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4 Steps To Overcoming Addiction

4 Steps To Overcoming Addiction

For many people working toward overcoming drug addiction, achieving long term, or even temporary success seems impossible. Maybe you’ve been told it just takes willpower and a lot of discipline to overcome addiction. But we know this simply isn’t true.

Addiction affects the brain in a variety of ways, including a compulsion to consume a drug or alcohol that is seemingly impossible to resist. But there is hope. With the right treatment and support in place, overcoming drug addiction is a possibility.

We often meet with patients who say the biggest roadblock in dealing with their addiction is either a willingness to seek treatment, a denial of their addiction, or both.

At Addiction Alternatives, we utilize alternative routes to sobriety, including outpatient programs, one-on-one counseling, rehab, and family sessions. Our goal is to offer every patient who comes our way a compassionate and supportive approach to overcoming drug addiction.

Whether you’re seeking treatment for benzo, morphine, opiates, oxycodone, or suboxone addiction, we tailor a program to you to increase your odds of long term success.

While the details and methods we use for your treatment program may vary, they generally entail following certain steps we’re going to share with you today.

4 Steps to Overcoming Drug Addiction

  1. Committing to making a change
  2. Getting the right help
  3. Finding a support group
  4. Maintaining a positive and realistic attitude


Part of committing to making a change involves the realization that you need help in the first place. For many people with substance abuse disorders, this is one of the hardest – yet most impactful – steps you’ll take in the recovery process.

Why IS it so hard to seek addiction treatment? We discuss this topic in depth in this blog post.

In addition to admitting and accepting that you need help, this also entails the realization that many things about your life need to change. This could include how you handle stress, who you spend your time with, and where you spend your time.

Once you’ve reached this point and you’re ready for the next critical step, you’re on your way to regaining control of your life.

Finding help

Medical supervision during substance abuse treatment can help ensure not only the efficacy of your detox and recovery, but your safety during the process as well. Medically supervised detox can help make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during the withdrawal process, in addition to it being done safely so you do not cause further damage to your health.

One of the advantages of getting professional help with overcoming drug addiction is the potential opportunity to utilize medication-assisted treatment (MAT) if necessary. This involves the use of medications (as well as counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy) as an effective treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). In many cases, this “whole-patient” approach results in more successful treatment of substance abuse disorders, as well as a more positive long-term outcome.

To learn more about medication and counseling treatment, please visit this post for more information.

The right type of therapy and addiction recovery services and help isn’t the same for every patient. But when you choose to go through this process with a physician and their staff, you’ll have the benefit of their years of experience and knowledge in the most effective treatment options.


There is plenty of strong evidence to suggest that group therapies and peer support during addiction recovery can contribute to success. While speaking with your friends and family about what you’re experiencing can also be a useful tool, finding a specific support group for your needs is an important part of recovery.

If you are helping a loved one through treatment and withdrawal, we’ve covered six ways to offer your support here. Finding the right support group might take a few tries. If you’re in residential treatment, group therapies are almost always part of the programs so this could be your first experience with group work. In many treatment programs, family therapy is used as well. Before you leave residential treatment, you should discuss how and where you can find support outside of the treatment program.

If you’re completing outpatient treatment, support is still a critical component of the process. To find support, search for groups near you. For example, a quick search for “drug addiction support groups in Florida” will bring up plenty of results.

Finding the right support group

We mentioned that finding the right support group for drug or alcohol addiction might take a few tries.

However, there are certain things to look for in a support group before joining that can help you ensure it’s a good fit.

  • Are they open to new members?
  • When and where does the group meet?
  • What is the criteria to join?
  • How often do they meet?
  • How many people attend the support group?
  • Is anything done to protect the confidential information group members share?
  • Is the program faith-based or secular?
  • What topics are covered?

After the meeting, there are more questions to ask yourself to decide if it’s the right group for you to return to:

  • Did I feel supported and welcomed to the group?
  • Was I/my privacy respected during the meeting?
  • Did I find the group beneficial and leave feeling better than I came?
  • Did I get useful and helpful information?
  • Could I relate to fellow group members in some ways?

Addiction Treatment in Florida

If you’re seeking addiction treatment in Florida, we encourage you to explore the services we offer here at Addiction Alternatives. Our professional medical personnel with particular experience in addiction issues including Dr. Charles Buscema is committed to giving every patient the tools they need to commit to a long-term recovery — including each of the steps we’ve just listed.

We offer specific services depending on the substance you’re overcoming an addiction to.

Our morphine treatment programs, like our other services, are built to work around your lifestyle, as we understand not everyone can commit to residential treatment. We offer Florida morphine withdrawal, and to keep our services as cost-effective as possible, we operate on an outpatient basis. Our team will provide patients with a full detox service for as long as required and we ensure patients are regularly monitored and offered additional support if required.

Similarly, for patients seeking suboxone addiction treatment in Florida, we help keep costs down by offering effective outpatient services focused on both the mental and physical aspects of addiction. Our suboxone addiction treatment is also focused on ensuring that patients receive the counseling and behavioral support they need to achieve lasting change.

No matter what kind of service you seek with Addiction Alternatives, we care about our patients and do our best to give them a treatment regimen that makes a long term positive impact. Although we’re more cost-effective than residential treatment programs, we pride ourselves on offering the same high standard of care and attention you require for success.

If you, or someone you care about, are suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, we’re here for you all the way. Call us at (772) 618-0505 to find out more or book an appointment.


Tips For Staying Sober During The Holidays

Tips For Staying Sober During The Holidays

The holidays can be an especially difficult time of the year for addicts and alcoholics. While non-addicts and alcoholics are solely thinkings about the good food, good company and good times, the added stresses and challenges addicts face at this time are great.

Most people will agree that alcohol has a tendency to make each event feel like a celebration, so it is common to have an abundance around during the holidays. But for addicts who are new to recovery, it can be their first experience with joining in on the celebration without understanding how to partake without a drink.

The holiday season tends to be bittersweet as everyone tends to experience at least some sort of disappointment. For addicts, this disappointment tends to come in the form of expectations of how the addict should be perceived. This can come in the form of endless questions about graduation, job satisfaction, kids and relationships. It is easy to get lost in the comparison role during the holidays.

Holiday Blues

Perhaps your family has kept your disease of addiction from the extended family, therefore when you reject a drink by a family member, how do you keep the conversation away from your recovery?

On the other hand, if your addiction hasn’t taken the form of a secret, how do you maintain normalcy during holiday get togethers without being uncomfortable in your own skin?

Due to the difficulty at this time of year, Addiction Alternatives wanted to provide you with a few tips for the holidays to stay sober and comfortable!

Tips for the Holiday Season

In addition to family holiday events, work and social holiday parties are a constant reminder to the sober alcoholic that they must live and socialize in a different manner than those who can drink in safety. There are holiday functions that require an appearance and it is important to have tactics in place that can help to prevent relapse and to minimize triggers. Here is a holiday “survival guide” for the sober alcoholic:

  • Have an escape plan

An escape plan may include ensuring that you have your own form of transportation or that you have arranged for transportation if you feel you need to leave. Letting your family or the host know before you arrive or when you arrive that you may need to leave early removes the uncomfortability associated with early unexpected departures. Making a backup plan and letting the host know ahead of time is essentially protecting you and your family from a potential relapse or outburst.

  • Dealing With Problem Drinkers

Dealing with family members that could perhaps belong in the rooms of AA or NA during the holidays when you are sober can feel like an oxymoron. It is your responsibility as the one in recovery to maintain a certain type of composure and relaxation for the other family members. It may help to have another sober friend on call to talk to during the event when you need the added support.

  • Non-Alcoholic Drink

If you are concerned with what you will be able to drink at a party, it may be smart to bring a special non-alcoholic drink that anyone would love. This may even encourage the typical drinkers to limit their intake. Plus when you already have a drink in your hand, you don’t need to worry as much about being offered an alcoholic drink.

  • Go To Response

When it comes to explaining why you don’t drink around family or even co-workers, it can be an awkward encounter. However, if your go to response is along the lines of one of the following you are less likely to receive a counter response.

  1. “I don’t drink anymore”,
  2. “I am not drinking tonight”
  3. “I am on medication and cannot have alcohol”
  4. “I am the designated driver tonight,” etc.
  • Be Choosy

You do not have to feel pressured into going to every party you are invited to. If you think you would be better off not attending, simply let the host know that you have other plans during that time.

  • Take Care of Yourself

You need to keep in mind that it is still just as important during the holidays than any other day to take care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, eating regularly and getting some exercise. You will be amazed at the difference.

  • Make New Holiday Traditions

Don’t be afraid to try something new. During the holidays, many people get lost in the typical traditions, but finding new traditions is good too. This could be anything from volunteering at a soup kitchen, having sober parties and gift exchanges and more.

  • Put Your Sobriety First

It is okay to put you and your sobriety first, always. If you feel something may threaten your sobriety it is okay to make new plans.

  • Be Honest

Some family members may see your lack of drinking as a shot to their behaviors. Do not let their opinions affect your sobriety. No everyone will understand why you can’t drink. So be honest about where you are at and ask for support when you need it.

Why Is It So Hard To Seek Addiction Treatment?

Why Is It So Hard To Seek Addiction Treatment?

When it comes to the treatment of people with addiction there is a huge discrepancy between those with it and those that actually receive treatment.

In 2016 there were approximately 21 million people 12 years old and older who needed substance abuse treatment. That is about 1 in 13 people in this age group! However, only 3.8 million people actually received treatment who were 12 and older.

There are several reasons that someone might not receive treatment. Sometimes, they are reluctant to seek treatment because there are certain stigmas about it, or it could be a financial reason. A huge problem with seeking treatment is the availability of it.

Even though there are many barriers remaining, some hopeful signs point to treatment becoming more within reach for populations who have previously struggled to find recovery help.

Number of Programs Available

One of the prevalent problems plaguing searchers of treatment is the lack of programs available. Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) surveys treatment centers across the country. In 2016, SAMHSA reported the following numbers on types of treatment centers available in the United States:

● Residential programs: 3,469 (1,816 short-term, less than 30 days; 2,814 long-term, more than 30 days; 954 detoxification programs)
● Hospital inpatient: 751 (550 treatment, 661 detoxification/withdrawal symptoms)
● Outpatient: 11,836 (11,036 regular outpatient, 6,553 intensive outpatient, 1,890 day treatment/partial hospitalization, 1,361 detoxification programs, 3,079 methadone maintenance)
● Dual diagnosis (treatment of both addiction and mental health disorders): 6,749
Counselors: 12,560 providing substance abuse and behavior disorder treatment

Twelve-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) periodically survey their members. As of January 1, 2018, AA for alcoholism treatment had 61,904 groups and nearly 1.3 million members in the United States. And as of April 2016, Narcotics Anonymous held 67,000 meetings in 139 countries.

Although there are a wide variety of addiction treatment programs and centers available in the US, there is limited space at the centers. Most centers serve a limited number of patients at any given time due to bed availability, staff, and insurance. Unfortunately, the numbers do not tell a good outcome either in regards to the ability of the facilities treating patients. Of the 14,399 facilities surveyed by SAMHSA in 2016 served a little more than 1.1 million patients—far less than the 21 million people age 12 and older who needed treatment that year.

Geographic Limitations

As you research for rehab programs you will see that a large portion of programs in the United States is concentrated in states with high populations. In 2016:
● California had 1,430 treatment facilities.
● New York had 922 facilities.
● Florida had 716 facilities.
● Illinois had 675 facilities.

Conversely, states with low populations tend to have fewer facilities, and many of these states are quite large geographically—which means facilities are more spread out and harder to access for people in rural areas.

In 2016:
● Vermont had 46 treatment facilities
● Wyoming had 58 facilities
● Montana had 64 facilities


People in rural areas face difficult and particular hurdles to find treatment: 92% of the substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States are in urban areas. Rural areas face specific shortages in inpatient and partial hospitalization or day treatment programs since most are centralized in largely populated cities.

However, the lack of treatment options does not stop at centers and programs. 90% of the physicians who are approved to prescribe buprenorphine—a common medication used to treat opioid addiction—practice in urban areas. About 53% of rural counties do not have a physician who can prescribe it, and rural providers who can prescribe buprenorphine report high demand, a lack of resources, and long wait times for patients.

Another problem plaguing rural areas is also less likely to offer some specialty treatment addiction programs, such as those specifically tailored to certain genders or races. Coincidentally, patients in these areas also have a harder time maintaining their anonymity, especially since there are not as many facilities and they may be recognized in a group meeting at another facility.


All too often, financial limitations are one of the major barriers that prevent people from receiving treatment. Insurance can help cover the cost of substance abuse treatment, but many people remain uninsured due to:

● The high cost of insurance.
● The loss of a job.
● Losing Medicaid (for those who previously qualified).
● Lack of insurance through an employer.
● Change in family status.
● Believing that they don’t need coverage.

In fact, in 2016, 27.6 million people ages 0–64 did not have health insurance. Of that 27.6 million people, about 44% of these people were white, 33% were Hispanic, 15% were black, 5% were Asian/Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 3% were of another race, and three-quarters of them were in a household with one or more full-time workers.

Socioeconomic status also plays a role in whether someone can access and complete treatment. It has long been established as a risk factor that can prevent people from entering treatment. In fact, one study found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely to complete addiction treatment largely due to differences in socioeconomic status. Some states that were particularly among this demographic is higher unemployment and unstable housing.


Sadly, many people do not enter treatment because they think they can not afford it, which is sometimes true.

The actual cost that someone will pay for rehab depends on a number of factors such as:

● Insurance coverage.
● Length of treatment.
● Type of program (inpatient vs. outpatient).
● Treatment for physical and mental health problems.
● Where the program is located.
● Program amenities (gym, spa, chef-prepared meals, etc.).

The full cost of treatment can range from $15,000 to $27,000, depending on the factors above. Individual treatment option estimates are:

● Professional intervention services: $2,500 plus other expenses.
● Medically supervised detox: $500-$650 per day (private pay rate, no insurance).
● Partial hospitalization: $350-$450 per day (private pay rate).
● Inpatient care: $500-$650 per day (private pay rate).
● Intensive outpatient care: $250-$350 per day (private pay rate).
● Sober living home/halfway house: $1,500-$2,500 per month

Additional Challenges

In addition to the issues outlined above, there are a number of other reasons why people have a hard time getting help for an addiction.


This is a big one, especially in small towns. The stigma around addiction can affect someone’s decision to seek treatment. One study that looked at people’s reasons for not seeking treatment found that:

● 3% of respondents said they would lose friends if they went to treatment.
● 4% said people would think poorly or less of them if they sought treatment.
● 5% said their family would be embarrassed or ashamed of them if they went to treatment.

People also might not get help because they hold personal beliefs about treatment or themselves. The study further found that:

● 5% of respondents stated they did not like to talk in groups.
● 6% said they did not like talking about their lives with other people.
● 5% did not believe they had a problem with drugs.
● 3% said they did not think treatment would make their life better.


Women face several specific barriers to treatment, particularly around pregnancy and childcare. That because many programs do not offer services for pregnant women or childcare, and women may have trouble regularly attending treatment sessions due to family obligations.

Women are also more likely than men to experience economic barriers to treatment. Unfortunately, many have lower levels of education, rates of employment, and income. These risk factors play a part in why women are less likely to seek treatment. In addition, they may have less support from their families or partners to enter treatment and encounter more stigma and discrimination for their addictions.


Many people with addictions, woefully, will struggle with mental health disorders as well. When someone has a substance abuse problem and a psychiatric issue, it is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. More than 8 million people aged 18 or older, or 3.4% of this population, was considered a dual diagnosis in 2016.

Unfortunately, this population is less likely to enter treatment than others who are not dually diagnosed. Only 7.4% get treatment for both conditions, and 55% do not get treatment at all.
A major barrier for those with a dual diagnosis is a lack of programs that can provide adequate treatment. 18% of substance abuse programs and 9% of mental health programs are equipped to properly treat co-occurring disorders.

It is difficult for this demographic. People with schizophrenia who also have a substance abuse problem may have exacerbated mental health symptoms. This can lower their motivation to seek treatment. Regrettably, people who are minorities or from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may believe that their mental illness or substance abuse adds another layer of stigma to their already marginalized situation.

How to Overcome Obstacles

Overcoming the barriers presented above is challenging. Because they occur on a number of levels: structural, systemic, personal, societal, and socioeconomic, it can be difficult to rise above.

A solution to help overcome the obstacles is looking for the right type of treatment that provides the necessary structure you need.


For people who struggle to afford or access the main types of rehab treatment (inpatient, outpatient, individual and group therapy), self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are free programs available in most cities around the country.

Someone suffering from alcohol use disorder might find solace going to a meeting with other people that have a problem drinking alcohol and need to stop drinking. Dr. Buscema and The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism can offer recommendations on the treatment of binge drinking, drugs and alcohol problems.

Both NA and AA use a 12-step model that includes working with a sponsor and receiving support from other people in recovery. Meeting times and information can be found on the websites for central offices for your city or by calling the offices directly. These programs have helped overcome issues with alcohol abuse and substance abuse problems.

For people who are not comfortable with the spiritual aspect of 12-step groups, there are a number of non-12-step programs such as SMART Recovery, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, LifeRing Secular Recovery, and Women for Sobriety. These programs promote self-reliance and develop programs based on the latest evidence-based approaches to addiction treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Whichever form of treatment someone decides it can drastically alter their life for the better. Those who consume alcohol in excess can suffer from chronic diseases, especially liver diseases.

What Else Can You Do?

Learning as much as you can about drug and alcohol abuse, addiction and co-occurring mental health issues, will help you understand more about what treatment is right for you or your loved one. Find a support group or person that can help you navigate your course of treatment. Dr. Charles Buscema at Addiction Alternatives can also assist in navigating the course of recovery.

Dr. Charles Buscema is there to help during the road to recovery. Offering a variety of services to ensure there is the right treatment for you and your loved ones. Reach out today to see how Addiction Alternatives is the best place to start your journey.

Medication and Counseling Treatment

Medication and Counseling Treatment

When struggling with addiction finding a path to recovery can be hard. There are several different treatment options that can be taken, and working with a professional can help guide you to the best treatment plan. Dr. Charles Buscema and Addiction Alternatives is a team of professionals that can walk you through your recovery treatment.

One option that is proving to be successful at treating not just the disease but the person is medication-assisted-treatment or MAT.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). MAT should be used in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. Providing both will be a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can be a successful treatment of these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can also help sustain recovery.

MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry. The medication blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the abused drug. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs. There is a risk involved with MAT medications and patients that suffer from depression and anxiety and are worked with closely with their Doctor.

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs)

Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) provide MAT for individuals diagnosed with opioid use disorder. OTPs also provide a range of services to reduce, eliminate, or prevent the use of illicit drugs and eventually improve the quality of life of those receiving treatment.

OTPs must be accredited by a SAMHSA-approved accrediting body and certified by SAMHSA. Learn more about the certification of OTPs and SAMHSA’s oversight of OTP Accreditation Bodies. Medications used in MAT for opioid treatment can only be dispensed through a SAMHSA-certified OTP.

Counseling and Behavioral Therapies

MAT patients must receive counseling, which could include different forms of behavioral therapy. These services combined with medical, vocational, educational, and other assessments and treatment services with help with the overall patient health.

MAT Effectiveness

In 2018, an estimated 2.0 million people had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers, and about 808,000 had an opioid use disorder related to heroin use. MAT provides a more comprehensive and individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy to patients with  a goal of full recovery. MAT also includes support services that address the needs of most patients.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery. Throughout this treatment approach it has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth rates among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

Medications Used in MAT

FDA has approved several different medications to treat opioid addiction and alcohol dependence. These medications relieve withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body.

There are three drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid dependence: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. All three of these treatments have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in combination with counseling and psychosocial support.

Opioid Dependency Medications

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid dependence and addiction to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. People may safely take medications used in MAT for months, years, several years, or even a lifetime. If you are planning to stop taking medications when going through MAT,you should consult with your doctor prior to going off the medications.


Methadone prevents the person from getting high by tricking the brain into thinking it’s still getting the abused drug.The person actually will feel normal, so withdrawal doesn’t occur. Learn more about methadone.

Methadone is the only drug used in MAT for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women must inform their treatment provider before taking methadone.


Buprenorphine suppresses and reduces cravings for the abused drug. It can come in a pill form or sublingual tablet that is placed under the tongue. Buprenorphine is very much like methadone, it helps with dependence and addiction.


Naltrexone works differently than methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses, using the abused drug, naltrexone will block the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug.

Naltrexone is also used to treat alcoholism by reducing your urge to drink alcohol. This may help you drink less or stop drinking completely. Naltrexone will not cause you to “sober up” and will not decrease the effects of alcohol you recently consumed.

Opioid Overdose Prevention Medication

FDA has approved naloxone, has an injectable drug used to prevent an opioid overdose. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), naloxone is one of a number of medications considered essential to a functioning health care system. Naloxone has been used in the form of Narcan, which is used by healthcare professionals and first responders have a life-saving method.

Alcohol Use Disorder Medications

Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are the most common drugs used to treat alcohol use disorder. None of these drugs provide a cure for the disorder, but they are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program. Learn more about the impact of alcohol misuse.


Disulfiram is a medication that treats chronic alcoholism. It is most effective in users who have already gone through detoxification or are in the initial stage of abstinence. This drug is offered in a tablet form and is taken once a day. Disulfiram should never be taken while intoxicated and it should not be taken for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol. Unpleasant side effects such as nausea, headache, vomiting, chest pains, and difficulty breathing, can occur. Side effects can occur quickly, in as little as ten minutes after drinking even a small amount of alcohol and can last for an hour or more.


Acamprosate is a medication for people in recovery who have already stopped drinking alcohol and want to avoid drinking. While it works to prevent people from drinking alcohol, it does not prevent withdrawal symptoms. It has not been shown to work in people who continue drinking alcohol, consume illicit drugs, and/or engage in prescription drug misuse and abuse. Acamprosate will reach is max potential at 5-8 days of consecutive use. It is offered in tablet form and taken three times a day, working best when taken at the same time every day. The medication’s side effects may include diarrhea, upset stomach, appetite loss, anxiety, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.


Unlike the other medications, naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication, when used as a treatment for alcohol dependency. This allows people with alcohol addiction to reduce their drinking behaviors enough to remain motivated to stay in treatment, avoid relapses, and take medications.


When wanting to no longer be controlled by your addictions you should seek treatment from a professional.   Dr. Charles Buscema and Addiction Alternatives is about treating the person, not the addiction. They are a subscriber to MAT, and treating the person as a whole. Contact Dr Buscema today to get the help you deserve. They are here to answer questions and get you on the road to recovery today.



Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

When a patient comes to Addiction Alternatives whether they are struggling with a severe addiction to certain substances, such as heroin or oxycodone, or have a milder substance abuse problem, Dr.Charles Buscema will evaluate their needs. Some levels of addiction are typically best treated in an inpatient residential program to help manage detoxification and withdrawal. However, some patients cannot afford nor have the time to uproot their life to help fight addiction.

Outpatient rehab is ideal for people who are motivated to stop using their substance of choice but require the flexibility of a program that will work around their schedules. At Addiction Alternative, the focus is on various Outpatient rehabilitation programs that suit the patient’s needs.

Outpatient rehab can be a more affordable and effective form of drug treatment, but it isn’t necessarily right for everyone. Dr. Charles Buscema will evaluate to see if the following criteria are met, generally, those individuals do not fare best in outpatient addiction treatment:

  • Patients with severe addiction and need the 24-hour support of an inpatient rehab facility.
  • Anyone who is a danger to themselves or others.
  • Individuals without a strong support system and who face temptation in their day-to-day life (for example, if their family members or roommates use drugs or alcohol).
  • Addicts who have a history of chronic relapse.

If any of the above is met, then these patients tend to need more support than an outpatient rehab program can offer.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehabilitation programs are a form of treatment that works around an individual normal day to day life. Depending on the severity an outpatient rehab program will offer drug and alcohol treatment sessions that are scheduled during select times throughout the week, tailored for the individual. This schedule will allow patients to continue with their responsibilities and continue living at home, the caveat is they are required to check into treatment at their allotted times for counseling and medication.

Outpatient programs come in a variety of formats, differing levels of intensity and offer an array of services — but the general focus is on counseling, education and providing a network of support.

Some of the services offered include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • 12-Step work
  • Alcohol and drug education
  • Spirituality group
  • Men’s group
  • Women’s group
  • Relapse prevention
  • Life skills
  • Re-socialization skills
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Mental health treatment
  • Referrals to sober living houses

Individuals with a strong will to succeed in recovery and who have a committed, disciplined approach may benefit from an outpatient treatment program.

Benefits to Outpatient Treatment


Most outpatient rehab centers have lower costs. Inpatient programs can be expensive and generally require a significant out-of-pocket expense. Alternatively, Outpatient rehab is less expensive across the board, while still providing high-quality treatment.


Outpatient rehabilitation offers patients the ability to continue with work and/or school. In contrast, residential treatment program requires recovering addicts to put their lives on hold while they pursue their recovery. An outpatient addiction program allows participants to maintain a presence at work and/or school. Which can lead to building better relationships with family and friends as well as allow the person to support their family financially.


As previously mentioned, outpatient treatment is significantly more affordable than traditional inpatient treatment programs. But, it goes beyond that, with the person being able to keep up with a job and earn their living with seeking help. The patient will be able to support his family, new drug-free lifestyle and have a better sense of self because of having better financial security.

Support Systems

A huge benefit to outpatient rehab is the access to support systems. People going through recovery need a lot of support. With outpatient rehab, patients can stay in close proximity to their loved ones and their support network.

Continuing Care

Continuing care groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, or Narcotics Anonymous, NA, are ongoing support resources to help an individual solidify their commitment to sobriety. These groups are typically facilitated by a licensed therapist and meet weekly. Some continuing care groups may be gender-specific or age-specific, and others may focus on a particular aspect of recovery.  Dr. Charles Buscema will be able to assist with finding the best continuing care that suits the patient’s needs.

Seeking treatment whether inpatient or outpatient is the first step in recovery. The Team at Addiction Alternative will assess and ensure the best treatment is provided.

If you have further questions or are ready to get the help you need, reach out to Dr. Charles Buscema, at Addiction Alternative, to get you on the path to recovery.

International Overdose Awareness

International Overdose Awareness

Addiction Alternatives wanted to take an opportunity to remind everyone that August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. This day is internationally recognized as an international opportunity to stand together for those that we have lost, family members as well as their loved ones to remind them that they are not alone and to honor them.

International Overdose Awareness was originally established in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. This global event gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of overdose-related deaths as well as an opportunity to spread the message of addiction as a disease.

On August 31st, we will all stand together to take a moment to honor and remember those we have lost while also reaching out our hands to help prevent more loss in the future of loved ones and their families.

The Goals of International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose awareness day is an opportunity for loved ones, families, friends and the community to publicly mourn the loss of addicts in a safe as well as accepting environment. Last year, more than 500 events spanned across the globe bringing awareness to overdose-related deaths and the disease of addiction. August 31st marks the day to educate the community on the Treasure Coast of the risks of fatal and non-fatal overdoses. The establishment of this day helps to promote a strong message against the stigma with addiction and overdoses.

International Overdose Awareness Day is the communities opportunity to partake in genuine conversation regarding drug use and overdose without the fear of judgment in a safe environment. At each of these events on the Treasure Coast and nationwide, resources and support services will be available for individuals and their families struggling with substance abuse. These resources and services will also be available to provide information to friends and family members of addicts.

August 31st, every year is our opportunity to bring more awareness to the disease of addiction and overdose awareness in order to prevent and decrease the number of drug-related deaths in the future.

How To Show Support on International Overdose Awareness Day

Wearing Purple

If you would like to show support on International Overdose Awareness Day, wearing a purple wristband, lanyard or badges are one way to signify the support of overdose awareness as well as signifying the loss of a loved one. Wearing purple wrist bands, lanyards or badges on August 31st is one of many ways to help reduce the stigma behind drug addiction and overdoses. At Addiction Alternatives we believe that every person deserves a chance to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. The stigma behind drug abuse often makes recovery difficult and makes the conversation of overdose complicated and confusing for many individuals.

Learn More about Overdose

As the abuse of addictive substances continues to rise, we see now more than ever the widespread fatality from overdose-related deaths. It is important as ever that friends, family members, and each community is aware of the risks associated with drug use, how to get help as well as what to do in the case of an overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to reduce the stigma of drug use by learning about overdose and drug abuse in order to help addicts find the help they need. Family and friends play a vital role in making resources available to those who are searching for a way out of their drug addiction.

Important Things To Consider For Overdoses

  • A drug overdose is clinically defined as when your body can no longer cope with the amount of drugs in your system.
  • Overdoses are not limited to the specific classification of drugs. Nearly all drugs including alcohol can result in an overdose. However, depending on the drug symptoms may vary.
  • Depressants (including alcohol) and opioids slow down the vital activities in the body including breathing and heart rate—putting users at greater risk for overdose.
  • Stimulants increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, seizure or drug-induced psychotic episodes—potentially resulting in overdose and death.
  • Medications should be locked up and kept out of reach of children. Even if the bottle says it is childproof, children can be clever and often more capable than we think.
  • Call an ambulance if you think someone is at risk for overdose. Many states including Florida have implemented Good Samaritan laws that protect those who call the authorities to help in an overdose situation (even if the person calling has been using as well).
  • Signs include, but are not limited to:
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties (snoring, gurgling)
  • Paranoid, agitated or confused
  • Non-responsiveness, especially to stimulation such as shaking, shouting, or a rub to the sternum with the knuckles
  • In many cases, an opioid overdose may be reversed

Educate Yourself on Naloxone

“According to the CDC there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016, 42,249 of these deaths (66%) involved some type of opioid, including heroin.” – Center for Disease Control.

Naloxone or better known as Narcan continues to grow as a proactive method for reversing the effects of overdoses. Narcan continues to reduce the number of drug-related deaths each year.

Narcan is a medication that can be given as an injection as well as a nasal spray that serves an antidote to opioid overdoses. Narcan works by reversing the effects of respiratory depression which is the leading cause of opioid-related deaths.

From 1996 through June 2014, surveyed organizations provided naloxone kits to 152,283 laypersons and received reports of 26,463 overdose reversals. Providing opioid overdose training and naloxone kits to laypersons who might witness an opioid overdose can help reduce opioid overdose mortality.” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Attend an Activity

There are many different activities available on International Overdose Awareness Day. Addiction Alternatives suggests attending an event near you on the Treasure Coast. Events range from Black Balloon release ceremonies to presentations from doctors in order to help provide the communities with more ways to learn about overdose-related deaths.

If you, or someone you know if struggling with drug or alcohol abuse and are not currently interested in attending a 12-step program or unable to attend a residential inpatient program, Addiction Alternatives offers outpatient programs to help ensure all addicts have an opportunity to recover. Our IOP program offers the same services as inpatient programs except our clients can continue on with their daily lives in an outpatient setting. This will allow those in need of flexibility an opportunity to recover.