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Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery in West Palm Beach

Addiction and overdose rates have reached epidemic proportions, and the increases don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With an influx of prescription opioid and illicit options, overdose rates continue to skyrocket with each year worse than the last.

Most recently, powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl have made their way into illicit heroin and other drugs, causing drug users to take unknowingly take exceedingly potent doses. According to the most recent statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), synthetic opioids were involved in nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2017; just three years before that, synthetic opioids killed fewer than 5,000 people.

Florida is among the many states in the U.S. that are seeing a dramatic increase in overdose deaths, especially those involving opioids. According to NIDA, there were 2,798 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state in 2016, which is higher than the national average. Florida is home to many transplants from the Northeast, an area that’s been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. However, with several major port cities in Florida, it also has its fair share of illicit drugs coming through smuggling routes.

However, West Palm Beach, a city located north of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on the U.S. East Coast, is one of the country’s central hubs for addiction treatment. Groundbreaking research and addiction treatment modalities, including the Florida Addiction Treatment Model, have come out of West Palm Beach.

Addiction is a complex and chronic disease that requires sophisticated treatment options to address it. Like other chronic diseases, including hypertension and asthma, addiction has relapse rates as high as 60 percent. To effectively treat addiction and facilitate a long-term change, it’s important to seek out high-quality addiction treatment with evidence-based treatment options and qualified medical and clinical professionals.

Learn more about addiction treatment options and how you can find results-driven treatment in West Palm Beach.


South Florida is one of the largest metropolitan centers in the United States with continuous developed land from West Palm Beach to Miami. As with most urban centers, South Florida has a significant illegal drug trade within its borders. However, the illicit drug trade is not the only source of opioids in Florida. NIDA reports that Florida healthcare providers wrote nearly 13.6 million opioid prescriptions in 2013 alone.

Many of the people who fill these prescriptions don’t use all of the pills provided. The excess is stored in medicine cabinets where teens and young adults in the household can get them, or they are given to relatives. Opioid prescriptions in the states have declined since 2013, but not before flooding the population with prescription pills.

Still, that’s not the only cause for alarm when it comes to opioids. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has reported an increase in the drug trade specifically involving heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that’s 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. Heroin is adulterated with fentanyl because it’s a cheap way to add potency and create the illusion of pure heroin. Many people take it not knowing that they’re taking an extremely high dose of the synthetic drug

Other substances like cocaine, meth, and alcohol are also threats in South Florida. However, West Palm Beach has a number of options for quality addiction treatment, including The Palm Beach Institute, which is the state’s longest-standing addiction treatment center.


Substance abuse treatment, or drug and alcohol addiction treatment, is a process that addresses both the chemical dependency and the psychological addiction to a psychoactive drug. Treatment is a holistic process and physiological, emotional, and cognitive needs are met throughout the process. It typically starts with a medical detox that directly addresses the issue of chemical dependence.

When you become dependent on a drug, your brain will come to rely on the foreign chemicals to maintain normal brain chemistry. It may stop producing some of its own similar chemicals, and start producing ones that may counteract the drug. When you stop using or cut back on using the drug, you likely will feel uncomfortable symptoms caused by unbalanced brain chemistry. Through detox, these symptoms can be managed, and any potentially dangerous complications can be avoided.

After detox, addiction treatment will involve a level of care that’s based on your specific needs. You also will sit down with a therapist and create a treatment plan based on your biological, psychological, and social needs.


There are a variety of treatment options all over the country, but not all treatment modalities are equally effective. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are 13 principles that need to be in place for treatment to be effective. Many of these principles have become central philosophies in results-driven treatment. Here are some of the most important principles to consider when you are looking for addiction treatment in West Palm Beach:


Addiction was once thought to be a moral failing or a bad habit that one had no willpower to stop. Consequently, it was treated with punishment or not at all. We’ve come to understand that it’s a disease that is chronic and complex but treatable. It’s important for your treatment center to understand the nature of addiction and how it should be treated.


Addiction is different for everyone who experiences it, and the underlying causes of it vary by the person. It’s important then to customize addiction treatment plans to a person’s specific, individual needs rather than trying to fit a person into a standardized plan.


Again, addiction can affect multiple aspects of a person’s life in different ways. It can lead to job loss, homelessness, medical complications, and legal issues. Effective treatment will address more than just a substance use disorder. Treatment centers should be prepared to help with medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues, among others.


Detoxification lasts for about a week, but it’s not enough to effectively address addiction on its own. To fully address the deeply seeded disease of addiction, treatment needs to address underlying issues, develop positive coping skills, identify triggers, and create a relapse prevention plan. According to NIDA studies suggest that the optimal time to be in treatment, from detox to low-intensive outpatient services, is 90 days.


Different therapies are available in addiction treatment, but behavioral therapies are the most used and recommended. Behavioral therapies are evidence-based approaches that help people modify attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to drug use and relapse.


Addiction is a chronic disease, but it can be addressed with results-driven, evidence-based treatment. Through safe detox and addiction treatment from medical and clinical professionals, you can achieve long-lasting freedom from active addiction. Start your road to recovery today.


DEA Releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment. (2017, October 23). Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, August 09). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, February 28). Florida Opioid Summary. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). How long does drug addiction treatment usually last? Retrieved from

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