Addictions

NARCAN: What is it?

Globally, there is an estimated minimum of 190,000 – in most cases avoidable – premature deaths from drugs, the majority due to the use of opioids.

We often focus on the problem so let’s turn that around and look at a solution.  There is one intervention that has been saving lives when it comes to opioid addiction – Narcan.  This device has been saving people from dying from overdoses at a phenomenal rate.   

 

ABOUT NARCAN

This drug is referred to as an antagonist and what it does is reverse the effect of opiates on the brain. It takes someone who has flat lined really “dead” and brings them back to life!

CAN IT ENABLE USERS?

Studies report that Narcan does not encourage use and has actually been shown to decrease use.  This keeps people alive long enough to seek treatment for recovery.  If they died that wouldn’t happen. Data showed last year in the Central Florida and Tampa area, law enforcement alone saved at least 90 lives with it.  

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The way that it’s used is with the person lying down on the floor you place the device in one nostril and push it until the medicine sprays in.  (Similar to any simple nasal spray.)  If the person isn’t conscious after 1-3 minutes then you give another injection.  Each pack comes with two doses.  In the meantime, of course someone must call 911.  

When the person awakens from an overdose generally they’re not happy to be here but they need to be rushed to the hospital.  The medicine only works for a short […]

Halloween: Trick or Drink OR Trick or Treat?

Halloween: Trick or Drink… I mean treat!

If we search Halloween party ideas what do we find?  

  • “Drunk Party Ideas”
  • “Best Halloween Cocktails”
  • “Halloween Games with Rules to Get You Wasted”…

Here are some facts that don’t pop up:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year over 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving on Halloween night.  
  • In 2013, 26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver, according to NHTSA.
  • Halloween ranks as the third-deadliest day of the year for pedestrians, according to the NHTSA data, which examined 25 years of data to determine the most dangerous days.
  • Halloween is also in third place of the most dangerous day on the road for drivers (Christmas and New Years are first and second).

Several reasons explain why these tragedies may be occurring.   A law enforcement officer described in a recent interview how more pedestrians and impaired drivers are on the road.  Sadly, because of this there are more accidents and fatalities.  Children are amped up on sugar, parents may be under the influence not completely aware of what’s going on, and others drink and drive their children to different events.  

Instead of making risky decisions that place ourselves and others in jeopardy, there are many ways to take precautions that won’t end with serious consequences.

If we choose to drink during this […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober??

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them.

When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped.

Progression of Addiction

The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate.

Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse.

One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty.

Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

New Beginnings in Sobriety | Orlando Addictions Therapy

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

The first step of getting sober is to admit that one has a problem.  Once someone develops the self-awareness of a drinking problem then they are on their way to a new way of life.  Many times, people struggle with the difference between what is alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse disorder, or chemical dependency.  They might wonder to themselves, am I really an alcoholic?  Misconceptions are portrayed frequently in the media and pre-conceived notions from others.   Often times someone might compare their drinking to someone who drinks every day or experiences withdrawals and say, “At least I’m not that bad.”  The curious drinker may wonder– am I really an alcoholic?

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Here are some the red flags of a drinking problem:

  • Having consequences directly because of the drinking. (i.e. Repeatedly miss work, family engagements, or school, but continuing to drink).
  • Spending most of the week preparing for partying, drinking, or recovering from the affects.
  • Putting one’s life in dangerous or risky situations when drinking. (i.e. drinking and driving, getting injured)
  • Continuing to drink despite loss of memory aka blackouts

Not everyone who has a problem experiences everything listed above.  The primary concern to notice is drinking despite continued consequences.

Here are some steps to help achieve sobriety:

  • Hang out with other people that don’t drink
  • Call someone when you really want to drink
  • Attend 12 step meetings and do the work
  • Stay busy.. especially on the weekends

If you are ready, you do not have to drink again. You can choose to join the 23 million Americans are in recovery and stay sober, […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety.

Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Post-Vacation Hangover | Orlando Counseling & Coaching

Work is starting back up, kids are returning to school, and the bills are coming in. Post vacation hangover is real! Once the high from pine needles, Christmas cookies, and decorations are gone, reality hits like a ton of bricks. It is relatively easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and dread as January sets in.

Here are a few simple tips to remedy your post-vacation hangover.

post-vacation hangover, anxiety, stress, depression, janie lacy

  1. Routine, routine, routine. Setting yourself back on a routine can be a tremendous help. Implement bedtime routines, meal planning, and even leisure activities for yourself and your family. Nightly and morning routines are especially important. Feeling more awake in the morning and not being rushed out the door can make the difference between having a great day or crappy day.
  2. Taking it one day at a time. It’s important to plan and look towards the future. However, when the idea of tomorrow’s workload or next week’s bills sets your anxieties at an all-time high, then it will be best to focus on the here and now. Focus on being able to make it through today, the workday, the next few hours, or maybe the next few minutes. You need to build up your stamina and sometimes future thinking can be anxiety provoking and discouraging.
  3. Gratitude. Post-vacation blues can be most difficult because you are stuck living in your mental vacation wishing you were still there. Counting down to the next vacation can add onto the day to day dread. Identify the things you appreciate about the holidays, accept that they are gone, and move forward. […]

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

 “I’m so sick of that same old love, feels like I’ve blown apart — I’m so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart,” are the words from the popular Selena Gomez song titled, “Same Old Love.”  Have you ever considered your pattern in love relationships?  Have your relationships left you feeling empty, angry and lonely over and over again? The painful reality is that many people find it difficult to stop to observe what they accept, tolerate and come into agreement with in their love relationships.

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This could not be a better time of the year to examine your love relationship patterns as we approach Valentine’s Day.  If you discovered that you are sick of that same old love and that you have had enough, then here are three ways to break your pattern of toxic love:

1)        Take A Relationship Inventory:  We cannot break toxic love relationship patterns until we first become an observer of them.  It is important to stop and assess what relational repetitions you have continuously recreated throughout your history. This can be a very difficult and painful step to take in looking at your own behaviors in your relationships, and to also recognize the emotional template that you may be unconsciously reinventing.  The help of a trusted friend or a professional therapist may be very helpful in working this step because they can look at your relational history with an objective view point.

2)        Create a supportive network: When you are trying to make life-changing decisions to break old […]

Signs of an Eating Disorder | Orlando Eating Disorder Counseling

Signs of an Eating Disorder | Orlando Eating Disorder Counseling

Recently, Scandal star Portia de Rossi opened up to Entertainment Tonight about her struggle with anorexia and bulimia. The actress, now 43 years old, did not start battling these disorders as an adult, or even a teenager, but became anorexic and bulimic at the young age of 12. While it is difficult to fathom a 12-year-old struggling with such adult issues, the much too unfortunate fact of the matter is that it is very common for the onset of an eating disorder to begin this early in adolescence. In fact, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, anorexia is the third most common illness among adolescents. Also, 95% of those struggling with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26 years old.

eating disorder

If you are worried that your pre-teen or teenager may be struggling with an eating disorder. Here are some signs to look out for:

With Anorexia:
• Dramatic change in weight
• Obsessing about calories, food intake, and diets.
• Refusal to eat at certain restaurants or certain foods cooked for them.
• Comments about being “fat,” “obese,” or “overweight.”
• Obsessing over food rituals such as chewing a certain amount of times or eating at exactly the same time every day.
• Withdrawal from friends and family.
• Lack of control with food (binging).

With Bulimia:
• Eating large amounts of food.
• Lack of control with food (binging).
• Going to the bathroom after every meal almost immediately.
• Hiding food in his/her bedroom.
• Using laxatives.
• Scars on knuckles.
• Frequent fluctuations in his/her weight.

There are things you can do to get your adolescent help. First […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence | Ray Rice

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself.   I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In many cases, […]