For Admissions call 844-749-1560
For Admissions call 844-749-1560

Addiction/Substance Abuse

Addiction and the Family

Thursday, 13 July, 2017

By: Sara Arce, LMHC, CAP

Addiction is a family disease and treatment should be in the context of a family system. It is common for families to respond with dysfunctional and ineffective coping behaviors to the disruptive behaviors of a loved one struggling with a substance use and/or psychiatric disorder. (more…)

Recovery is Possible for Substance Use Disorder

Wednesday, 7 June, 2017

According to the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, in 2015, over 27 million people in the United States reported current use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs. Drug misuse is becoming a major public health challenge that is taking a toll on individuals, families, and communities. Many neighborhoods are suffering due to the rise of drug-related crime and violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the increased health care costs associated with substance misuse.  The yearly economic impact of illicit drug use is $193 billion annually.


What is the Pink Cloud Syndrome in Addiction Recovery?

Tuesday, 4 April, 2017


An individual that struggles with drug and alcohol abuse will go through drastic changes between the time they enter an addiction treatment center and the time they discharge. These changes will be a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual changes as the treatment center strives to help their clients reclaim their mind, body and spirit. A person that may have been resistant to treatment in the beginning can become passionate about their recovery 45 to 90 days later. Getting help is the first hurdle. Engaging in treatment is the battle.


Heroin and Fentanyl Overdoses on the Rise in the Miami, Florida Area

Tuesday, 7 March, 2017


Since 2013, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida has seen the number of overdoses from both fentanyl and heroin explode. Medical professionals and local officials in the Miami area are searching for ways to help get heroin users into treatment rather than serving jail time. In fact, this effort has caught on nationwide.


Peter Hamilton launches an online community for Addicts in Miami Beach, Florida

Friday, 18 November, 2016

If you tried to paint a picture of an addict in your mind, you may automatically picture them as an irresponsible person that made poor life choices, as homeless or a criminal that’s deceitful and deviant. Those ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction doesn’t know a person’s age, gender, race, values or income. This terrible disease affects individuals from all walks of life.


The Suicide Trap

Thursday, 10 September, 2015

Have you ever interacted with someone who on the outside appears happy, collected and participating in life, only to find out they have attempted suicide? What the person did not show

was the inside, where they are in tremendous pain and suicide had become an option. People with this idea are usually waiting for the right time to execute their plan, because they feel

helplessly trapped and overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2013 report, 41,149 people in America committed suicide. This number continues to grow. The leading group to successfully kill themselves in 2013 was 15-24 year olds. The devastation of suicide impacts all those who knew the individual no matter what the age of their lost loved one might have been. Unless this dangerous pattern is externally intervened upon by family, friends or in residential treatment, over time these recurring behaviors and thoughts will strengthen securing one into the suicide trap.

What Sets the Suicide Trap?

People who decide taking their own life is an option do not believe there is any way out of how they are feeling. This may be linked to their actual situation or they may have an inability to get past certain life events that have left them feeling hopelessly trapped. Traumas, deaths of loved ones, sexual abuse, physical abuse, drug and alcohol abuse are just a few of the events leading to negative thought patterns, giving way to the option of suicide. Sometimes people blame themselves for situations that have occurred and may have been out of their control. For example, a physically abused young adult may think, “I am a bad person and no one will ever accept me. I am already alone, so if I die it won’t matter.” Although this is just an example, many people who come through residential treatment make similar statements.

Others struggle with chemical imbalances and the impulsivity of wanting to die in a moment of despair, which can lead to a successful suicide. Many people with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and depression may have taken their own life based upon a fleeting feeling. A permanent fix for a temporary feeling, no matter how toxic that emotion might be, reveals a problem in one’s thinking. It can blind the person who is contemplating suicide, making it extremely difficult to see that change can be around the corner. For example, a person with borderline personality disorder may make a statement like, “This pain I have is too much and no one understands what I am feeling. If I was dead, then they would understand.” For this individual, the trap has been set and this type of negative thinking may lead to a self-harm gesture which sometimes ends in suicide.

How to Help the Suicidal Person

There is a way out of the suicide trap. First, it is important to not minimize how someone feels or question them in a challenging way. Instead, approach them from a concerned and patient mind-set. This will allow you to maintain open communication instead of them shutting you out. Second, understand you have no control over changing a person’s suicidal thoughts no matter how much you care about the individual. It is important to know your options for introducing professional help into the situation. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7 to help your loved one to have a connection anytime. Lastly, it is important as family and friends to continue educating yourself about suicide prevention and residential treatment options as your first line of defense.

Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years.

Path of Addiction

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015

Substance abuse is one of the most common addictions that family and friends notice. Addicts will describe initial alcohol and drug abuse as exciting, euphoric and free from worry, a break from responsibility. Others may state they become more confident, likable, and are more successful at work. Some claim they are only social users. What the individual may overlook is the aftermath of destruction that substance abuse leaves behind. Multiple DUIs, dropping out or flunking college semesters, ruined relationships and so on.

Family, friends, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers are affected by alcohol and drug abuse. Shameful confessions from addicts about cheating, lying and stealing leave them hiding from family and friends. This separation only contributes to the ongoing addiction. Unfortunately, isolation becomes a way of life because their loyalty lies with the substance of abuse. Addiction consumes the mind and body leading addicts to become obsessed with obtaining, using and avoiding the come down off drugs and alcohol. Addiction is exhausting and loved ones need help finding another path.

Once the decision is made to get help for substance abuse, relationships can be repaired, underlying mood issues can be resolved, goals can be completed and isolation reversed. School, work and family become the priority. Making the phone call for help is sometimes difficult. It is ok to offer a loved one help and assist them with finding the residential treatment they need. To learn more about the mental health and drug treatment programs at Lifeskills South Florida, please call our admissions office at 844-749-1560.


Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years. 

Showing Gratitude for your Past

Wednesday, 12 November, 2014

I work shoulder to shoulder with the doctors and nurses that treated me two years ago. They have no idea, they don’t even recognize me. They know me as a friend and colleague. Clients walk in and they express the fear, sadness, and hopelessness of their active addiction. I say, I sat in your seat. I have remained sober for almost two years now. I feel fear, anger, sadness and loneliness; but I also feel happiness, hope, love and belonging. I live a life of imperfection. I call my sponsor and talk to him about these things. I go to a meeting, I read the book, and I work the steps. I go home, get in bed, and close my eyes. I think, I didn’t use today, I didn’t even think of using today. I felt all these feelings and I didn’t have to use today. I am so grateful that I can be a friend, a colleague, and witness to others. I am grateful that I can feel any combination of feelings and remain sober. I am grateful for being a drug addict. My addiction has brought me to a new understanding and acceptance of myself and the world around me. For those of you who were like me, I say you are not alone. You don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to suffer as I did. It is possible to be grateful for your past and hopeful for the future.

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