Is Drug Rehab Aftercare for Me?

drug aftercare

Yes. Aftercare is for everyone. Let’s get that out of the way.

That said, blanket generalizations aren’t necessarily helpful and while yes, broadly speaking, drug rehab aftercare is very likely for you, let’s dig into it a bit more.

The chief reason it’s so easy to be so confident about the efficacy of aftercare is that recovery is a lasting, lifelong process. It’s something that’s a continual work in progress and therefore without a real “finish line”. It doesn’t just end one day and given that, aftercare is a helpful part of the process for anyone.

In many ways, treatment and detox are the very, very beginning of recovery. They focus on the near-term goals of getting the toxins out and working through what led you to substances in the first place through counseling, therapy, etc. The process that gets you sober and lays the groundwork for a life of sobriety.

Aftercare, on the contrary, takes the long view and is about preserving and maintaining the sobriety that you’ve worked so hard for. It’s a powerful relapse prevention tool as well. You’re in a particularly vulnerable state when transitioning from rehab back into the realities of the real world and aftercare gives you a space to deal with and healthily work through that.

At the end of the day, drugs and alcohol hold a powerful grip on us and any tools at your disposal that work against that should be strongly considered.

What Are Aftercare Substance Abuse Programs?

The world of aftercare is broad and chock full of options to support your long-term recovery.

For starters, check to see if your rehab facility offers alumni programs or its own aftercare programs.

At Principles Recovery Center we offer both because the empowering and confidence-building nature of them is readily apparent. Alumni programs keep you connected with us, or whichever rehab you went through, and those connections to counselors, staff and, most importantly, other alumni create a meaningful sober network.

Sober living homes are another option you may be familiar with and those are pretty much just what they sound like; a place to live that’s free of substances and with set rules to abide by. They make for an excellent transition from the rigors of inpatient rehab to living on your own which can initially prove overwhelming for some. Particularly if they’re going back to environments that are inherently toxic themselves, with lots of triggers, etc.

Perhaps the most well of the aftercare substance abuse programs is the 12-step program. The Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous’ of the world. These have proven to be crucial lifelines for folks in maintaining sobriety for decades now and can be found the world over. In addition to the 12-steps themselves, a lot of the value in these lies in the regular group meetings where people can talk through their challenges and create bonds. The mentorship you find is huge and as you spend more and more time in the program you can eventually mentor newly sober people yourself. Something that has a profoundly positive impact on you too.

Outpatient care is an alternative to consider as well and yet another that we offer at Principles. It’s more or less a stripped-back version of inpatient care where counseling and group work play the biggest role but you can come and go as you please rather than committing to a long stay. It’s inherently far less prohibitive and allows you to stick with your work, family and other commitments. 

Who Should Do A Drug Rehab Aftercare Program? 

Doing aftercare is a person-specific choice but with so many options available, finding one that works and benefits you is an easy task. The idea is really to make sobriety as easy and enjoyable as possible, aftercare works towards those ends and provides ample opportunity to make recovery a lasting success. Get in touch with Principles Recovery Center and we’ll not only walk you through our in-house aftercare options but also get you well-versed on the landscape of South Florida aftercare programs like 12-step, sober living homes and the like.

Dual-Diagnosis: Treating Mental Illness and Addiction

mental illness and addiction

Unfortunately, addiction and mental illness aren’t mutually exclusive things for a lot of people. While neither occurs in a vacuum and external forces influence everything in our lives, with respect to addiction and mental illness, it doesn’t automatically follow that one produces the other.

In fact, for a person dealing with both, like the chicken and the egg, it can sometimes be tough to determine which came first.

In simple terms, dual-diagnosis just means that someone is dealing with addiction and a co-occurring mental illness.

The stats from the National Institute on Drug Abuse bear out that 7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorder. Moreover, of the 20.3 million adults that had substance abuse disorders in 2017, 37.9% had mental illnesses as well. On the flip side, of the 42.1 million adults struggling with mental illnesses, 18.2% had substance abuse disorders too.

They don’t go fully hand in hand, but the overlap is stark and the risk factors for substance abuse and mental illness have quite a bit of overlap.

While one doesn’t always cause the other, they absolutely do fuel and exacerbate each other.

And it makes sense why.

If you’re suffering from a mental illness, any mental illness, and aren’t getting the proper treatment it’s possible that in order to alleviate that mental anguish you’ll resort to self-medicating. The more substances you take, the more your brain chemistry changes and the more you need to take to avoid dealing with the unbearable weight of living that mental illness has caused.

The coping mechanism becomes the culprit.

Conversely, because addiction is a chronic brain disease, as your brain changes due to prolonged use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, mental disorders can develop.

It stands to reason that just about any mental disorder can happen in conjunction with substance abuse but there are a handful that are more common:

  • Anxiety/Panic Disorders
  • Bipolar/Mood Disorders 
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sex Addiction
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

Who Should Go to A Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center in Florida?

The natural byproduct of struggling with both addiction and mental illness is that it increases the risk for things like suicide, violence and a host of other outcomes exponentially.

Because of this relationship, tackling both together in an integrated form of treatment is the only way to meaningfully break the cycle.

The treatment isn’t widely dissimilar from standard rehab. The general structure of detox, inpatient care and aftercare are kept but the emphasis on mental illness is stronger. The psychiatric and clinical staff, as well as counselors and therapists, are more attuned to helping people work through those mental issues. After detox, you’ll be evaluated by that team of experts to confirm/make a diagnosis of a co-occurring illness. 

Dual-diagnosis treatment can also often take longer due to the fact that working through two highly complex problems concurrently simply requires more time.

Given that, not all facilities are equipped for it but our dual-diagnosis residential treatment center in Florida is up to the task.

Benefits of Treating Mental Illness and Addiction Together

Of the many benefits that come with treating these two together, the first is relief. Relief that you’ve uncovered a reason for your suffering and relief that you’ve finally found an answer to it. At Principles Recovery Center in South Florida, we offer that relief in the form of our dual-diagnosis treatment center. Working through both issues at the same time sets you up with a strong foundation on which you can build the rest of your life confidently.

Why You Need Outpatient Rehab

Rehab is best looked at as happening along a continuum. The stages of going from addict to living a sober life melt into one another to make the transitions as smooth and painless as possible.

The move from detox to inpatient rehab is a pretty clear one. It’s easy to see the benefits and needs but what of the shift from inpatient to outpatient, is there a need for the latter? 

There is indeed. Outpatient treatment is all about flexibility and having the ability to be active in your day to day life and get the help you need in staying sober. Things like work, school, family obligations are all doable while participating in an outpatient program, whereas those are on hold during inpatient care.

Outpatient rehab also gives you a lifeline and safe space to deal with the triggers that come with everyday life. The same temptations that caused you to fall into addiction in the first place will largely still be there after detox and inpatient care so having a resource like outpatient treatment can be a godsend in those particularly trying times.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Simply put, outpatient rehab is a type of rehab where clients visit a treatment center rather than move in like they would for inpatient rehab.

It’s a very viable solution for those with milder addictions and a strong support network. Without a doubt, this is a more flexible and practical option that doesn’t interfere as much with your normal life.

Outpatient rehab also has the advantage of being more affordable.

In general, you’re still getting the hands-on care you need in the form of counseling and other treatment methodologies your particular program requires but it’s built around your life and schedule. That’s one of the major reasons one would opt for outpatient treatment over inpatient.

At Principles Recovery Center we actually offer 3 types of outpatient treatment to accommodate the needs of as many people as possible. The main difference between each type is the amount of time spent in treatment each week:

Why It’s Important to Do Outpatient Rehab After Inpatient

You might be thinking, can someone just skip inpatient treatment altogether and go straight into outpatient care?

Absolutely, that’s very much doable.

While inpatient care is more effective due to the intensity of the treatment and the fact that it’s the only thing you’re focused on, it’s just not feasible for everyone. That’s understandable. Nonetheless, to give yourself the best shot at success and to set yourself up with all the tools you need to combat against the possibility of relapse, the ideal scenario is to transition from inpatient to outpatient care.

Outpatient care is really part of the continuum mentioned earlier. To go from intensive treatment to nothing overnight is tough, particularly if you were dealing with an intense addiction or are going back into an environment that’s full of potential triggers. The transition of inpatient to outpatient and outpatient to a fully regular life makes things less overwhelming.

That feeling of being left hanging isn’t as harsh and there’s a comfort in the hand-holding that builds confidence in the decisions you’ll make after rehab.

Get Help With Addiction at Principles Recovery Center

The need to be able to participate in one’s own life is something we understand well at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida so we have outpatient rehab programs of various types to support just about everyone in their goal of getting sober. Give us a call and we’d be happy to advise you on the best options for you.

Finding an Alcohol Rehab in South Florida

Alcohol abuse of any kind is tough to deal with anywhere but if you live in a vacation hotspot like South Florida, it’s just that little bit harder. It’s constant nice weather, minus the hurricanes, with folks coming to visit and live their best life in your backyard. It’s easy to get caught up in the riff raff.

On the flip side, South Florida can be considered a destination for rehab precisely for some of those same reasons. You may not live in the state but need to get away from wherever you are in order to really focus on rehab and treatment. While California is well known in that area, South Florida offers a similarly relaxing and recovery friendly environment.

There’s just something healing about the coast and South Florida has a lot of it to offer. Drinking in the sea breeze instead of any alcoholic alternative is as therapeutic as it gets.

What Is an Alcohol Rehab?

If you’ve become dependent on alcohol, rehab is the method by which you break that cycle and get yourself clean and sober. The toughest part, after admitting there’s a problem that needs dealing with in the first place, is working out how to solve it.

After doing your due diligence in searching to find the best rehabs in South Florida, the real work begins.

Detox is ultimately the biggest uphill battle on the road to recovery. Your body has become dependent, no, addicted, to alcohol. It literally needs it to get through the day. You’re compelled to drink and you feel bad unless you do, hence why withdrawal is something folks avoid like the plague.

It’s an unfortunate part of the process but an absolutely integral one to getting better. Fortunately, alcohol rehabs in South Florida are equipped to help with medically assisted detox.

After the booze is finally and fully out of your system for the last time the next phase of rehab is working on the mind. Understanding and working through the causes of alcohol abuse in a safe setting. Sometimes that takes the form of inpatient care or it can be outpatient and aftercare. The main idea is that detox often isn’t enough because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

To ensure long-lasting sobriety and the ability to get back to leading a productive and fulfilled life, it’s important to not stop at detox.

Dangers of Detoxing off Alcohol Alone

This is critical, detox is not always as easy as just stopping. As mentioned previously, your body is quite literally dependent on alcohol for its day to day operation and abruptly ending the supply can lead to devastating consequences. 

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is known as delirium tremens and it’s defined by profound confusion, autonomic hyperactivity and cardiovascular collapse. Not only is it severe but it can be fatal.

Additionally, even if you get through detox, because you’re getting no support for the mental side of addiction the risk of relapse is appreciably higher for those going it alone. You’re simply not equipped with the tools to deal with the triggers that had you drinking heavily in the first place.

Not only are those tools important but developing a plan makes relapse less likely as well.

We Offer Alcohol Rehab at Principles Recovery Center

Getting clean isn’t a journey you have to take on your own. In fact, having a team behind you and a customized treatment program are among the greatest weapons in the battle against alcoholism. It’s something we’ve honed well in our 30-plus years of treating addiction. Make South Florida be your destination for alcohol rehab and Principles Recovery Center be your guide.

Self Care For Recovering Addicts

self care for recovering addicts

It’s already easy enough to beat ourselves up, get lost in a chaotic life and fall into a negative feedback loop that has us down and doubting which leads us to things like drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Addiction shakes you to the core, grabs hold of your life and, at its worst, engulfs it completely. The pursuit of drugs and alcohol shifts to become your absolute priority and everything else falls by the wayside, leaving destruction in the wake. Substance abuse wreaks havoc on your mind and body, destroying relationships and leveling aspirations. It’s the pinnacle of self-neglect.

Getting sober is a monumental step in rebuilding those things but you need to add what was missing in your previous life: self-care. Once clean and on the path of recovery, it’s important to internalize that taking care of yourself is an unequivocal necessity to success. Both mentally and physically. At Principles Recovery Center, we hope all of our clients put an emphasis on self care.

What Is Self-Care for Recovering Addicts?

Simply put, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health”. For recovering addicts, it means finding and prioritizing healthy ways of taking care of oneself. Like all aspects of recovery, a productive self-care regimen is purely dependent on each person’s personality, interests and what they value.

Importance of Self Care in Recovery

As you’ve probably gathered, self-care is more than a bubble bath every now and then and requires dedication and attention. It’s a concept that’s as multifaceted as your life and as such, it needs to touch every part of your life.

Mental – Getting yourself into a good headspace is perhaps the most difficult part of dealing with substance abuse and where self-care can help the most. It was a long road into addiction and it’s a long road out with many distractions along the way. Your treatment equipped you with the tools to not let those distractions steer you towards substances but there’s a difference between that and actively working towards feeling good in your mind. 

It requires making time to learn your triggers on a deeper level and how to cope with them positively. It’s allowing yourself to relax, not beat yourself up and strive towards balance. It’s getting comfortable being alone and delving into and discovering your interests. Exploring what makes you happy.

Mental self-care is learning to love and accept yourself. 

Physical – Food and exercise have a dramatic effect on how we feel. Don’t take exercise to mean that you have to become a triathlete or champion bodybuilder to care for yourself. Nope, it’s as easy as going for a walk or jog, playing some pick-up basketball, taking a swim, etc. the idea is to get those endorphins flowing to create those good and positive vibes.

It goes without saying that what you put in your body has an effect, drugs and alcohol proved that, but the food you eat does too. A diet full of soda and junk food is going to have you feeling like, well, junk. A healthy diet, conversely, will lift you up. It’ll increase your overall energy and enhance your attitude.  Good food = good mood as they say.

Social – Your relationships also are an important aspect of self-care. Prolonged isolation is devastating to mental health so making sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people is huge. Joining a 12-step group or even entering sober living are fantastic ways to connect with people who understand what you’re going through.

On the flip side, you will likely still have relationships with people from your past life and it’s vital to set boundaries with them and make it very known that you’re 100% committed to your sobriety.

Take Care of Your Addiction at Principles Recovery Center

This may seem unnatural and out of character to you, to devote this much attention to yourself. It’s understandable but the big takeaway is that it’s not selfish to care for, and about, yourself. Not doing that is part of what may have led you to substance abuse in the first place.

At Principles Recovery Center, we see developing an empowering self-care plan as an integral part of recovery and would love to tell you more about how we go about it, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Also, bubble baths are fine, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Drug Addiction Therapy

drug addiction therapy

Once you’ve made the decision to go down the path of recovery and work your way into a life of sobriety, the next steps are well-trodden. Detox then, generally, residential inpatient and then outpatient treatment. At Principles Recovery Center, we believe it’s in those latter parts of the process that drug addiction therapy comes into play.

What Is Drug Addiction Therapy?

In broad terms, drug addiction therapy is the method by which trained professionals go about working through and unwrapping your addiction. It’s less “therapy” in the singular sense though and more “therapies” as there are many varieties. Just as there are many types of people, personalities, addictions and substances, there are particular therapies that are better suited for each individual. 

That’s a great thing too because what works for one person may even be counterproductive to another.

Types of Drug Addiction Treatment Methods


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


CBT is an evidence-based treatment that helps addicts to recognize the negative thoughts and thought patterns that occur when they are faced with challenging, stressful situations. The National Institute of Health notes that it helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs.

Being able to develop real control over your thoughts is paramount, negative thoughts happen but they don’t have to spiral into negative and destructive actions.


Group Therapy


Group therapy is a mighty tool in the therapeutic chest. While individual counseling sessions are big components of recovery, nothing comes close to replacing the feel of community that comes from being with people who’ve shared the same experiences as you.

The sense of isolation you might be feeling disappears in the comfort of others and seeing your fellow patients progress has an inspirational aspect to it that functions as a motivator. At the same time, you’re able to create bonds, interpersonal relationships and perhaps even the foundations of a new network of sober friends for life after treatment.

That’s in addition to the positive feedback and support from your peers and therapists that are hallmarks of group therapy.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is as well about facing negativity and changing those destructive and poisonous thought patterns. The distinction between the two is while CBT focuses on change DBT emphasizes acceptance and change, which is where the word “dialectical” comes into play. The idea is to accept your experience

This therapy is best suited for those who grapple with co-occurring disorders, at high-risk or are long-term substance abusers. 


Holistic Methods


Most often you’ll see holistic methods labeled as “alternative therapies” because for a long, long time they existed on the fringes of addiction treatment and therapy. Nowadays, however, many facilities are embracing these methods as they help tackle the many different and tough to reach parts of the human experience.

The most well-known is yoga which encourages a mindfulness that’s hard to attain through other means. As well, while working to connect the body and mind, yoga fosters self-discipline.

The holistic drug addiction treatment methods don’t end there though. Art therapy helps celebrate self-expression and the creative process. Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese practice of inserting thin needles into the body, works to realign your energy. Biofeedback involves electrical sensors that measure a variety of functions in the body with the goal of getting you to control them better. 

And there are yet more!

How Principles Can Help With Your Addiction

One size fits all treatment means no one is getting the exact treatment they really need and at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida we fully appreciate the importance of a personalized approach. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust that we practice what we preach.

Reach out to us today if you’d like to know more about any of the therapies we offer. 

Prescription Pills Addiction: What It Looks Like

prescription pills addiction

Are prescription pills additive? The short answer is; yes. Yes, you can become addicted to prescription pills. The longer answer is also going to be yes because when you strip it all away, the addictive quality of a drug or a person’s own predisposition to an addictive nature doesn’t go away just because a doctor prescribed the medicine.

As your brain starts to change from abusing drugs, even ones your doctor writes for, it gets more and more difficult to practice self-control and fight the urge to take more. Their effects and what they’re designed to do are just too effective.


Prescription Pills Addiction

There’s an easy trust and ultimately a genuine perception that because a doctor is recommending and endorsing a prescription pill regimen that it’s fully safe. This isn’t to say that doctors don’t deserve trust or don’t have your best interests in mind, most of the time it works out fine, but it’s important to know that these substances are addictive. Even while controlled and meant to be taken in a specific manner, they still can hook you.


Commonly Prescribed Pills 

There are a lot of pills you or your loved one can be prescribed but the most common, and most topical, are benzodiazepines and opioids. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 30% of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepine (colloquially called “benzos”).


Benzos are central nervous system depressants, some of the most familiar being Xanax, Ativan and Valium. They are commonly prescribed for things like anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal and seizures. These function as tranquilizers and sedatives for the most part.


Opioids are painkillers and are used to treat all sorts of chronic and severe pain that people commonly have. Everything from headaches to recovery from surgery to those undergoing cancer treatment. Opioids are widely used and extremely widely prescribed. The most well known are Codeine, Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Morphine.

The scourge of opioid addiction shows up in the dramatically increased number of overdose deaths over the years which increased by 5 times between 1999 and 2016. In a similar span, 1996 to 2013, benzodiazepine prescriptions increased by nearly 70%.

As previously mentioned, the combination of the two is particularly lethal because they work to suppress breathing and sedate the user.

Signs of Prescription Pill Addiction

There’s a wide array of signs that addiction may be taking hold, concerning opioids and benzos in particular, here are things to keep an eye out for;


  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Feeling high
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Drowsiness


  • Confusion
  • Poor coordination
  • Increased dose needed to relieve pain
  • Worsening or increased sensitivity to pain with higher doses
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady walking
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with memory
  • Slowed breathing


There’s quite a bit of overlap between the two and like anyone worried about their loved one potentially being addicted to anything, let alone something that’s prescribed by a medical professional, it’s important to pay close attention to these signs so they don’t exacerbate. 

Naturally, when confronted, your family member or friend will very likely deny they have a problem with their prescription. They’ll work to downplay the severity of it. Don’t take them at their word, things can easily snowball as the user begins taking ever-increasing doses as they build a tolerance to the drugs. The situation can go from manageable to unmanageable in what feels like the blink of an eye.


Get Help at Principles Recovery Center

At Principles Recovery Center in South Florida, we’ve seen the damage that addiction to prescription drugs can cause and have helped countless patients through the journey to getting their lives back, if this is something that touches your life or the life of someone you know, please reach out to us today and let us help! 

What To Do After Rehab

friends helping each other with what to do after rehab

It’s long been said that recovery is a lifelong process and while it may feel or sound cliché, it’s undeniably true. You’ve done the immensely challenging work of getting clean; the detox, the inpatient treatment, group therapy, spoken with counselors, yoga, etc. You’ve done some or all of it and more and that alone is absolutely cause for celebration.

The long journey may have been difficult, but it was guided and there was comfort in the warm embrace of a deeply caring environment. In your time in treatment, you learned to not underestimate the power of addiction and while you fully grasped and understood that it’s an ongoing part of your life, now that you’ve “graduated” back into that daily life it can all feel overwhelming. That despite the best-laid plans.

Where do you even begin after rehab?

Make and Stick to Your Plan

In all likelihood, you created a plan towards the end of your rehab program to help set you up for long-term success in sobriety. 

The likelihood of staying clean increases massively if you have a plan of continued action to follow. That may include things like continued one-on-one therapy or counseling, a medication regimen, check-ups to ensure progress.

 The key now is to hold yourself accountable to it. Whatever the plan is, whatever appointments you’ve made for, it’s imperative to stick with them.

Get Into a Support Group

Aside from friends and family, a support group of like-minded people who share the experience of addiction and recovery can work wonders. Chats about hardship with your close confidants are great but coming together to discuss issues with people who really understand what you’ve gone through are indispensable. 

There are many to choose from but the most well-known method is via a 12-step program which includes Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for example. If you’re looking for something different than the 12-step approach, SMART Recovery (self-management and recovery training) is a popular option.

There’s a whole world of support groups that align with the values, needs and wants of every individual. Finding the right one for you just takes a bit of research.

Make New (Sober) Friends

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start from scratch and build an entirely new friendship circle but you do need to break it off with any drug and alcohol using pals. Dropping yourself back into the mix with folks that have carried on with the same life of using, is setting yourself up for relapse. Ideally, you’ll have made some newly sober pals throughout rehab but if your recovery plan includes any type of group work you can build friendships there.

The idea is to try to surround yourself with people who won’t influence you adversely and who will actively share in or encourage your sobriety goals. They will also be able to introduce you to new, sober activities to do after rehab

what to do after rehab

Help Others

This is a powerful way to spread the love, helping other people helps the giver as much as the receiver. In addition to being a way to further share and grow from common experiences, helping others serves as a way to hold yourself personally accountable. It reminds you how far you’ve come and ushering someone down that same path boosts their self-esteem and yours.

It’s a supremely rewarding post-rehab activity if you can handle it.

We’re Here to Help After Drug and Alcohol Rehab

No matter which route you choose, you control your destiny with respect to what happens to your life after rehab. You’ve certainly been equipped with many tools to succeed but it’s not enough to sit back and relax. Sobriety is something that needs to be constantly tended to and worked on. At Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida we recognize the importance of aftercare in your long term success and offer a wide array of options to suit your individual needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you with what to do after rehab.