Gas station heroin

‘Gas-station Heroin’ Sold as Dietary Supplement

‘Gas-station heroin’ sold as dietary supplement; The young father headed across the parking lot to join the other parents meeting their children’s new preschool teachers. After a few steps, he began sweating and twitching. As the sky reeled, he staggered back to the car, desperate to lie down in the back seat and breathe, hidden by tinted windows.

“Did you take something?” his wife, Anne, shouted at him while dialing 911. Eric, 26, had completed rehab earlier in the summer.

“The shot! The shot!” he groaned, just before he hit the ground and blacked out.

In the emergency room of a nearby hospital in southern New Jersey, doctors tried to revive him with a defibrillator.

“What’s he on?” they yelled at Anne.

She showed them a shot-size bottle of the cherry-flavored elixir she had fished out of the car. It was labeled Neptune’s Fix. Eric had bought it at a local smoke shop.

“What the hell is that?” a doctor asked.

Neptune’s Fix features an ingredient called tianeptine — popularly known as gas-station heroin.

Often sold as a dietary supplement and promoted by retailers as a mood booster and focus aid, tianeptine is among a growing, unregulated class of potentially addictive products available in gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops and across the internet. They typically include synthetic pharmaceuticals and plant-derived substances.

Some, such as kratom and phenibut, can be addictive and, in rare cases, fatal. They often originate in other countries, including Indonesia and Russia, where they are commonly used, even prescribed, for mood management. But the Food and Drug Administration has not approved them as medicines in the United States.

“Tianeptine is an emerging threat,” said Kaitlyn Brown, clinical managing director of America’s Poison Centers, which represents and collects data from 55 centers nationwide. “We have people who are able to get a substance that’s not well regulated, that has abuse potential and that, in high doses, can cause similar effects to opioids, leading to really harmful outcomes.”

At least nine states have banned or severely restricted tianeptine, including Florida, Michigan and Ohio. In late November, the FDA issued a nationwide alert about Neptune’s Fix specifically and tianeptine in general, telling people not to take it and warning that it had been associated with overdoses and deaths.

Tianeptine, which also appears as a concentrated powder or an ingredient in products such as Tianaa, Zaza and Pegasus, “is illegally sold with claims to improve brain function and treat anxiety, depression, pain, opioid use disorder and other conditions,” the agency’s warning said.

There are now at least a dozen different products that are foreign drugs being openly marketed as dietary supplements right under the FDA’s eyes, without them being able to stop the sales.”
– Dr. Pieter Cohen, associate professor
at Harvard Medical School

The FDA loosely oversees dietary supplements, an expanding universe of some 50,000 products that includes minerals, vitamins and compounds like melatonin. But the agency does not evaluate supplements for safety or effectiveness; it can only forbid manufacturers to market them as medical treatments. It requires product labels making health claims to list ingredients and include boilerplate disclaimers, such as noting that the product has not been reviewed by the FDA. The agency does not review those labels before a product is released.

Because the FDA’s enforcement powers are limited by law, many products with tianeptine have long skirted labeling requirements. Although the FDA has explicitly said, for example, that tianeptine does not qualify as a dietary supplement, the labels of some brands, like Tianaa, still make that claim.

“There are now at least a dozen different products that are foreign drugs being openly marketed as dietary supplements right under the FDA’s eyes, without them being able to stop the sales,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the regulation of supplements.

Tianeptine is a drug developed by French researchers in the 1960s as an antidepressant. It is approved in low doses for that use in many European, Asian and Latin American countries.

But at higher doses, it also works much as an opioid does, delivering short-lived euphoria. In the United States, many people take tianeptine under the widespread, mistaken belief that it is a safe alternative to street opioids like fentanyl or heroin, or even a way to taper off using them. On social media sites such as Reddit, its merits are hotly debated, with more than 5,000 people subscribing to a “Quitting Tianeptine” forum.

“People develop a tolerance very quickly, and so they rapidly start advancing the dosing,” said Dawn Sollee, a clinical toxicologist and director of the Poison Control Center in Jacksonville, Florida. “They will set alarms to wake themselves every two hours to take tianeptine pills so they do not go into withdrawal. And then they have to keep taking more and more just to stay functional.”

Expenses can mount swiftly, along with dangers. At a convenience store in Montclair, New Jersey, recently, 15 capsules of Tianaa Red cost $34. A bottle of Neptune’s Fix, which comes in lemon, tropical, cherry or chocolate-vanilla flavor, runs about $16. A salesperson at a roadside smoke shop farther west said customers typically purchased 12-bottle boxes. A salesperson at another roadside shop said that one customer bought 10 boxes each week — whether for resale or personal use, he did not know.

Determining the number of cases of tianeptine abuse is challenging, because hospitals do not test for it. Reports to poison-control centers are voluntary, typically made by a worried relative, so officials say the numbers represent a drastic undercount.

But case reports are increasing. In 2013, only four cases of tianeptine exposure were reported nationwide. In 2023, 391 cases were reported, according to America’s Poison Centers. New Jersey, which typically has one report a year, received 27 in 2023, with patients ranging in age from 20 to 69.

“Some people apparently think it can help with chronic pain instead of having to use an opioid, which might explain the older demographic,” said Dr. Diane Calello, medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center.

Similarly to many illicit drugs, tianeptine is often sloppily mixed with unlabeled ingredients, such as potent synthetic cannabis compounds. That is one reason overdose symptoms appear to range widely, poison-control medical directors said, including clamminess, nausea, low blood pressure and unconsciousness as well as seizures and severe stomach cramps.

Sometimes naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, can be effective in reviving patients, they said — and sometimes not. At least four deaths have been associated with tianeptine.

The FDA sent warnings in 2021 and 2022 to two companies that it said were “illegally marketing tianeptine products as dietary supplements and unapproved drugs.”

But enforcement requires huge resources, in part because manufacturers and purveyors can be difficult to track down. An inquiry from The New York Times to the makers of Neptune’s Fix submitted through its website received no response. The Sheridan, Wyoming, location listed on the company’s bottles is an address for a registration agent for numerous companies.

Regulatory experts disagree about how the FDA should grapple effectively with tianeptine and other supplements. Some say the agency should establish a strict registry of approved supplements.

In interviews, some poison-center directors did not endorse a full ban of tianeptine, saying that could lead to dangerous underground trafficking. Educating emergency responders and consumers about inherent risks in such products would be a more effective course, they said.

Getting tianeptine off store shelves, they added, would be not only a staggering task but also of limited utility because customers could simply buy it from the most convenient store of all — the internet.

While Eric was recovering from tianeptine poisoning, Anne stormed over to the local smoke shop where he had bought it.

“My husband’s in the hospital because of this product and you’re still going to keep it on the shelves?” she yelled.

“Yes,” she said the owner replied, “because people want it, and we need to make money.” ‘Gas-station heroin’ sold as dietary supplement.

This story was originally published at nytimes.com. Read it here.

To learn more about addiction treatments available at Transformations by the Gulf please click here.


Cell Phones in Rehab

Cell Phones at Rehab

Most rehabs do not allow cellphones, computers, tablets or any electronic device other than a mp3 player. Transformations by the Gulf Treatment Center does however allow cell phones. Most rehabs will limit contact to 10-20 minutes total a week. While is approach can be affected in some cases, we find that sheltering you from the outside world is counterintuitive. When you leave treatment if you have not developed coping skills and practiced them the odds of a relapse are significantly higher. With that being said we allow cell phones during treatment but not during therapy hours.

Laptops in Rehab

Every rehab center sets its own policy on cellphones and electronic devices, so be sure to call ahead for a list of approved and prohibited items. We do also allow laptops in rehab because we do feel that during your own time of relaxation you should be able to completely unwind, and we understand there are a lot of resources on the web.

Electronics in rehab

Electronic devices are another hot topic for rehabs. Transformations allows electronic devices if you would like to bring them like laptops, tablets, games, mp3 players, and other approved devices you can, as long as they don't affect your ability to go to therapy and scheduled recovery meetings. The primary focus on treatment is getting better and recovering.

Get Fast Answers to Your Questions.

Cell Phone Use at Rehab

Because going to rehab and receiving treatment is a critical time that will require focus and perseverance, a call home or to a loved one may be able to help someone through rehab. Despite the seemingly positive influence of being in touch with a loved one, it may also become a distraction from the treatment program. The impact, either positive or negative, will of course depend on the individual.

Cellphone Friendly Rehab

People find themselves asking themself do rehabs in Florida allow cellphones. Are there any rehabs that allow cellphones in Florida?  Each facility has their own rules for electronic use and cellphone use so call ahead to confirm the rules. Explore our rehab facilities and amenities further below. Great News Transformations by the Gulf allow cellphones in rehab.

If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

 


Alcohol Addiction Treatment in St. Pete Beach

5 Signs of Codependency

What is Codependency?

According to Psych Central, codependency is a relationship in which one partner has extreme emotion and physical needs and the other partner meets those needs most of the time. The person becomes so dependent upon that person to always meet those needs that they feel they can't function without the other individual. What can happen with Codependency is it can spiral out of control in which the codependent partner enables the loved one's challenges, making it easy for the loved one to maintain the destructive behaviors.

5 Signs of Codependency

Symptoms of codependency include:

  • Low self-esteem: The codependent person may feel they are unlovable outside of the relationship role and depends on the opinions of other people to feel valued or self-worth.
  • People-pleasing: The opinions of other people may have a great deal of weight for the codependent person. This person will do anything to make sure others have a positive opinion about them. The person may feel intense shame, guilt or an inability to say “no” to other people.
  • Caretaking: The person feels a primary need to care for other people, often at the expense of themselves; in some extreme situations, the person doesn’t feel secure or comfortable unless needed.
  • Unhealthy or absence of boundaries: The codependent person may not have a understanding or sense of boundaries, either for themself or others. These individuals may offer unwanted or unneeded advice, feel responsible for other people’s feelings, or want to control or manipulate others in order to feel safe and secure.
  • Obsession over relationships: Because the codependent person feels completely defined by relationships, they may become the main priority or an obsessive focus for the individual.

If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Admissions

What a Day is Like in Our Treatment Facility.

What Should I Bring?

What to Expect?

Why Transformations by the Gulf?

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Transformations Treatment Center, Transformations by the Gulf, Substance Abuse Treatment St Pete, Holiday Aclohol Treatment

Creating a Sober Christmas in Florida

Creating a Sober Christmas in Florida

Creating a Sober Christmas in Florida; Is it possible to enjoy Christmas without Alcohol or Drugs?

Some people associate alcohol and drugs with the holidays as a way to have fun while others look to it as a way to cope with depression or loneliness during the holidays. Being connected to a recovery program during the holidays especially if you are new to recovery is very important. The holidays can bring up a range of emotions that are difficult to handle on your own. Often we feel a need to cope with these feelings, so we turn to what our mind perceive as the easy way to cope. Relapsing during the holidays can be common but does not have to be a part of your journey. The good news is that we can create new traditions that don’t involve intoxication. It is these new traditions that you will associate with Christmas in the future. This is how you reclaim your Christmas and holiday season. Creating a Sober Christmas in Florida check out these tips to create one.

  • Go to some local holiday activities or shows.
  • Volunteer your time to help those less fortunate.
  • Go to a Christmas market and enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Spend time with your family in a sober environment, so they can get you into the Christmas spirit.
  • Go to a sober Christmas party (recovery groups in large cities will usually arrange these in December).
  • Spend a bit of time in nature.
  • Cook Christmas dinner and invite some friends around.
  • Decorate your Christmas tree with some friends in recovery.

The holidays can be difficult but going into the holidays knowing you're not alone and staying connected can prevent relapse from occurring.  Creating a Sober Christmas in Florida is possible.


If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Admissions

What a Day is Like in Our Treatment Facility.

What Should I Bring?

What to Expect?

Why Transformations by the Gulf?

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Music in Recovery

Florida addiction recovery with music

Florida addiction recovery with music

Music therapy draws on the power of music in a therapeutic relationship to manage a range of conditions and improve your quality of life. A music therapist tailors sessions to your needs. You may sing or play instruments, listen to music or discuss the meaning of lyrics. You don’t need musical skills, and people of all ages can benefit.

Overview

What is Florida Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the use of music and/or elements of music (such as sound, harmony, and rhythm) to reduce stress or improve quality of life. A healthcare provider called a music therapist talks to you to learn more about your needs, music preferences and experiences, and designs each session specifically for you. They also evaluate your progress each step of the way and may work with your other healthcare providers to coordinate your care.

Music therapy experiences may include singing, playing instruments, writing music or simply listening. Some sessions may involve listening to music and talking about its meaning to you.

Healthcare providers use music as therapy in many different contexts. Music can certainly be a powerful tool for calming and healing. But the definition of clinical musical therapy states that a qualified music therapist must plan and lead the session in a therapeutic manor for it to qualify as this form of treatment.

Music therapy helps people of all ages and from all walks of life. It may benefit many different aspects of your overall well-being, including.

  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Social

What conditions can music therapy manage?

According to the Clevland Clinic Music therapists use this form of treatment to manage a vast range of conditions. It’s typically a complementary therapy. This means it’s part of a larger treatment plan that may include medications or other interventions. Research shows music therapy can offer benefits to people with:

Reach Out for More Information About Transformations by the Gulf

Our addiction treatment services include a variety of programs, designed to follow guests through the recovery process.

We offer residential treatment programs including residential inpatient program. Transformations by the Gulf treatment center also offers: a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an intensive outpatient program with community housing.

 

If you have any questions about our treatment options, please reach out to one of our addiction specialists at (727)498-6498 our team is available to speak with you 24/7. Because We Care.

 

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Cell Phones in Treatment

Cell Phones at Rehab

Cell Phones in Rehab

Most rehabs do not allow cellphones, computers, tablets or any electronic device other than a mp3 player. Transformations by the Gulf Treatment Center does however allow cell phones. Most rehabs will limit contact to 10-20 minutes total a week. While is approach can be affected in some cases, we find that sheltering you from the outside world is counterintuitive. When you leave treatment if you have not developed coping skills and practiced them the odds of a relapse are significantly higher. With that being said we allow cell phones during treatment but not during therapy hours.

Laptops at Rehab

Every rehab center sets its own policy on cellphones and electronic devices, so be sure to call ahead for a list of approved and prohibited items. We do also allow laptops in rehab because we do feel that during your own time of relaxation you should be able to completely unwind, and we understand there are a lot of resources on the web.

Electronics at rehab

Electronics are another hot button topic for being allowed in rehabs. Transformations allows electronics if you would like to bring them like laptops, tablets, game consoles, mp3 players, and more as long as they don't affect your ability to go to therapy and scheduled recovery meetings. The primary focus on treatment is getting better and recovering.

Get Fast Answers to Your Questions.

Cell Phone Use in Rehab

Because going to rehab and receiving treatment is a critical time that will require focus and perseverance, a call home or to a loved one may be able to help someone through rehab. Despite the seemingly positive influence of being in touch with a loved one, it may also become a distraction from the treatment program. The impact, either positive or negative, will of course depend on the individual.

Cell Phone Friendly Rehab

People find themselves asking themself do rehabs in Florida allow cellphones. Are there any rehabs that allow cellphones in Florida?  Each rehab facility sets their own rules for electronics and cell phone use so call ahead to confirm the rules. Explore our rehab facilities and amenities further below. Good News Transformations by the Gulf allow cell phones in rehab.

If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Admissions

What a Day is Like in Our Treatment Facility.

What Should I Bring?

What to Expect?

Why Transformations by the Gulf?


Music Healing in Recovery

Music Healing in Recovery at Transformations by the Gulf

Music Healing in Recovery at Transformations by the Gulf

Music is a beautiful and powerful thing; it has the ability to transform or enhance your mood. At Transformation by the Gulf, we encourage music as it provides a vital role in recovery and addiction treatment.

Transformations by the Gulf takes a holistic approach, treating the mind, body, and soul. We believe in the power of music and encourage all avenues of healing. We use therapeutic activities to create healthy habits that are useful both in and outside of recovery.

 

Musical Healing in Recovery

Music Healing in Recovery at Transformations by the Gulf is powerful. Music provides a beautiful outlet to express yourself whether you just want to listen or sing and play along. In addition to being beneficial, music is a proven effective therapeutic method and provides benefits for recovery.

 

Music Improves Brain Function

Scientific research states the effect music can have on our brainwaves. Songs with fast tempos and strong beats stimulate the brain to improve concentration and alert thinking; slower songs bring peace and serenity. Listening to songs can improve the brain’s ability to shift the speed of thoughts on its own.

 

Music Reduces Pain

Listening to music can reduce stress and pain when used as a distress tolerance skill. It is also proven to be effective for people struggling with chronic pain. Musical sounds can have amazing physical effects on the body, like easing muscle tension and lowering blood pressure. More specifically, those with high blood pressure or anger issues can benefit greatly from listening to calming songs, as it lowers blood pressure and encourages the activation of “the relaxation response.”

 

Motivation and Positivity

Music can be an excellent way to motivate yourself. Especially by listening to fast-paced songs can provide the motivation you need to get up and move or help you focus. Slow songs calm the mind and benefit guided meditation exercises.

Knowing that musical sounds can affect your mindset, it’s easy to see how songs can be used to change your mood into a positive state of mind. Uplifting songs, and lyrics that resonate, can actually make a massive shift in mood and your level of happiness or stress.

 

Triggers Positive Memories

When we hear a certain song play, memories can flood our minds. This is because many of us have songs that bring a feeling of nostalgia. As a result, music can help aid in remembering positive memories. For instance, most people can agree that listening to a favorite song can transport them into a positive mindset.

 

Music Relieves Stress

Music can help manage and treat mental health, in addition to other therapies and medication when necessary. In fact, relaxing sounds can actually have an effect on the autonomic nervous system, causing changes in heart rate and breathing. These changes can actually bring someone into a meditative state just by listening to calming sounds. For this reason, listening to soothing sounds can reduce stress, allowing guests who suffer from anxiety or depression to feel comfortable and find relief.

 

Self-Expression

Music can be used as a tool of self-expression. Expressing yourself is extremely beneficial in addiction recovery from substance use disorders or alcohol addiction. Any healthy outlet for expressing yourself is something that we support at Transformations Treatment Center.

In fact, creating music can be a very expressive and rewarding activity, especially for those in recovery who are undergoing inpatient treatment, group therapies, and behavioral therapies. The therapy causes emotions to come up, which may be hard for alcoholics or addicts to process or express. Making songs is a great way for our guests to express their raw emotions, giving them a healthy way to channel their thoughts and feelings. By incorporating musical techniques into addiction treatment, we provide our guests with opportunities for authentic self-expression.

 

Music Encourages Physical Movement

Music can be used in combination with a variety of physical wellness therapies, like movement therapy, adventure therapy, and activity therapy. This is because musical sounds can encourage physical movement and motion, to promote physical health. Our treatment programs are able to incorporate music with many therapeutic activities.

 

Reach Out for More Information About Transformations by the Gulf

Our addiction treatment services include a variety of programs, designed to follow guests through the recovery process.

We offer residential treatment programs including residential inpatient program. Transformations by the Gulf treatment center also offers: a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an intensive outpatient program with community housing.

 

If you have any questions about our treatment options, please reach out to one of our addiction specialists at (727)498-6498 our team is available to speak with you 24/7. Because We Care.

 

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Sober Halloween

How to stay sober during the holidays

Some of the greatest joy has come from staying clean and sober. It is important to protect your sobriety or clean time. It's important remember that relapse can happen, but it doesn't have to happen. The holiday season brings a lot of excitement and emotions. It's important to be aware of those emotions and to not act on impulse.

If you are new to being clean and sober, we are proud of you and want to offer you some hope. Feel confident that the best years of your life lie ahead of you. The 12-step programs (Alcoholics AnonymousNarcotics Anonymous) offer many promises. Life will take on a new meaning, and you will know happiness like you have never known before.

You may want to know...

What are some tips for staying clean and sober during the holidays?

Why stay clean and sober? Everyone else is having a good time with alcohol and party drugs why can't you?

What can I do to protect myself from relapse?

How do I remain clean and sober?

To help support your sobriety over the next few months, we feel it’s important to share with you our “How to stay sober during the holidays”.

Use these strategic tips to support your sobriety over the next few months:

  • Plan Ahead. Always take your own vehicle to holiday parties so YOU can control your destiny. Also, take a sober companion with you for support and pay close attention to relapse triggers: H.A.L.T: Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. Arrive early and leave early.
  • Make Self Care a Priority. Celebrate the holiday season by taking care of your body, mind, and soul. We cannot be our very best if we are depleted. Give yourself the gift of time for yourself: a meeting, a prayer, continue working your program of recovery, a massage, a meditation or even some yoga. Proper nutrition and plenty of healthy physical movement will make you feel stronger, both physically and emotionally. Make plans for some time to reflect after a long day.
  • Increase Support. We can get overwhelmed with the erratic nature of the season, so as you plan each day in November and December, start with 12-step support as your first priority. This could mean bookending a holiday event with phone calls to someone in recovery before and after the event. Commit to attend a 12-step meeting (or two) each day and inviting a friend to attend with you. Also, if you’re traveling to another city, plan ahead and make sure you attend meetings there as well or pick up a phone meeting.
  • Be mindful of time spent around your relatives – know your limits. We all have our own version of crazy Aunt Mildred who is going to criticize your career choice and make you feel “less than” or Uncle Harry who will insist on you are having his famous holiday drink. And even worse, we most likely have strained family relationships that have been simmering for years. This type of stress can lead us to rationalize and convince ourselves we are entitled to a drink. Instead, surround yourself with supportive loved ones that will help you follow the steps to staying clean and sober.
  • Have your props ready. When you arrive at a party, immediately get a non-alcoholic beverage and keep it in your hand. Whether it’s sparkling water or soda, others won’t be inclined to push drinks on you constantly. And, the truth of the matter is, people never really notice or pay attention to what’s in your glass.
  • Celebrate relationships. As you consider holiday occasions, think about them as a way to make new friendships and perhaps rekindle old relationships with friends. Instead of making the event about drinking and eating as a priority, intentionally make it about “people” and building relationships; go into each party looking forward to establishing real connections.
  • Eat well. The holidays don’t give us a green light to overindulge. There’s nothing worse that stuffing ourselves with too much sugar, carbs, and fat-laden foods that make us feel bad. So be proactive and choose healthy foods that will make you want to celebrate, not feel guilty.
  • Service, not self. When we can focus on others, we find more joy and gratitude. So look for ways to think about and serve others. Make a special family recipe and deliver to friends. Donate your time at a homeless shelter, food pantry, or soup kitchen. Spend time with a neighbor who is confined. These spiritual opportunities allow us to spread happiness and cheer to others. Treat it as one of the benefits of staying clean and sober; being able to have a clear mind and body to help others.
  • Create new traditions. Celebrate the fact you are reestablishing your own life. As you affirm your new self on these festive days, you are choosing to celebrate the new, better, clean and sober life that you have created. This might mean hosting a sober, festive gathering with friends in recovery. It may mean volunteering to serve at local 12-Step support groups. Remember, giving is one of the best things you can do during the holidays.
  • Avoid relapse triggers. Of all triggers, the most significant can be emotional triggers. No matter if you are in recovery or not, the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. With so many activities squeezed into one month, our normal routines get disrupted, and people get frustrated and anxious. Also, there’s increased demands from your spouse, partner or other family members, and this can put serious stress on your sobriety. This can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, anger and depression. The holidays don’t have to be “perfect” and just like previous years. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Saying “no” is perfectly acceptable and it will protect you.
  • Make sobriety your top priority. If you think about it, all holiday parties are optional. If you don’t think the activity is going to be good for your recovery, it’s okay not to go. You can politely decline the party invite, especially if it's one that is going to jeopardize your recovery.
  • Maintain your spirituality. Our commercial world wants us to believe that joy can come from Alcohol and shopping. It creates a false ideal that happiness can be found in these. Instead, focus on the true spirit of the season. Regardless of your faith or spiritual beliefs, the holidays are really about two things: giving and gratitude. When we focus on these, the other things such as resentment, disappointment, anger, worry, self-loathing show up far less often and cannot find a foothold in our hearts.

Staying clean and sober is possible during the holiday season. It can be quite fun if we direct our attention towards people and activities that can help strengthen us on our road to recovery. Go, have fun, and enjoy your sobriety with those that matter: your loved ones.


If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Admissions

What a Day is Like in Our Treatment Facility.

What Should I Bring?

What to Expect?

Why Transformations by the Gulf?

Subscribe

mental struggle with addiction

Recognizing Relapse Warning Signs

Recognizing Relapse Warning Signs

Just as an individual’s specific addiction relapse triggers are unique to them and their experiences, warning signs that your loved one has relapsed depend on a number of unique personal factors. However, noting one or more of the following common warning signs can be a strong indicator that a stage of relapse has occurred or is imminent:

  1. Dishonesty. Little white lies are one thing, but if your loved one seems to continually be lying to you about things like whether or not they went to therapy, where they are spending all their time (or money), or why they never seem to come to the weekly family dinner anymore, this can be a sign that they are trying to hide a relapse.
  2. Overconfidence. While it’s important for your loved one to feel confident in their own ability to recover from addiction, overconfidence can be dangerous and a common sign of relapse. This supposed period of improvement could be them trying to overcompensate for something. If they start talking about quitting treatment or giving up on certain parts of their aftercare plan because they “just feel better” or don’t feel like they need to anymore, this can indicate that they are no longer actively pursuing their long-term recovery goals and may be at risk for relapse.
  3. Neglecting personal hygiene. Poor self-care practices, such as forgetting to wash their hair, refusing to take a shower, not brushing their teeth, or wearing the same clothes for days is nearly always a sign that something is wrong and that they are potentially in the middle of a mental relapse—if not relapse, then perhaps some other negative experience that may trigger a relapse.
  4. Reviving old (negative) connections. If your loved one is spending time with the people they used to use with or hanging out in the same places in which they used to use, this can be a strong indicator that they are in a stage of relapse, or the mental relapse has already occurred—especially if they try to hide that they are spending their time thus.
  5. Self-imposed isolation. Social withdrawal from positive relationships and neglecting or avoiding social connections, in general, isn’t merely a relapse warning sign—it can also occur as a result of the guilt and shame your loved one may feel if they’ve already had an emotional relapse.
  6. Significant change in attitude. Bad days are a natural part of the process of recovery. But if your loved one seems to be experiencing distinct stages of negative feelings, like feelings of anxiety or sadness, and other possible signs of decreasing mental health, over an extended period of time, they may be at risk for a relapse. Similarly, mood swings, increased irritability, and other sudden marked changes in attitude can indicate either a risk of relapse or that they’ve already been in the throes of mental relapse. Even strong positive feelings, if it’s extreme or seems to come out of the blue, can be a sign that they are experiencing the highs of using again. It’s important to keep an eye on their emotional health, alongside their mental and physical health, as any changes to them can be indicative of something bigger going on.
  7. Significant change in behavior. If your loved one starts repeatedly skipping school, “forgetting” appointments, acting out, or simply acting contrarily to their usual character, a significant change in behavior is often one of the most pronounced warning signs of relapse. This is especially true if there is a marked change in eating or sleeping habits.

The best way to recognize a potential sign of relapse is to listen to your sober support system and loved ones. It's all too easy to write off red flags as something temporary or innocuous, but ignoring a potential relapse will only make recovery harder in the long run. If it feels like something is wrong, then something probably is wrong.

Don't panic if the warning signs above sound all familiar. Even if your loved one is already on the cusp of relapse, there is still hope for recovery, both in the short and long term.


If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

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Sober Vacation Ideas

What happens when you want to travel in early recovery?

Are there any sober vacation ideas that are still exciting and fun? Why yes there are! At Transformation by the Gulf, we understand that life doesn’t stop after rehab. Even if you’re in addiction recovery, there are still plenty of ways to vacation sober and still have fun.

Fun Sober Vacation Ideas for Everyone

A lot of people don't know how to have fun on vacation without alcohol or don’t even think it’s possible. But you don’t need to drink to have a good time. Whether you’ve undergone addiction treatment, or you've stopped drinking, here are some fun sober vacations you can enjoy on your own or with loved ones.

Theme Parks

Theme parks like Universal Studios, Cedar Point, Six Flags and Disney are great destinations for people who want to have an exciting vacation filled with thrill and adventure without alcohol. With all of the rides and attractions, you won’t feel bored, and you’ll also want to stay as hydrated as possible when walking around and riding rides. These theme parks also hold a lot of meaning for some people, especially Universal or Disney. This could be a perfect opportunity to make new and sober memories you can cherish for a lifetime.

Hiking

Even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoors person or active person, you should still try hiking. Hiking is a great sober vacation because it’s the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and experience the beauty of nature. The exercise itself also boosts the release of endorphins, which improves your mood. Whether it’s with a loved one or friends, you can usually find trails or state parks nearby, so you don't have to go far or spend a lot of money.

Spa Getaway

Because both addiction recovery and cutting down on alcohol can be tough, going on a spa is a good way to relax and center yourself. Sometimes we need to separate ourselves from our everyday routines and enjoy some relaxation. There are plenty of great spas or wellness centers that do not serve alcohol with the intention of keeping their guests healthy. After going on a spa retreat, you’ll come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on new challenges.

Road Trip

What better way to enjoy some amazing sights than going on a road trip? This is one of the best sober vacation ideas because you can go with the flow, plan a course and enjoy each and every moment as it comes to you.  Going on a road trip gives you the flexibility of moving from one place to another whenever you want instead of staying in one place where you are more limited to your surroundings.

How to Stay Sober on Vacation

Because temptation can exist wherever you go, our drug and alcohol rehab center in Palm Springs wanted to offer some tips for traveling sober.

  • Avoid bars (while you may want to visit a popular bar or pub wherever you go, it’s best to avoid places that are centered around alcohol, especially if it’s your first trip sober)
  • Avoid going to places where alcohol is present alone (especially if it’s your first trip after addiction treatment)
  • Bring snacks for traveling (hunger, thirst, and exhaustion are common relapse triggers)
  • Call the place you’re staying and tell them to remove all alcohol from the room.
  • Stay fed and hydrated during your trip.
  • Stay in touch with people back home (this is a great way to stay safe and keep yourself accountable)
  • Travel with people you trust.


If you or someone you know would like to know more about Transformations by the Gulf Substance Abuse Treatment Center Give us a Call 24/7 (727)498-6498

The success of a person’s recovery depends on the level of personalized treatment provided. It is important to find an addiction treatment program that works.  When we say our treatment is individualized, we mean that we craft a program that is tailored to address the client’s unique physical, mental and emotional needs.

In the client’s first 24 hours with us, we’ll evaluate their current state and work to understand what challenges they need to overcome. They’ll also have an initial session with our doctor and meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals.

After the initial evaluations, we’ll design a treatment plan with the sole mission of helping the client overcome and heal from addiction. Their program will focus on things such as:

  • Addressing and Identifying root causes of addiction.
  • Creating a support system.
  • Developing healthy stress management techniques.
  • Eliminating Substance use.
  • Learning how to communicate emotions effectively.
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
  • Repairing damaged relationships.

Our Facility is near the beach and offers a comfortable setting for substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Admissions

What a Day is Like in Our Treatment Facility.

What Should I Bring?

What to Expect?

Why Transformations by the Gulf?

Subscribe