that with a rise in equality, expectation and responsibility, modern-day -women are, like never before, increasingly more at risk of addiction.

Some Societal Reasons for Increased Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Women are being introduced early-on in high school and college to prescription stimulants and painkillers, as well as alcohol and illicit drugs such as marijuana to alter their mood, paving the way for a future of potential dependence.

Modern day medicines like Adderall and Ritalin, which are commonly prescribed as ADHD medication, are readily available and have become widely acceptable stimulants for students and professionals alike. Glamour magazine reported just this month (September 2015) that “Women using them are trying to sculpt their best selves—the smartest, the most productive, the thinnest, the most social.”

Needless to say, adolescent women are binge drinking earlier and with more frequency than ever. However, studies have shown a dramatic increase of professional women binge drinking on a regular basis. In fact, one study showed that professional women are 19% more likely to binge drink at home than non-professional women. Overall, it is believed twice as many professional women binge drink regularly than the general female population. Some of this is believed to be due in part to rising responsibility and stress in the workplace, in addition to opportunities to indulge with co-workers after hours.

And on the home front, it is not uncommon for mothers to fall into the grips of loneliness, monotony, boredom, depression and a loss of self. Many turn to alcohol or prescription drugs to quell their emotions, or stimulants to increase productivity. As these behaviors become more accepted, especially when shared between similar social groups, it can easily lead to a loss of control and dependency.

And the false safety of prescription drugs are also contributing to an alarming rise in overdoses and hospital visits. Chemically speaking, Adderall and Ritalin are practically identical to cocaine. When mixed with alcohol, this combination can easily result in death. “Every day, nearly 400 people visit the emergency room after mixing drugs and alcohol”, Glamour reports. Many women are not aware of the uncontrollable effects of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol, and unwittingly self-administer combinations that can cause blackouts and overdose.

Rehabilitation Programs for Women

Most professionals agree that both women and men stand the same likelihood of rehabilitation regardless of undergoing a gender-specific program. Comfortability should first be addressed, and if a gender-specific program feels safer for the individual, it would certainly benefit them to enroll in a program that caters to females only.

However, the most important factor when reviewing a facility is understanding the therapy programs available, which can include specializations such as trauma, eating disorders, psychiatric programs, PTSD and family services, to name a few. Facilities that offer specialized therapy for co-occurring disorders, together with addiction rehabilitation, offer the best opportunity for sustained recovery.

The Hope Center Partners With The Gloucester Initiative

GLOUCESTER — Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken are pleased to announce that The Hope Center For Rehabilitation in Florida is joining the Gloucester Police Department’s ANGEL Initiative.

As of Tuesday morning, 137 people have been placed into treatment programs by The Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began. 

The Gloucester ANGEL program allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.

“It’s an honor to be joining The Gloucester Initiative to help make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said James Durkin, CEO of The Hope Center For Rehabilitation. “We are committed to guiding our guests along their path to recovery, and in turn, allowing them to make a complete 360-degree turn into a new, healthy lifestyle.”

Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal have launched The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) — a new nonprofit organization created in response to Gloucester’s revolutionary drug addiction program and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations.

Both Chief Campanello and Mayor Romeo Theken are pleased to be expanding The Gloucester Initiative’s dedicated team of partner treatment centers by adding The Hope Center to the program.

About The Hope Center For Rehabilitation

Based on Boynton Beach, Fla., The Hope Center For Rehabilitation, provides a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment. This includes professional interventions, medically assisted detox, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services.

The Hope Center also offers group activities, including kayaking, zip lining, beach trips, movie nights, paddle boarding, gym membership, snorkeling and wakeboarding. Transitional housing units are provided for both men and women, known as Magnolia Place. Each gender-specific home offers state-of-the-art amenities for clients looking to continue living in a safe, 12-step supported environment with like-minded individuals for up to nine months after treatment. Staff offers part-time supervision to help guests transition as they embark on their post-treatment plan.

Getting Sober At Any Age

Getting Sober at any Age

…and finding happiness & success too

If you’re someone who has discovered that they are either too young to get sober, or perhaps too old, I can assure you age is not a factor, but merely an excuse. Don’t allow your disease to talk you out of this. I’ve heard countless people praise young members within the recovery community for having found sobriety in their youth. You can feel their deep desire to have had the courage to do the same. What I notice is their longing to have the years they wasted back, and to be able to reverse all of the damage they have done in that time.

Let’s not assume that “late” even merely refers to age. I’ve known many alcoholics and addicts who by all accounts seemed far past the point of saving. They had habits that should have long ago killed them, despite their youth. Yet, I’ve witnessed some of the most severe cases return to sanity. You can find plenty of these inspiring stories in our Big Book, which gives any suffering addict hope that it really never is too late to recover.

Granted, getting sober at a young age will strip you of some of the wilder times you may have waiting ahead. And often, that is a deterring factor. Or perhaps you’re worried life won’t be enjoyable any longer without the drugs and alcohol. But if you’ve reached a point, like the majority of us, where your use is inhibiting you from the joys in life, your ambitions, is ruining your relationships and preventing you from most if not all of your goals, then you will find that sobriety will not hinder your life, it is actually the only thing that may save it.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have climbed down the ladder to rock bottom at a young age however. An older member of our fellowship, a gentleman at the age of 75, shared one day that he had recently celebrated an anniversary. Assuming he had many years, the group members were surprised to hear him say he was celebrating 1 year sober. The man stated that the last year had been the happiest of his life. He had reconnected with his children, his grandchildren and had found a completely new level of happiness he had never imagined for himself. This story, and many others like it, are the tales of inspiration that keep many members spiritually connected to the promises of our program. It also reminds us that we are never too old to experience self-discovery, true happiness and to learn.

If you’re still not convinced of the irrelevance of age, here are a few other success stories reached at an unlikely time:

  • At age 7, Mozart wrote his 1st symphony
  • At just 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France
  • At 21, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants with just $1,000 in the bank
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh picked up a paint brush for the very first time
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40
  • At age 45, George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship
  • Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s at age 57
  • At 86 Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours


No matter what your age is, embracing recovery is like hitting a “restart” button on your life. It is a spiritual rebirth. Our fellowship gives us a perfectly designed plan of action to remain teachable, to practice honesty and to clean away the wreckage of our past.

It also allows us to build a future of our dreams. If you’re young, our program enables you to journey through life with integrity and gives you the optimal environment to succeed and to look back with gratitude. If you’ve spent many years in your disease and have reached a mature age where the future doesn’t seem as bright, don’t be deceived. By this point, having had real-life experience, you’ve been given the opportunity to discover what your needs, desires and tastes are in addition to understanding what it feels like to fail.

I recently heard another member share that he had experienced great wealth and success, but was failing in the game of life. When he got sober, he humbled himself by taking a low-level job and working his way up again, much like he did for his personal life by working the 12-steps. By the time he got sober, he knew what his tastes and interests were. He knew what it felt like to fail, which made it easy to do things differently this time. He also experienced re-growth, having built his life back up from the foundation. Without having had a lifetime of experience, he would not have so successfully trail blazed his sobriety and shared his story to other alcoholics.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your life if you are still alive. Each of us has a desire to win the lottery in life. So often we hear stories of amazing success, joy and happiness. Often, especially as a suffering addict, those dreams seem completely unrealistic. But in reality, recovery – at any age – is practically guaranteed if you follow this simple plan of recovery outlined in the 12-steps. Diane Ackerman once said “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”. While you may not achieve great fame or release a Nobel Peace Prize winning novel, you will give yourself the opportunity to live a life that you never thought imaginable – a sober one.


Rehabs: Statistically Proven To Help

 Addicts Achieve Sobriety Through Rehab

Each year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse releases a report detailing a number of statistics on substance abuse treatment facilities throughout the country, in addition to sharing some global statistics on the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse happening within our population.

Addiction is commonly disguised or silenced for most individuals and families, as there is still a prevailing stigma around the topic, but the numbers don’t lie. It is estimated that annually, 23.1 million Americans are in need of some form of treatment, including addictions to alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription medication. In 2013, only 2.5 million people received the needed treatment, about 10% of all afflicted.

Of those in need of treatment, last year 88,000 died as a result of alcohol use in addition to the over 22,500 deaths that occurred form illicit drug use. The most startling figure was the rise in deaths due to heroin overdose, which jumped from approximately 3,000 deaths in 2001 to 8,000 deaths in 2013. Nationally, it is estimated that 1 in every 10 deaths that occur are alcohol related.

It has never been more important to educate our community on the prevalence of drug and alcohol addiction. Today, because of the need for long-term treatment centers as well as the Affordable Care Act, passed just last year, finding and enrolling in a treatment center that fits your needs or a loved one is more accessible than ever. If insured, most clients can have access to a full-service treatment facility at almost no charge. There are over 14,500 treatment centers in the United States, all of which offer different levels of care and accept all types of insurance plans. In addition, many treatment facilities offer scholarships to offset the cost of treatment.

And with treatment, recovery is possible. One of the most successful paths to recovery is committing to a 30 day treatment program. Those who enroll in an inpatient treatment program within 30 days of detoxing stand a better chance at achieving long term sobriety than those who don’t. For those who do relapse, it takes them 40% longer to do so than individuals who abstain without the help of a treatment center. It’s important to understand that for many people, relapse is a part of their path toward recovery. Studies suggest that those who have attended treatment gain the tools and faith needed to overcome their addictions, even when relapse occurs.

Studies also show that those who went through an inpatient program noted improvements in their quality of life, even if abstinence was short lived. In the short term, patients are looking to stay sober. In the long run, clients are able to live a life of integrity, honesty, balance and happiness.

If you are someone who needs the help of an inpatient treatment program, or know someone who does, contact one of our team members at The Hope Center for Rehabilitation at 1.866.233.1869

The Hope Center Invests In Your Future

Invest In Your Future with Vocational Rehabilitation

Often, the most difficult part of the recovery process is adjusting to the responsibilities and requirements of real life as well as managing the consequences from addiction. The Hope Center has a staff dedicated to helping clients successfully maneuver back into the real world without the overwhelming stress of having to balance a life of recovery with building back a future by offering Vocational Rehabilitation. This is a process which enables clients to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to a normal way of life and employment. In addition, vocational rehabilitation offers opportunities for clients to discover their own hobbies so they can pursue a life they’ve always imagined with a new foundation in recovery.

For those who are still in school, or are looking to advance their education, our on-staff Director of Education aids each client, who can choose to receive tutoring to obtain a GED or diploma. They are also available to help with the application process for colleges or assist in resume building and job placement if a client has already completed their schooling.

For clients who already have a career history and are in need of proper job placement, our facilitators will help with resume building and interview skills. In addition, we have a strong local network of professionals who can help our clients receive job placement so they can begin working during their long-term recovery process. It is recommended that a client stay 6-9 months at a facility for the best chance at achieving long-term sobriety. With the help of local job placement, even temporarily, we can help our clients build a strong foundation for when they are ready to return home full-time.

For clients who are in need of case management, our therapists work on an individual basis with them to ensure their appointments are met and that they are adhering to the guidelines of their judgements. We’ve seen many people become overwhelmed with their legal consequences, resulting in anxiety, depression and often relapse. At the Hope Center, our team is committed to supporting our clients through this often confusing time so they can remain connected to their sobriety, not their sentences.

The Hope Center prides itself on offering residents extra-curricular activities not only to add diversity and enjoyment to the day but to open clients up to activities they may have put on hold, or never even tried in the past. Addiction often takes over the desire to pursue hobbies and other interests in order to use more often. In recovery, we want to deliver our clients activities that will help them reconnect to their former or emerging passions. Some of our specialized activities include yoga, art classes, kayaking, zip-lining, beach trips, movies, paddle boarding, fitness training, snorkeling, wake boarding and group games like softball, soccer and volley ball.

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation, located in Boynton Beach, FL, offers a variety of rehabilitation services including in-patient and out-patient programs to help clients form a foundation of recovery for practically any lifestyle arrangement. To learn more about our services, contact one of our specialists at 1.866.233.1869.