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  • Harm Reduction & Addiction Recovery

    Fort Walton Beach, Florida


    I don't know what to do about my life - I feel like a burden to everyone around me!

    I used to be very outgoing and adventurous, but no longer! - I feel alone!

    I have no self-esteem or confidence in myself - I am a failure!

    I find it difficult to trust anyone - Everyone is judging me!

    I can't stop using - I'm powerless over my addiction!

    I am ashamed of who I am - I hate myself!

    I am afraid of the future - I am scared!

    Is this what having an addiction feels like?

    Addiction is "a compulsive need for something that interferes with daily activities." It's not just drugs or alcohol issues there are many different types of addictions. Some people may struggle with alcohol, while others might struggle with food, gambling, sex, gaming, shopping, workaholism, etc. Addiction studies show that most addicts experience at least one other type of addiction before developing their primary substance abuse problem.

    An addictive disorder is a mental health condition that affects your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. Understanding your addiction as a disease is important because it helps you understand why you or your loved one has become addicted and how you can get help.

    Common Symptoms of Addiction

    Addiction is a chronic medical disease that involves multiple factors, including interactions between the brain circuits of an individual, genetics, environmental influences, and personal life experiences. The person who has an addiction may experience cravings or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and difficult to resist despite adverse consequences. Our clinical staff has helped many individuals overcome their struggles and problematic behaviors. Here are some common addiction symptoms:

    • Altered behavior, such as an increased desire for privacy and lack of energy in daily activities.
    • Drastic changes and difficulties in relationships.
    • Poor work performance, being chronically late to work, appearing tired and disinterested in work duties.
    • Inability to stop using a substance regardless if it's causing health problems or personal problems.
    • Profound changes in appearance and a noticeable abandonment of hygiene (i.e. bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and appearing tired or run down).
    • Spending more money than usual or requesting to borrow money.
    • Changes in appetite, such as a decreased appetite and associated weight loss.

    These aspects of addiction individually might not raise concern, yet when several occur together, they indicate a greater likelihood of developing a serious illness. A person who exhibits signs and symptoms of addiction should seek professional treatment immediately.

    Maybe You Feel Like Your Stuck In A Rut With No Way Out

    Maybe your addiction has taken hold of your life, and you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you've hit rock bottom. Relationships are strained, family members are upset, and friends avoid you. You may even feel like giving up. But you shouldn't give up hope. There is always hope!

    You may think you'll never be able to quit drinking or drug use. But you can. We have seen clients recover from their addictions and live productive lives. Client motivation and commitment to recovery are crucial to success. Our clinical professionals are trained counselors who will guide you through your recovery.

    Professional Counseling Can Help You Take Control

    Man talking with counselor New Heights CounselingAlthough there isn't a quick fix to getting your life back from addiction, the fact is that counseling can help. Counseling allows you to talk about what's going on in your life and how you can improve your situation. The sooner you start working toward a healthier lifestyle, the better off you'll be.

    We know that you want to make positive changes in your life, but sometimes it’s difficult to see where we are going astray. That's where our trained counselors come in. They can help you identify triggers and unhealthy habits and teach you how to change them into healthy ones. Furthermore, they can provide support and guidance during stress and crisis.

    Our New Heights Counselors Are Here For You

    Our professional counselors understand that clients come to treatment with different needs and concerns. Therefore, we offer customized programs designed specifically for each client. This means you won't receive the same treatment as another client. Instead, you will get the kind of care that best suits your needs.

    Addiction counseling is a safe space for people struggling with addiction to share their experiences and receive support, encouragement, and empathy from others. Counseling aims to teach you ways to cope with your addiction so that you can lead a happy life in recovery.

    Counseling For Addictions With New Heights Can Help

    You might not initially think you can feel better, but you can. Our Fort Walton Beach counseling office is where you'll be welcomed by caring professionals who want to help you get better. We understand that when you are struggling with addictions, you need to talk to someone who understands what you're going through. That's why we're here for you! Addiction counseling can and does help. If you want to reclaim the life you once had, it’s time to get back on track with your recovery.

    Our Approach to Counseling at New Heights Counseling

    At New Heights Counseling, we are a private practice, and we know that therapy can help people like you live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. Our counselors offer individualized treatment plans to meet each client’s unique needs.

    Your first meeting will be when we discuss your goals for therapy and what treatments you've received before. We'll also review your past experiences with substance abuse and how they have impacted your life. You should plan to attend every session, and participating in the discussions will help us understand your needs better. We will ask about your current use of substances, including alcohol or drugs. If you are currently using other medications, please include this in the intake session. Please share your history of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., with your counselor.

    We provide a full comprehensive range of counseling services for our patients in addiction recovery. We also offer services to individuals and groups to help with the recovery process. Behavioral therapy techniques include mindfulness-based therapies, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT). Cognitive therapy focuses on changing negative thoughts and beliefs that may interfere with your ability to recover. Motivational Interviewing helps clients develop new behaviors and encourages them to take control of their own lives. Relapse Prevention Therapy teaches you skills to prevent future relapses.

    Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your life by providing the highest quality care and treatment. We are committed to helping our patients develop a healthy lifestyle that will enable them to live free from addiction. We understand that recovery is not easy, but we can make it easier with the right tools.

    What is Harm Reduction?

    Harm reduction is a philosophy, not a program or treatment approach. The goal of harm reduction is to provide patients with strategies that allow them to manage their addiction without causing further damage to their health. Harm reduction can prevent disease, injury, death, disability, crime, social problems, and other negative consequences caused by substance abuse.

    The harm reduction model provides an alternative to abstinence-based programs tailored to each individual's needs and situations and offers a non-judgmental setting. It also includes support for those recovering from alcohol and drug use disorders. Empathy, respect, and understanding are at the heart of this approach. Active strategies to promote positive behavior change are identified, and therapists work collaboratively with clients to develop plans for achieving these goals.

    Harm reduction postulates that people can make informed decisions about their lives and have the right to choose how they live. Focused on safer or reduced use and moderation of substances rather than complete abstinence, it recognizes that some people will always need help managing their addictions. Harm reduction includes providing information, education, skills training, and access to counseling, detoxification, medical care, housing, employment, legal assistance, and family therapy.

    Harm reduction acknowledges the large spectrum of substance use, meets people where they are and works to accomplish their goals. For example, the doctor that has a habit of drinking too much at dinner parties has a goal of having two drinks and no more. The therapist works with the client on their terms. To reach their goals, such as thought-stopping, monitoring how fast the individual is drinking, and evaluating how well the interventions improve the client's status toward their goal of drinking only two drinks at the party.

    On a more severe note, the client who is day drinking has a goal of not drinking until after 6 pm. The therapist and client would work together to set reasonable benchmarks for the patient to achieve this goal, not only work toward abstinence.
    The spectrum of use is considered for each client individually, and the treatment plan focuses on reducing harm as opposed to only abstinence.

    Why Choose Counseling With New Heights?

    We're here for YOU! Our mental health care professionals focus on helping you find relief from emotional pain and stress when in recovery. Their clinical skills and experience allow them to assist you in your recovery.

    We know it can often be challenging to reach out for support when you need it most, so we provide a variety of easy methods to contact us for counseling services. We offer in-office visits at our Fort Walton Beach location and online counseling for clients across the state of Florida.

    Therapy sessions require a solid therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. It’s not just about talking, it’s about listening and understanding. Your counselor will listen to you without judgment and encourage you to explore things openly. Hope is something we can build together as we work towards a better quality of life for you.

    What's Stopping You From Starting Counseling?

    Think Differently About What You Can DoI'm afraid of going to counseling because I don't want to relive my past mistakes.

    When you go to counseling, you can get insight into why you make the choices you do and how to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. You also can learn about your family history and what has happened to other people who've had similar problems. Counseling can help you better understand yourself and make changes in your life.

    I'm an addict I feel like I'm stuck in a rut and don't know who to turn to.

    Counseling can help you to get out of the rut and into a new way of living. Whether it's a chemical or behavioral addiction, you are not alone, there is hope for recovery.

    I'm afraid of having to face my demons. I'm afraid of what they will say about me.

    You have nothing to be ashamed of; everyone struggles with behavioral issues. Your counselor will work with you to find ways to deal with these feelings. There is no reason to fear judgment from your counselor. You are worth being seen and heard. Your mental and physical well-being is important to us; let us help.

    5 Myths About Addiction

    Myths Versus FactsMyth #1: “I’m not an addict. I just like to drink or use drugs occasionally.”

    This is a common misconception that people have about addiction. The truth is, you are an addict if you have a substance abuse problem. You may be able to control your drinking and drug use for some time, but eventually, it will catch up with you.

    Myth #2: “If I don’t want to stop using drugs or alcohol, there must be something wrong with me.”

    There is nothing wrong with you! It is the substance use conditions in your life that are causing problems. You will feel better if you can find ways to live without them. If you have a drug or alcohol addiction, you will likely experience negative consequences.

    Myth #3: “I am not ready to quit using drugs or alcohol. I still enjoy them too much.”

    It takes strength and courage to admit you have a problem and ask for help. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. You are worthy of love and belonging. You don’t need to wait until you feel ready or strong enough to make changes. The first step is admitting there is a problem. Then take action.

    Myth #4: “I don’t need to see a doctor or therapist. I can handle this myself.”

    This is the most common myth of all, and it’s heard repeatedly by people struggling with their mental health. The idea that you can just “handle” your problems is not only dangerous but also untrue. It’s time to stop believing this lie. The truth is, there is no way for you to fix yourself on your own. You need professional help and a supportive community.

    Myth #5: “My friends would think less of me if they knew I was seeing a counselor.”

    People often worry that others might judge them negatively if they were to seek treatment. This is true; however, many people around you already know that you struggle with addiction. They may even be supportive of your efforts to change. Seeking treatment is a sign of strength and self-awareness. You are taking responsibility for your actions and asking for help.

    Additional Resources:

    New Heights Counseling is not a treatment program but works with these facilities to aid clients in their recovery process. To provide clients with the best possible care for their mental health needs. We are committed to providing quality service that meets the diverse needs of our community.

    Are You Ready To Start Your Counseling?

    Get help new heights logo phoneThe staff and counselors at New Heights Counseling, an independent practice located in Fort Walton Beach, FL., are ready to assist you with your recovery journey. Our intake team is available by phone (850)757-1552, Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM.or by email at to answer any questions you have regarding our services. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified therapists today! Their clinical counseling skills will guide you through the process of overcoming your addiction.

    Appointment Schedule (Last appointment - 4 PM)

    Person scheduling new heights counseling session on iPadSunday Closed

    Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Wednesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    Evenings/Weekends by Appointment

    Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction & Recovery

    What is addiction?

    Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects the ability to control drug and alcohol use and certain repetitive behaviors. Despite harmful consequences, addiction is characterized by compulsive craving, seeking, and taking.

    How do I know if I have a substance abuse problem?

    Some signs and symptoms of substance abuse can indicate whether or not you need treatment.

    • You’re unable to quit without assistance
    • You’re using it more frequently or in more significant amounts
    • You’re experiencing withdrawal when you try to cut down or stop using
    • You’re having trouble controlling your emotions
    • You’re feeling guilty or ashamed about your abnormal behavior
    • You’re spending money you don’t have

    Is it possible to recover from addiction?

    Yes. It is possible to recover from addiction, but you have to be willing to do the work. You must want recovery and commit to yourself that you will not use it again. The ability to break the chains of addiction depends on how much you want to get better. You must take action if you genuinely want to overcome your addiction. There is hope if you are ready to change your life for good.

    How long does it take to recover from addiction?

    It depends on the person. Some people can get back into a normal life in a few months, while others may need years of recovery before they feel like themselves again. The time it will take to recover depends on your age and how much damage your substance use did.

    Do I have to go through detox before I start counseling?

    This depends on the seriousness of substance use/behavior. You will be asked to complete an addiction assessment before beginning counseling. This will aid in gauging the range of substance use and determining what type of treatment would best suit your needs.

    How much does it cost for counseling?

    Depending on their license, experience, and type of therapy, our therapists charge anywhere from $75 to $200 per session. If you want more about our rates and coverage, click Rates & Insurance.

    Begin Addiction Recovery Counseling in Florida

    You're tired of living with your addiction and want help in recovery. Trying to combat symptoms is exhausting. We're here to support you. We offer services for people living in Florida, in-person at our office in Fort Walton Beach, FL., and through online therapy. We want to make starting therapy as easy as possible. To start your journey with therapy on your road to recovery, follow these steps:

    • Reach out to New Heights Counseling. Call (850)757-1552 or email us at:
    • Meet with one of our counselors
    • Begin your recovery journey

    Not ready for therapy yet? Read these blogs for advice on coping with addiction and recovery.

    Our counselors often write blogs about addiction and substance use. Here are just a few posts you might find helpful!

    Addiction: You’re Not Alone! By Becky Patterson, Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern

    Emotional Numbness, Help is Available! By Colleen Wenner, Director of New Heights Counseling

    Other Mental Health Counseling Services at New Heights

    Addiction and recovery counseling isn’t the only service we provide in our Fort Walton Beach, FL, practice. We know that life is complicated, and we understand you may be dealing with multiple issues at once. Our therapists at New Heights provide a variety of mental and behavioral health counseling services. We can do so from our offices in Fort Walton Beach or online from any location in Florida. Some of our areas of focus include anxiety counseling, depression counseling, behavioral disorders, EMDR counseling, trauma therapy, substance use disorders, PTSD therapy, adolescent counseling, couples counseling, family counseling, military counseling, individual counseling, group counseling, and more! Our mental health care providers are here to help.


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