Recovery is similar to learning a forgein language!

Recovery is similar to learning a new language– a person may submerse themselves in learning a new language maybe go to a another country (rehabilitation).  Learn the language and feel confident. When they return home, to an environment that does not speak the language, maintaining fluency (maintaining a drug-free life)  is difficult.  The person should attend groups that know the same language (NA, AA meetings, support groups… ).  Not only does this help maintain fluency but the person may find comfort knowing others who speak the language and make new friends who enjoy similar activities.  The family should attempt to learn some words or sentences to help the person remain fluent (stay sober).  The family needs to help and be helped too. Attend support meetings to learn the ‘language’ (better understanding this disease) and realizing other people are going through similar situation is often very useful for the family and for the individual.  


Signs of Abuse Brochure

BROCHURE LINK  (pdf to print brochure)
click on contact if you would like to customize a brochure for your community



Click on photo for larger image... 

Do you know the signs of Drug Abuse?


Knowledge and  an objective assessments are the key to identifying drug abuse.


When the following signs and symptoms  are consistently  identified, along with  other health consequences like changes in hair, changes in teeth, changes in mental health (moody, anxious, depressed), and changes in social habits (‘new’ friends, isolation, missing family events), habitually lying, ’needing’  more money, making excuses for behavior, and missing items around the house….these can indicate problematic substance abuse issues.   


Drug Overdose Emergency: When in doubt seek medical emergency help. You will never regret  it.  Call 911– Describe the situation & be specific with the drugs a person may have consumed, follow the operator’s directions.

  • DON'T let the person 'sleep it off'
  • DON'T give water/food
  • DON'T bath/shower
  • STAY with the person


Florida Good Samaritan Act

National Good Samaritan

(Immunity for calling 911)

Better Understanding Addiction

Addiction is a preventable, treatable yet not curable disease.  No one would ever choose a life of addiction, however it is  often poor choices that lead a person to a life of addiction.  


If a person refrains from alcohol, marijuana or cigarettes (the three primary ‘introduction’ drugs) until the age of 21 the likelihood of addiction is significantly reduced. 


The earlier a person begins to abuse drugs the more difficult it is to maintain a drug free lifestyle because the brain learned to depend on this artificial  stimulation instead of developing under normal/healthy circumstances.


Three major factors contribute to becoming addicted:

1. People who have addiction in their families are ’predisposed’ or  have a greater probability of becoming addicted.

2. The younger a person starts using drugs the greater the chances of having an addiction problem. 

3. Living within an environment of drugs and

        addiction normalizes drug use.


It is important to remember addiction does not discriminate. It affects every race, religion, and socioeconomic group…. The disease not only impacts the individual, but the entire family and community. 

   The Complexity of Recovery

Recovery is a complex ongoing, life changing process for the individual with addiction and for their family, friends and community. 


Keys to Successful Recovery Programs:


1. Highly structured program to develop and  establish new healthy habits.

2. Educational program including family & friends.

3. Formal transition outpatient program or structured plan for after-care.

4. Spirituality component such as NA or AA to help the body, mind and soul heal.


A more expensive recovery program does not indicate a better program or guarantee a more successful recovery.


The key to recovery is implementing and maintaining structure:  organizing a daily well-planned schedule, attending and engaging in support meetings, serving your community, exercising and eating healthy, and avoiding triggers.


The main reason most people tend to relapse is  they lose  focus on their recovery plan and goals. Typically changes begin to reappear… daily structure begins to slip, meetings are missed, eating habits change, accountability declines, etc. 


Visit for treatment options, screening evaluations, questions to ask recovery facilities, expectations & other resources.

Understanding  the
Pathway to Heroin?


· Our country has an opioid (narcotic pills/heroin) abuse problem that consistently  begins with alcohol, cigarettes and/or marijuana: the three primary drugs of abuse that often trigger the disease of addiction. People do no begin their life of addiction shooting heroin. 


· Marijuana legalized  for medical purposes by legislators or voter amendments IS NOT FDA approved nor is it a prescription.  Safe and effective guidelines for dispensing and using this type of drug do not exist.   


· Why is marijuana a pathway to heroin? 
Marijuana stimulates many of the same receptors as opiates (narcotics, heroin) but not as many.   Although, marijuana is not as potent as opiates , it is much stronger than “yesterday’s” pot thus it enhances the desire for stronger drugs and is often stepping stone to addiction.


For more information on the dangers of marijuana visit