Addiction treatment

facts about meth addiction and recovery

Methamphetamine is a dangerously addictive drug. When you know more of the facts about meth, you can take steps to get help and stop meth addiction before it causes serious consequences for yourself or for a loved one.

A Highly Addictive Stimulant

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Although chemically similar to amphetamine, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, meth is much more dangerous.

The high from the drug is quick to start and to fade, so individuals will often take repeated doses in an effort to achieve the effect. This is referred to as a “binge and crash” pattern. People may also take meth in a form of binging that is referred to as a “run,” as they continue to take the drug every few hours for several days, usually giving up food and sleep to do so.

Forms of Meth

One of the important facts about meth is that it takes many forms. Crystal meth is one form that looks like shiny, bluish-white rocks or glass fragments. Common names for meth include crystal, blue, ice, and speed. Meth can be taken by swallowing a pill or by smoking, snorting, or injecting the powder in water or alcohol.

Effects on the Brain

Meth works by increasing the amount of dopamine, a natural chemical in the brain. Dopamine is involved in the body’s movement, an individual’s sense of motivation, and the reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. Meth can release high levels of dopamine rapidly in the reward areas of the brain that strongly reinforce the drug-taking behavior, leading quickly to meth addiction.

Over the short term and even in small amounts, meth can cause:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Faster breathing
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature.

Longer term, meth addiction can have devastating consequences. If an individual injects the meth, they will be at an increased risk of contracting hepatitis B and C as well as HIV from the needle and from unprotected sex as they tend to engage in riskier behaviors under its influence. The unfortunate facts about meth are that it also causes significantly negative effects on an individual who uses it long-term, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Severe dental problems
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Changes in brain structure and function, including confusion and memory loss
  • Intense itching, leading to skin sores from scratching
  • Sleeping problems
  • Violent behavior
  • Hallucinations, those sensations and images that seem real though they aren’t
  • Paranoia, an extreme and unreasonable distrust of others.

How Meth Addiction Works

An individual will become addicted to meth because they will develop a tolerance to its pleasurable effects, which causes them to need to take it repeatedly. They will need to take higher doses of the drug each time as well. They may even have to change their method of using meth in an attempt to get the same effect. At a certain point, the individual may even have difficulty feeling any kind of pleasure other than that provided by the drug.

Meth Overdose

When an individual uses too much meth and has a toxic reaction, it can result in serious and harmful symptoms, including death. An overdose usually leads to a stroke, heart attack, or organ problems.

About 15% of all drug overdose deaths involve meth. Half of those also involve an opioid, with half of those related to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. One of the very important facts about meth is that these cheap and dangerous synthetic opioids are sometimes added to the meth when sold on the street, without the user’s knowledge.

Treatment for Meth Addiction

The hopeful news is that meth addiction can be treated. The treatment process will start with detox, which has to be professionally supervised to be safe. Symptoms of withdrawal, which can range from mild to severe, can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and an intense craving for the meth.

As part of treatment and recovery from meth addiction, the individual will work to discover why they started using the drug and why they continue to use it, addressing their underlying emotions as they overcome their addiction. They will also learn new and healthier methods of coping as well as new, more positive behaviors that will help them get their life back.

Get Help for Your Addiction at South Miami Recovery

Overcoming an addiction to meth is not easy. At South Miami Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your recovery. You deserve to enjoy true freedom from active substance dependency, so you can live a healthier life.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to stay safe and healthy, so we offer HIPAA-compliant telehealth services to help you get the treatment you need now. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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how to tell if someone has a drinking problem

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. One very important thing that everyone needs to be aware of this month and throughout the year is whether they or someone they know may have a drinking problem. There are many ways you can tell if someone has a drinking problem, including yourself. Watch for the signs and take an interactive quiz. It may help save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Signs of an Alcohol Problem

To tell if someone has a drinking problem, pay attention to the tell-tale signs. While these don’t necessarily indicate an addiction, they can be a warning that the individual needs to seek help for their alcohol use.

  • Every time something embarrassing or dangerous happens, they vow to quit drinking and yet they have not quit.
  • Their social life revolves around alcohol, particularly whether there will be alcohol present at meals or events.
  • They are chronically late or a no-show and this is a departure from their previous behavior.
  • The individual tends to end up in risky situations, especially when drinking.
  • Their personality is significantly different when drinking than when sober.
  • They need to drink more to feel the effects, meaning they have built up a tolerance for alcohol.
  • The individual experiences black outs or episodes of memory loss while drinking.

Medical Professionals’ Concerns

When you or someone you know works with a doctor to determine if there is a drinking problem, the medical professional will probably ask some questions about what has taken place over the past year, including whether the individual:

  • Has spent a lot of time being sick from the aftereffects of drinking.
  • Tried to stop drinking or reduce the amount or frequency but couldn’t do so on their own.
  • Found that their drinking or the aftereffects of drinking has interfered with work, family, or other responsibilities or activities.
  • Has wanted a drink so desperately that they could think of nothing else.
  • Continues to drink alcohol even though it may be causing other mental or physical issues, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Experiences withdrawal symptoms, including shakiness, nausea, restlessness, or trouble sleeping, when not drinking.

Take the AUDIT Quiz

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is an assessment tool for determining whether you or someone you know has a drinking problem. The quiz was developed based on data from a multinational World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative study. The AUDIT is accepted as an effective screening instrument for an alcohol use disorder. It is intended to be used primarily by healthcare providers but there is a self-administered version available online as well.

The AUDIT questions are designed to determine if someone has a drinking problem. The range of answers for most of the questions vary from “never” to “daily or almost daily.” The quiz questions are based on the definition of a single drink as a 12-oz beer, an 8 to 9-oz shot of malt liquor, a 5-oz glass of wine, or 1.5oz of hard liquor.

When taking the self-administered quiz online, you will receive your results along with a recommendation as to whether you need to seek treatment for your alcohol use. The recommendations will be based on the number of times you indicate you have had drinks as well as how often you experienced issues because of your drinking.

  • Has a relative or friend or a doctor or another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
  • How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
  • How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
  • How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?
  • How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
  • How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
  • How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?
  • How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
  • Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?
  • How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?

Contact South Miami Recovery for Help Now

If you’ve determined that you have a drinking problem, we can help. During Alcohol Awareness Month, and throughout the year, you can turn to the professionals at South Miami Recovery for help overcoming your addiction to alcohol or drugs. You deserve to enjoy true freedom from active substance dependency, so you can live a safer and healthier life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to stay safe and healthy, so we offer HIPAA-compliant telehealth services to help you get the treatment you need now. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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recovery month

September is National Recovery Month, a time to celebrate the success of people who are living in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Recovery Month is designed in part to educate others on how people with mental and substance use disorders can live healthy and rewarding lives. It is a good time to explore an answer to a question asked often: Why is it so hard to stop drinking or using drugs?

Recovery is Hope

SAMHSA emphasizes that recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Hope, the belief that their challenges and conditions can be overcome, is the foundation of recovery. The process of recovery is highly personal and occurs via many pathways. Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness that may involve setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.

Addiction is a Chronic Illness

People in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction have not been cured but are on their way to a healthier life because of their successful addiction treatment. Addiction is a chronic illness, much like diabetes or asthma. Addiction causes significant changes in the brain, which make it more difficult to stop drinking or using drugs.

Even though the first drug use or alcoholic drink is probably voluntary, addiction is not a result of moral weakness, a lack of willpower, or an unwillingness to stop. Most people believe they can control their use of drugs or alcohol. However, research has shown that with time, more and more alcohol or drugs are needed to achieve the same level of pleasure and satisfaction as when they first started.

Seeking out and taking the substance becomes a near-constant activity, causing significant problems for them and their family and friends. At the same time, progressive changes in the brain drive the compulsive, uncontrollable drug use known as addiction. When this happens, individuals can no longer voluntarily choose to not use drugs or alcohol, even if it means losing everything they once valued.

Addiction Affects Millions

People who cannot stop drinking or using drugs are not alone. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.4 million adults ages 18 and older (5.8 percent of this age group) had alcohol use disorder. This includes 9.2 million men (7.6 percent of men in this age group) and 5.3 million women (4.1 percent of women in this age group). An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

In addition, 2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.

Addiction Changes the Brain

It is hard to stop drinking or using drugs because addiction actually changes the brain. The more someone drinks or uses drugs, the more difficult it is to break that addiction. Chronic alcohol use changes the brain neurologically, sensitizing certain brain circuits and changing neurotransmitter levels. Addiction also affects the brain’s executive function, the part of the brain that is involved in decision making and that tells the person not to drink or use drugs.

Most people will need to avoid alcohol and drugs for the rest of their lives, because of these changes in their brains. However, recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol is possible. Treatment programs will help the addict detox, or rid their body of the drugs or alcohol, and then move through a successful recovery with effective therapy and relapse prevention options.

You Can Get Help at South Miami Recovery

Overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol is not easy. At South Miami Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your recovery. You deserve to enjoy true freedom from active substance dependency, so you can live a healthier life.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to stay safe and healthy, so we offer HIPAA-compliant telehealth services to help you get the treatment you need now. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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effectiveness of telemedicine during COVID-19

Accessing healthcare when you need it most may seem challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. When you are seeking treatment for addiction or need to get a checkup from your primary care physician, you may be hesitant to go to the provider’s office. Your provider may also have set down regulations regarding what you need to do when you visit. There are new possibilities for accessing care remotely and safely. A new study shows the effectiveness of telemedicine during COVID-19.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine, or telehealth, is essentially remote medical care. The term refers to providing healthcare through electronic communication technologies instead of in-person meetings. The first forms of telemedicine involved simple phone calls. Video calls and other telecommunication options have been put in place, especially during the stay-at-home orders during COVID-19, that have improved the services significantly.

Care for Vulnerable Populations

The new study on the effectiveness of telemedicine during COVID-19 shows that these advances in technology can improve the mental and physical health of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people who are immunocompromised. Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of the coronavirus and telemedicine can prove beneficial in keeping them safe.

In addition, patients who need care for anxiety and depression can be assisted without the requirement for visiting a hospital, and therapy for psychological stabilization can be provided via the internet, without the need for an in-person consultation with the doctor.

Reducing Isolation

Addiction treatment and even routine care can be delivered remotely, reducing the risk of exposure to the virus. When you feel you need to stay home during the pandemic, you may also begin to feel the effects of your isolation. A telemedicine visit, conducted via video conferencing technology, enables you to communicate with your healthcare professional “face to face.”

The recent study on the effectiveness of telemedicine during COVID-19 pointed to the ability of virtual consultations to help with overcoming isolation and loneliness due to being disconnected from the external world. Telemedicine is also helpful for the elderly, the immunosuppressed, and other vulnerable populations who live in remote areas of the country. Through technology, it is easier and more convenient to access appropriate and timely medical services.

Care for COVID Patients

During the COVID-19 pandemic, if you suspect that you may have a viral infection, telemedicine can help your doctor with triage to determine whether a visit to the hospital for COVID-19 testing is warranted. Additionally, if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, have minor or no symptoms, and are quarantined at home, the doctor can continuously assess your condition through telemedicine. The virtual provider visits can then ensure early detection of worsening symptoms to prevent missing the window of opportunity for treatment.

Benefits of Telemedicine

The effectiveness of telemedicine during COVID-19 can result in a number of benefits. Telemedicine:

  • Promotes the practice of social distancing to reduce spread – shifting visits and initial patient evaluation to a model that does not require in-person and face-to-face interaction and thereby limit the physical contact between staff and patients.
  • Allows monitoring of patients to identify potential and confirmed cases without person-to-person contact.
  • Enables quarantined providers to continue to safely treat patients remotely.
  • Reduces the risk of spread in high-volume/traffic areas such as waiting rooms by reducing the number of patients requiring face-to-face visits.
  • Enables providers to continue patient engagement while reducing potential for exposure for those who are considered most vulnerable to COVID19.
  • Reduces the likelihood of patients participating in activities/behaviors that could increase risk of exposure, such as use of public transportation to attend appointments.

Safe and Secure Treatment via Telehealth

New technologies also ensure that your telehealth visit will be safe and secure, following HIPAA guidelines. Your privacy is important to you and to your healthcare provider. When you are in addiction recovery, you may be concerned about ensuring that your visits are confidential. At South Miami Recovery, we offer proven, HIPAA-compliant platforms for your telehealth sessions.

South Miami Recovery Offers Effective Telehealth Services During COVID-19

Continuing your addiction treatment during the pandemic is critically important. You can get the treatment you need, safely and securely, at South Miami Recovery. We continue to provide a wide array of outpatient addiction treatment services to those who need it most during these challenging times. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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drug overdoses soar

When most states issued orders to stay at home in March and April, the effect was sudden and, in many cases, devastating. People lost their jobs, were forced into isolation, and were faced with dealing with the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting people in different ways, including causing deaths of despair as drug overdoses soar during the pandemic.

Drug Overdoses Soar

An ongoing study conducted by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) found that after the counties participating in the study started shutting down:

  • 84 percent of participating counties experienced an increase in overdoses
  • There was a 17.59 percent increase in suspected overdoses when comparing the weeks prior to and following the commencement of state-mandated stay-at-home orders
  • Nationwide suspected overdoses soared 18% in March compared with last year, 29% in April and 42% in May
  • Detected overdose clusters have shifted from traditional centralized, urban locations to adjacent and surrounding suburban and rural areas
  • The number of spike alerts and the duration of overdose spikes have increased nationally.

Health officials warn that as drug overdoses soar during the pandemic, the situation is only going to get worse. They point to Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York as states that are reporting significant increases in overdoses during COVID-19.

The numbers are probably even higher than reported. Dr. Paul Christo, the Associate Professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says “The number of fatalities from opioid-related overdoses could be nearly 30% higher than reported due to missing information or incomplete death records. The worst fear is that because of social isolation, people are not being found or treated immediately.”


Beginning in mid-March, states across the US began to issue stay-at-home orders. Florida’s announcement came on April 1, and suddenly, people were not allowed to go out to visit friends or family, to shop, or to even go to work unless they were considered essential personnel. The CDC and other health organizations warned against physical contact with anyone other than immediate family members. The sense of isolation that grew with the days and months of social distancing was one factor in the increase in drug overdoses during the pandemic.

Economic Loss

Sudden job loss is also a factor that has contributed to the deaths of despair. The unemployment rate soared almost immediately after stay-at-home orders were issued as companies could no longer afford to keep their employees. When the paychecks stopped, the economic loss overwhelmed many people.

The uncertainty of when – or if – people could be rehired has also been devastating to many, causing people to turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relieve the stress. Unfortunately, using drugs and alcohol during such difficult times can make the situation much worse, as evidenced when we see drug overdoses soar during the pandemic.

Synthetic Opioids

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified three phases of the country’s opioid epidemic. The first involved prescription opioids, the second an increase in heroin use, and the third, which we are currently in, is an increase in the availability and use of synthetic opioids or fentanyl which has also led to an increase in overdoses.

Traditional supply lines have been disrupted by the coronavirus and people are seeking out new suppliers that cannot necessarily be trusted to produce safe substances. Increases in opioid-related deaths have been linked to those illegally manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl equivalents. More than 30 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder in many areas within the state.


The isolation forced by COVID-19 shutdowns has affected people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol in many ways. Social distancing guidelines and requirements have resulted in people being home alone when they overdose, which means no one is there to call for help or to administer the antidote Narcan, which could save their life.

Social distancing and business closures have also affected the availability of in-person treatment programs. Though support groups have launched virtual meetings, many people may not have access to reliable internet access or just may not be sufficiently motivated to follow through with treatment on their own.

Stress and Deaths of Despair

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Dr. Nora Volkow says social isolation could paint a dire picture for people struggling with addiction during the pandemic. Volkow notes, “Every one of us is affected by COVID – maybe we don’t get infected, (but) we’re all anxious because of the uncertainties. How we cope with that anxiety is very much dependent on multiple factors, including our circumstances, but one of the ways that people cope with it is by taking drugs.” Unfortunately, as a result, drug overdoses soar during the pandemic.

Contact South Miami Recovery for Help During the Pandemic

Stress and isolation can take its toll, but you are not alone. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we continue to focus on providing you with the personal and affordable treatment you need when you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. We offer HIPAA-compliant telehealth services as well as a wide array of outpatient addiction treatment services to those who need it most during these uncertain times, following CDC guidelines for your health and safety. To get help during COVID-19, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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marijuana and alcohol use rise during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a distressing experience for virtually everyone in the country. Between fears of the virus itself, stresses over job losses and financial difficulties, and the isolation enforced by orders to stay at home and maintain social distances, the challenges can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, many people tend to self-medicate through these negative experiences, which may help to explain the marijuana and alcohol use rise during COVID-19.

Recognizing the Problem

The trauma you experience during the outbreak can leave you vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During National PTSD Awareness Month, it is important to be able to recognize the problems that arise through attempts at self-medication with drugs or alcohol. Beyond the issues with substance abuse itself, increased use of drugs such as marijuana and opioids can leave you more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.

If you use opioids or methamphetamines, or if you smoke or vape, you are more susceptible to some of the worst outcomes associated with the virus. Since COVID-19 attacks the lungs, you significantly weaken your defenses by continuing to use and abuse drugs during the pandemic.

Marijuana and Alcohol Use Rise

In a recent survey conducted of 1,000 American adults, 36% of those responding reported an increased use of marijuana and prescription opioids in the past month. In addition, 88% of the survey participants said they had been drinking alcohol in the past month. 37% reported using marijuana and 15% said they used prescription opioids.

In states that have been hit hardest by COVID-19, including New York and New Jersey, survey respondents reported a 67% increase in their alcohol consumption in the past month. Drug use included benzodiazepines, such as anti-anxiety medication Xanax, as well as Adderall and similar prescription stimulants, and cocaine. Boredom, isolation, and anxiety all contributed to the increase.

A separate survey was conducted in mid-April of 12,895 verified professionals, employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 41.76% of the survey participants responded that they drink while on the clock and working from home. Their increase in alcohol use may be attributed to increased fears about company layoffs as well as the stresses of balancing the new stresses of childcare, home schooling, and working while staying at home.

Drug and Alcohol Use Increases Risk

Beyond the vulnerability to increased lung damage and related coronavirus issues, the marijuana and alcohol use rise during COVID-19 has led to other health problems among those with substance use disorders. Sammy Saab, MD, a clinician at UCLA, says health professionals are seeing an increase in alcohol-related problems, including a deterioration in liver function.

Dr. Saab says, “People who are isolated are drinking more. We see them coming to the hospital with significant liver damage from alcohol, all related to the isolation that’s required to combat the coronavirus.” In some of those cases, the patients had an existing chronic underlying drinking problem. As Dr. Saab explains, “They’ve been drinking for years, but more reasonably, and now the pandemic has tipped them over the edge.”

The Need for Continued Support

The marijuana and alcohol use rise during COVID-19 can also be attributed to decreased access to recovery resources. Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), speaking at an American Psychiatric Association (APA) meeting this spring, noted that other challenges are also prevalent during the coronavirus crisis. Increased stress, stigma, and access to medications, has combined with limited access to support group meetings and other sources of social connection, resulting in the increased numbers.

Many treatment programs as well as national support groups have gone virtual to accommodate those in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak. Treatment services, including those at South Miami Recovery, are now available via telehealth. HIPAA-compliant telehealth enables you to continue to get help with your substance use disorder, while staying safe and healthy at home. It is important to reach out to get help with addiction treatment, rather than turning to increased use of drugs and alcohol, especially during this stressful time.

Contact South Miami Recovery for Help During COVID-19

Getting help when you are experiencing the traumatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to your successful recovery from substance use disorder. South Miami Recovery offers HIPAA-compliant telehealth services so you can get the treatment you need now. We continue to provide a wide array of outpatient addiction treatment services to those who need it most during these uncertain times. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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beat coronavirus concerns

As you continue to adjust to the restrictions and guidelines put in place in response to COVID-19, you may find that staying optimistic can be a challenge. However, there are a number of constructive and positive ways to beat coronavirus concerns. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and that this situation will pass. It is also very important that you stay connected with your substance abuse treatment program so you can continue to look forward to a brighter future.

Focus on the Positive

The coronavirus outbreak is serious. You have to take precautions to ensure your own health and safety. There are ways to focus on the positive, though, even as you maintain a realistic picture of the overall situation. One very effective way to maintain a positive outlook is to start and end every day with a positive acknowledgement, either of something that you are thankful for or something you accomplished during the day. Take a few minutes each day to think positive thoughts of gratitude and achievement to help you stay optimistic.

Support Others

One way to feel better about yourself is to do something good for someone else. During the coronavirus outbreak, that could be as simple as supporting a locally owned restaurant by ordering a meal to bring home. You can also take the opportunity to reach out to others who may be alone and who could use a supportive word over the phone or video chat. Helping others turns your attention outward and gives you a constructive way to beat coronavirus concerns for yourself and for them.

Appreciate the Smaller Moments

You probably have extra time on your hands now. Take that time to appreciate the small things in your life that bring you joy. Focus on the smell of fresh coffee, listen to the songs of chirping birds, and enjoy the streaks of sunshine or the sounds of a rainstorm. When you take in each moment purposely, you give your brain a boost of serotonin, which is the “feel good” transmitter that will help elevate your mood and help you stay optimistic.

Stay Connected

Even in isolation, you are not alone. Use technology to connect with friends and family who are supportive and who are a positive influence on you, particularly when you are in substance abuse treatment. Pick up the phone and make a call or use a digital platform for video chats so you can see the faces of those you love (and they can see yours). Connecting with others and talking about the good things you are doing and the little things you are beginning to appreciate more will help you beat coronavirus concerns.

Limit News and Social Media

Although it is important to stay informed about the effects of COVID-19 and any restrictions you may be under in regard to staying home or social distancing, you should watch or listen to the news in limited amounts. Be sure to verify the source of your news as well. Many unproven theories and wild rumors are posted on social media. Use the news to learn about the current situation and use social media as a way to connect to friends and family, but then move on to more positive outlets for your time.

Tune in to Uplifting Entertainment

A funny movie or a happy song can do wonders to lift your mood and help you stay optimistic. Watch a music video and dance along since you know no one is watching. Check out streaming services for comedies that may be silly but that will make you laugh out loud. Pure enjoyment is a great way to beat coronavirus concerns!

Contact South Miami Recovery for Telehealth Services During COVID-19

You can continue your addiction treatment while staying safe and healthy at home. At South Miami Recovery, we understand your concerns and are still here for you. Our team looks forward to helping you beat coronavirus concerns as you focus on your recovery. We have identified proven, HIPAA-compliant platforms to host our telehealth sessions so you can securely get the treatment you need. To learn more and to sign up for telehealth substance abuse services, contact us today.

We speak English and Spanish. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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Recovery in South Miami

By David Greenberg | South Miami Recovery Social Media and Blog Writer

(Editor’s Note: The primary source quoted in this article is a recovering addict who is active in the music and entertainment industry in Miami. In order to protect his anonymity, we are using an assumed name for him).

Getting in Trouble in Miami

Whether it was a celebrity in the music and entertainment industry or a professional athlete, they all found a way to get in trouble in Miami. From Maurice Gibb to Jim Morrison to Atlanta Falcons player Eugene Robinson, who managed to get busted the night before his Super Bowl game in 1989, the list is long and filled with notables.

Sam, who we introduced in Part 1 of this two-part series, knew many of them professionally. He’s been part of the Miami music and entertainment industry since the early ’80s, as a recording engineer, writer, producer, label executive and publisher. In those roles, he has seen some of the greats in his industry fall. He has experienced it himself and has been in recovery more than five years.

But he’s also seen the other side. He has witnessed many of these same people begin their own roads to recovery right here in Miami.

“There has always been great opportunity to get in trouble in Miami,” he said.

In Part 1 he talked about how the merger of culture, climate and location puts Miami on the map when it comes to trouble.

“Yes, a lot of people got in trouble in Miami – and some of them died,” he said. “But on the flip side, a great many people were able to find recovery here in Miami.”

Finding Recovery in Miami

So, you might ask why that’s the case. The answer is simple. While Miami has a reputation for sex, drugs and rock & roll, it has an equally strong reputation and history of being on the cutting edge when it comes to recovery.

That history can possibly find its origin back in 1976. While there had been efforts by many prior to that to stem the tide when it came to drug abuse and addiction, it was 1976 when South Miami Hospital hired Dr. Dolores Morgan to start the South Miami Hospital Alcohol Treatment program – later to become the Addiction Treatment Program.

“There were so many people working in recovery,” said Sam. “But it was Dr. Morgan and the people who worked with her that made the difference here.”

South Miami Hospital and later Mount Sinai Hospital, where she moved to a few years later, quickly gained national recognition as great centers for drug addiction recovery. And because Dr. Morgan’s philosophy embraced the entire community in the recovery effort, longer-term facilities became involved, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step groups.

However, transition in drug treatment began in the late 1980s as things shifted from the in-patient hospital settings to smaller private facilities. Insurance companies and corporate takeovers prompted much of that change.

Nevertheless, one thing has not changed. While there have been some nefarious dealings in the drug treatment industry in South Florida and other places, if you look around, you can still find great places for recovery. You do that by doing serious research. Find places that receive high credentialing from groups like the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Ask people who know for referrals and recommendations.

We believe you will find South Miami Recovery is a place where you can truly take those first steps on a path to recovery. It is our mission to help addicts and alcoholics find true freedom from active substance dependency. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone.

So, Miami is what it is – a great place to get in trouble – and it doesn’t matter if you are rich and famous. But it is also a great place to begin that journey of recovery.


South Miami Recovery is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center located in Miami, Florida. To learn more about our unique approach to recovery, call 305-661-0055 today.

David Greenberg is a recovering addict celebrating 35 years of recovery. He got his start in recovery at Mount Sinai Hospital and Concept House and remains active following a 12-step lifestyle.

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Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers in Florida

When you decide you need help with your drug or alcohol addiction, you may not be in the mood to do a lot of research. Often, people who seek treatment are near crisis mode and, as such, can be vulnerable to making decisions that are not right for them. We urge you to review these important aspects of finding the right fit for you among the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida. Your recovery from addiction is what matters most at this point in your life.

Ask the First Questions of Yourself

As you look for the right fit among the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida, you will need to know more about your own situation. Ask yourself these questions – and answer them honestly:

  • What is your goal in participating in a recovery program at a treatment center?
  • Which fits your work or school schedule best, inpatient or outpatient treatment?
  • Does your family need to be involved in your therapy, for your well-being and for theirs?
  • As you search in the South Miami area, which location would you be more likely to be able to get to on a regular basis?
  • What is your financial situation? Do you have insurance that will cover treatment?

Make the Call and Ask More Questions

The best way to learn about the difference in the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida is to ask questions that will help you identify the right fit for your needs and goals. Call each one, ask specific questions, and record their answers in a notebook so you can refer to your notes as you are making your decision. Does the treatment center:

  • Offer the type of treatment you need? Consider whether you need rehab for alcohol, cocaine, prescription drugs, heroin, or other addictions. The treatment center should have expertise and experience in your specific type of addiction.
  • Help you with insurance and affordability options? Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can be expensive. Unless money is not an issue for you, you probably do not need a high-end center that offers luxurious amenities. When you need help with your addiction, you do not want finances to become an obstacle to treatment.
  • Provide a flexible schedule that meets your needs? If you have work, school, or family commitments, an inpatient program is probably not the right fit. You need an outpatient facility with a flexible schedule that makes it more convenient for you to complete your rehab.
  • Speak openly and honestly with you about its treatment approaches? Ask specific questions about treatment methods when you speak with the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida. For example, does the center offer a holistic approach that treats the whole patient, rather than simply focusing on one aspect, such as individual therapy or detox?
  • Have qualified professionals on staff and is it accredited by The Joint Commission? A medical doctor on staff is critical to the treatment center’s ability to help you with the health issues related to your drug or alcohol addiction.

Meeting Your Needs

South Miami Recovery is focused on your successful recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Our staff includes Dr. Carlos Larocca, our Medical Director, who is board certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and is a member of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine (FSAM).

Our professional organization:

  • Is accredited by The Joint Commission
  • Accepts most major insurance plans
  • Maintains your confidentiality throughout the treatment process
  • Offers affordable fees and works with you to create an affordable payment plan
  • Is an outpatient facility, offering you convenience and a flexible schedule that meets your needs
  • Provides a holistic approach to your treatment, including mindfulness training, family therapy, and relapse prevention.

If You or a Loved One Needs Help, Contact South Miami Recovery

At South Miami Recovery, we know that recovery isn’t easy. You don’t need any more obstacles in your path once you’ve decided to get help. We offer convenience and affordability in the highest quality treatment center in south Florida. Treatment is available for you when you are ready to change. We address all facets of our clients’ lives, including their mental, physical and spiritual health.

We understand that each of our clients has their own needs and challenges. Our staff designs a plan that is customized specifically for their benefit. Contact our bilingual staff to learn more about our outpatient treatment programs by calling 305.661.0055.

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signs and symptoms

Concerned about whether a loved one may have a substance abuse disorder? Understanding the signs of substance abuse and the symptoms it causes can help you determine whether there is an issue and when treatment is necessary. Substance abuse can affect your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional health so it’s important to understand the early signs and symptoms.

Signs of Drug Abuse

Look for signs that drug use is causing disruptions in your loved one’s daily life. Ask yourself pointed questions (and be honest with the answers), that help you understand whether your loved one’s drug use has become drug abuse. Understand the signs, including:

  • Continuing to take a prescription drug, particularly painkillers, after it is no longer needed
  • A need to increase the amount of a drug each time, just to get the same effect
  • Recognizing that drug use can create problems yet being unable to give it up without help
  • Impaired coordination or slurred speech
  • Rearranging life events so that the drug has become the priority.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Excessive use and dependence on alcohol can also cause disruptions in your loved one’s life. Watch for signs that could include:

  • Lying to others or hiding drinking habits
  • Blacking out or forgetting what they did when they were drinking
  • Frequent bloodshot eyes
  • Changes in personality
  • Neglecting work or family responsibilities as a direct result of drinking too much.

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can cause changes in appetite, sleeping habits, and mental and physical health. Watch for symptoms in your loved one such as:

  • Appetite – depending on the drug, appetite could significantly increase or decrease. For example, cocaine can cause a person to eat less and less often while marijuana causes the addict to eat much more.
  • Sleep – stimulant abuse can disrupt sleep cycles drastically. In fact, someone who is abusing such substances might go for days (or nights) without sleeping at all.
  • Physical appearance – someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol may not be as concerned with their appearance and hygiene as they once were. Substance abuse can also cause them to become gaunt or overweight, depending on the substance, and appear haggard.
  • Mental health – a major symptom of substance abuse is the inability to function normally without the drug or alcohol. Your loved one may become obsessed with having the drugs or alcohol available, becoming so dependent on the substance that they feel they cannot make even everyday decisions without its help.

Knowing When to Get Treatment

If you are concerned about your loved one and notice signs such as changes in sleep and appetite, substance abuse treatment might be necessary. Particularly once you see symptoms appear, including deterioration of physical health, impact on mental health, and shifts in social interactions, it is time to seek help.

When your loved one has a substance abuse problem, understand that it can be very difficult for you as well. In this very important time, though, you should not ignore the warning signs and symptoms and just hope that the problem will go away. Addiction denial will only create worse issues, for you as well as for your loved one.

Realize, also, that you cannot go through recovery for your loved one. Treatment is a choice that he or she must make. You can talk to your loved one about the signs you’ve noticed and the symptoms they are exhibiting. Speaking without judgment, show your loved one examples of their behavior and physical changes that have you worried. You can and should support your loved one through the process, as they will need your help as well as the help of a professional recovery program.

Recovery is Ongoing

Substance abuse treatment in Miami typically starts with an assessment conducted by a professionally trained substance abuse therapist. It is critical to focus in on problem areas and then to prioritize those areas through an individualized treatment plan.

Recovery takes time and patience. Substance abuse results in life-changing symptoms and requires a treatment program that addresses the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional facets of recovery.

South Miami Recovery Can Help

At South Miami Recovery, we believe in the importance of treating the whole person. Each of our clients has their own unique needs and preferences. We work with everyone to find the right path, providing several tools to help them in their recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, we encourage you to contact us today to speak to our staff. We speak English and Spanish. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.

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Telehealth is now offered for all our services. South Miami Recovery will continue to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.