National Recovery Month aims to reduce mental health stigma in adolescents

People with mental illness don't always seek out treatment. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.

6 tips to comfort someone who has lost a loved one to suicide

The suicide of a loved one is a devastating event that no one should have to suffer through. Unfortunately, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. One person dies by suicide every 13 minutes. 


How to recognize when it is time to seek treatment for mental illness

Although both physical and mental illnesses are considered pathological, they are often very different. For starters, it is easy to recognize a physical illness such as a broken bone.

Jovon's Story

"My drug use started with Ecstasy at the age of 18. I had it all, a good job, nice car, I was in college, had a close relationship with my family, an incredible girlfriend and an incredible daughter. I could not ask for anything more. At the age of 22, everything started slipping. I lost everything and mostly everyone. I let drugs be my priority for a long time. I lost focus of what was important. I turned into a person I never wanted to associate or to be with. I lost everything..."

Sobriety Is Not Synonymous With Recovery

Six years ago today I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. That day I also happened to be celebrating 30 days sober. I was terrified. I never really intended to stay sober. I intended to prove to those around me - and myself - that I was in control, that I could go without alcohol or other substances. Somewhere in my mind, I figured that I would get to go back to my old life after some short-lived sobriety. 

'Recovering Joy: A mindful life after addiction' 

Addiction recovery is a journey paved with numerous challenges and hardships. It is nothing short of a serious commitment to oneself that is based on the urge to break free from the shackles of addiction. "Recovering Joy: A mindful life after addiction" is authored by Kevin Griffin, a Buddhist teacher, author and speaker. He presents another side to the concept of recovery from an addiction: It is a celebration of life, reclaiming the ability to live a happier life -- your way.

"Recovering takes us through many difficult steps of discipline, humility, and self-realization," Griffin says. "In doing so, many of us forget that we are capable and deserving of basic happiness."

From problem focus to solution focus

In his book, Griffin proposes a transition from living in the problem toward living in a solution. 

Psychology Today:
Is there such a thing as an "instant addict"? 
The answer lies in the brain
 - By Ralph Ryback, M.D

Is it possible for someone to become instantly addicted to a drug? Most people might say no. First individuals must try a drug and realize that they like it. Then they might start to use the drug more frequently. Eventually, once they have used the drug enough, their brain begins to lose the ability to function without it. They spend all night dreaming about their next fix. They miss work. They miss birthdays. They miss appointments. There are no consequences that seem to outweigh getting high. This is addiction.


But what if individuals skip a few steps? What if they try the drug once and know immediately they are hooked, and that the urge to use again and again will likely never leave?

Staff Highlight: 
Audrey Smith, Esq.
Senior Legal Counsel

Audrey Smith, Esq., is Senior Legal Counsel for Sovereign Health Group, based out of the company's Florida location in Pompano Beach. She previously served as Managing Director of the Healthcare Division at Toral Law and provided dynamic leadership in her position as CEO of Healthcare Education Resource Outreach (HERO), the only American Diabetes Association (ADA) nationally certified multi-site, multi-disciplinary diabetes education company in the country. Smith's relentless pursuit to grow HERO nationally and internationally resulted in CDC recognition, federal and state grant awards and multi-million dollar contracts through the government, hospitals and insurance providers while servicing thousands of satisfied patients. Prior to her position with HERO, Smith maintained full legal accountability, serving as in-house counsel for 12 commonly-held entities, generating exclusive contracts with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Paradise Live. She is admitted to the State Bar of Florida and Indiana, with a legal career that includes experience as a trial attorney and an emphasis on labor and employment matters including discrimination, ADA, workers compensation and wrongful termination.

Featured Patient Review:

In the realm of addiction recovery, renewed possibilities save lives. This was the case for one of Sovereign Health's latest patients, Hannah, who wished for another opportunity to readjust the direction her mind and body were headed. Although she attained sobriety for six months prior to Sovereign, Hannah faced an episode of relapse. "I saw everything I worked for kind of go away. And I decided I could either continue using and abusing and not go anywhere in life or I could actually do something about it," she said.

Through word of mouth at her previous treatment center, Hannah was recommended to Sovereign Health due to its unique dual diagnosis platform. She was instantly relieved to hear more about the program's heavy emphasis on underlying issues through therapy in contrast to alternatives that only recited the 12-steps of recovery, of which she was already familiar. The exclusive space with other women in group therapy was another big plus for Hannah, as she felt much more comfortable opening up during the therapeutic process.

Hannah also entered the dual diagnosis program with a personal plan of action, specifically to build back her confidence and self-esteem. Overall, she wanted to shift her mindset away from immediate yet, short-term solutions to her problems, such as substance use, and move toward her future needs without manipulative dependencies. She suggested that others do the same if they want to see results. She added, "The biggest thing is to advocate for yourself here. You get what you put into treatment and if you put in a lot then you can really grow."

Sovereign Health Group is a leader in providing excellent care and hosts a number of different treatment options for adults and adolescents including support services for the family system as well. Along with dual diagnosis, Sovereign also offers addiction and mental health treatment programs that utilize innovative cognitive testing, rehabilitation and evidence-based treatment methods. For further information regarding available options and plans, please visit our website at or call our 24/7 admissions helpline at 866-827-2291.

Watch Hannah talking about her experience at Sovereign and how our treatment program helped her recover in this short video.
Staff Highlight: 
Ashish "Ash" Bhatt, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Ashish "Ash" Bhatt, M.D., a Triple Board (TB) certified physician, is Chief Medical Officer for Sovereign Health Group. Based out of Sovereign's Pompano Beach, Florida location, Dr. Bhatt is recognized as one of South Florida's leading psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists. Dr. Bhatt is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry. He is also board certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Bhatt did his fellowship at the University of Miami through Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, where he also served as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and as Chief and Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Inpatient and Emergency Crisis Services. 

Dr. Bhatt has extensive experience working in substance abuse, psychiatric and dual diagnosis programs for adults and adolescents. He most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer for Elements Behavioral Health Florida Region, overseeing the medical and clinical operations for the company's Florida facilities. With experience in both medical and administrative leadership positions in multiple inpatient, detox, residential and outpatient settings, Dr. Bhatt is highly recognized for his thorough and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and assessment processes, using the latest in evidence-based treatment approaches to address the needs of patients.

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