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Ethan Bickelhaupt

Mythbuster Series: Insurance Won't Cover Treatment

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

For the addict looking to make some real changes in his or her life concerning their addiction, it goes without saying that there can be some really challenging steps that need to be taken on the part of the addict in order for real change to occur. A little bit of courage, a real desire to change and a willingness to get help are among the stepping stones of an addict’s journey that can lead to major milestones of recovery. This isn’t, by any means, something that is meant to be taken lightly and it also goes without saying that even these seemingly “small steps” can be difficult to even muster the strength to take. Many have had the courage to step out and take the path leading to the road of recovery, some falling short of their goal, but many pushing through, getting back up and continuing to move toward that goal of success. In spite of difficulties that arise including potential relapse, the constant temptation to use again, the shaming from outsiders and more, the addict/warrior presses on trying to remain strong, doing all they can to become the person they desire to be.

So imagine when to their horror, despite their efforts to take those initial first steps, they find out that their health insurance is very limited. In some cases, insurance companies may only make provisions for treatment up to 30 days or even worse, may not provide coverage for treatment at all. When it comes to small businesses, the latter is often the case, not being financially sound to take on such a health plan means often leaving their employees to fend for themselves in the struggle to obtain mental, behavioral, and substance abuse healthcare. For some, 30 days or less may be all that is required for them to recover from the horrors of addiction, but for so many others, 30 days may only be enough to scratch the surface of recovery. Not having the proper resources and/or the necessary recovery time could lead to disappointment and a push into the relapse the addict so vehemently fears and despises.

Dramatic as it may seem, the unfortunate reality is that many are faced with this issue and despite legislative measures being taken, Healthcare Reform continues to be the 500 pound elephant in the room. Thankfully, more measures are being taken to improve it. Here are some facts concerning the matter now. According to The Fix: “The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act mandated that health plans that cover substance abuse do so on equal footing with other types of diseases in terms of co-pays, deductibles, treatment limitations and other factors. But the act did not require coverage of substance abuse. The Affordable Care Act then mandated coverage of mental health and substance abuse for both Medicaid and private plans offered on the state and federal health care exchanges.” (

The good news is that things are on the upswing concerning these matters and much is being done to improve upon making coverage more readily available as needed for those struggling with addiction. Parkdale is happy to discuss financial options and will do all we can to help potential clients obtain the necessary treatment available to get them on the road to recovery. For more information on this topic and to find out alternatives in insurance options, visit: and for more information on Parkdale Center visit us at

Yoga: A Recovery Tool

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

Trauma. It’s an experience that unfortunately most of us have had to endure at some point in our lives. Often it’s the result of some sort of deep personal tragedy. Whether it’s through the pain of losing a loved one, having to watch someone die, feeling the threat of losing one’s own life or feeling the emotional pain that comes from the verbal and/or physical abuse of another, the impact trauma can have on a person can be so significant that if left unchecked and unresolved can lead not only to social issues, but dependency issues as well, including substance abuse and alcoholism.

While physically exhausting, the mental, spiritual and psychological toll trauma may cause can be great, often affecting the body on every level and leaving a significant impact on one’s ability to be social, among other things. Trauma can affect us as human beings in a way that we don’t quite realize. Fear, anger, and sadness can flare up at odd moments of the day, unwarranted outbursts can result in minor confrontations, and if a situation doesn't go the way one had hoped, the end result could be tragic.

In anger management programs, it’s often been said that “the issue is not the issue”. In other words, whatever is causing angry outbursts or bouts of sadness and depression may not be directly tied to what’s happening at the moment. Deep rooted unresolved issues can surface as the result of one’s own trauma. There may be subtleties in that moment that remind the person of this trauma and therefore cause them to act in a way that others may deem irrational. Maybe you’re one of the many people that experience fear of success or are afraid to move forward for fear that you may not have what it takes to take that next step. Maybe when you were younger, someone said something to you that made you feel inadequate and that presently, regardless of your impressive talent and the fact you bring results, you still feel second best. How many careers have been stalled, relationships never forged, families never built as the result of fear that came from some sort of personal tragedy? The mind is powerful and it can cause one to behave in ways that can be self destructive.

Drugs and alcohol have often been a temporary means of mental escape for many who do not know how to handle their own personal struggles and tragedies. Temporary euphoria or the need to “get high” is obviously a powerful way to get one’s mind off of what ails them. But what if there was an alternative means of escape? While there are a number of rehabilitation centers and programs available, some extremely effective and some not, there are some alternative methods that may be helpful in not only dealing with trauma but also to aid in recovery. Some within the medical community have found that the practice of both yoga and a sense of mindfulness can help to create a safe place for the mind and aid individuals in finding a real, genuine road to recovery.

According to Ira Israel, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist, the yoga alternative has been quite effective in helping others to move from engaging in unhealthy addictions to engaging in healthy ones. He says, “For me, the applicable quote is 'One Mountain, Many Paths.' With drugs, people are trying to take the helicopter route up the mountain and unfortunately their helicopters often crash. Yoga and meditation are longer, but more scenic and satisfying routes. Such practices produce a more profound and visceral sense of the inner serenity that is mentioned in AA’s Serenity Prayer.” Israel believes that these methods have helped people to overcome anxiety and depression as well as help people to obtain sobriety. It’s definitely something to look into and consider especially when it seems as if everything has been tried and when all seems to be lost.

Israel shares what he believes mindfulness has the power to do, which is to help clear the mind of the negativity we may have picked up during our childhood. He adds, “In the end, we all have to overcome the way our minds have assimilated the negative language of our childhoods and have created resentments—woulda-shoulda-coulda-didn’ts. Our resentments transmute into defense mechanisms to try to stave off future traumas. Every child creates a particular ‘way of being in the world’ to try to get his or her emotional and psychological needs met. The problem is that whatever defense mechanisms you created to survive your childhood are now probably hindering you from showing up authentically. Addicts in recovery can use yoga and meditation to get off of the mental hamster wheels in their heads and eventually master any negative self-talk blaring within.” 

Holistic approaches such as these are proving to be extremely effective and are becoming more frequently used practices to help on the road to recovery. For more information on this subject, click on the reference link above and for more information on Park Dale Center, visit us at We look forward to doing all we can to help you move forward. 

Prescription Painkillers: Killing More Than Pain

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

Over the last 10 years there has been an enormously towering issue casting a shadow on our American way of life that has reached far beyond anything anyone could have imagined.  A new foe has made itself evident in the now decades long so called “War on Drugs” growing with ISIS like proportions and leaving behind thousands of victims of in its wake.  While we have long waged war on drugs and on those who supply them, the fight has become increasingly more complex where the enemy, much like ISIS, is hiding in plain sight. In fact, you may have been affected by this foe in one way or another and if you’re one of the thousands of Americans who struggle with chronic pain, chances are this enemy lives right in the comfort of your own home. Yes, we’re talking about prescription painkillers and what was once originally meant to kill pain is now killing human beings.  According to the National Institute of Health, in 2014, “approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescription painkillers.” It has literally become the fastest growing drug issue we face as a nation.

The suppliers, however, are no longer limited to street corner thugs and other stereotypical apothecaries of the night. Today, suppliers are often well dressed, white collar workers who wear a suit and tie...perhaps even a lab coat. The market for prescription painkillers is wide and supplier pockets are deep. And with the ever increasing need for painkillers among Americans, this fight seems to have no end in sight. Deaths due to prescription painkillers have been long attributed to overdoses, but according to The Fix’s May Wilkerson, “A new study suggests that highly addictive painkillers may also contribute to heart related death and other fatalities, meaning opioids could be even more dangerous than we think.” Imagine that. In addition to potentially fatal overdoses, those who who have become victims of these highly addictive painkillers also face the threat of not only moving toward the abuse of other illegal drugs like heroin, but may also experience breathing issues, “irregular heartbeats, heart attacks or sudden death.” (see reference below)

The enormity of the prescription painkiller epidemic goes far beyond the threat of overdose but can serve as a gateway to a host of other health issues and addictions. The CDC has recommended that doctors only prescribe these types of painkillers if absolutely necessary. And programs are being put in place to help in the fight against this issue. Medical facilities and treatment centers are also providing state of the art techniques to help manage pain in a way that doesn’t require pills at all. The important thing to recognize is that prescription painkillers don’t have to be the end all be all of pain management. It is important to seek out the right help necessary to not just accommodate your need for pain relief but to address the problem at its root. Knowledge is the most important gain one should always receive from their pain.


For more information on this topic and or the article from which it is derived check out:

Also for more information on this and other important topics on addiction and substance abuse visit us at 


By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

By: Ethan Bickelhaupt

The union of affluence and influence is a powerful one. Often times, where there is one, there you’ll find the other. Being a person of wealth, while perhaps challenging at times, brings a certain sense of comfort. It releases the burden of having to be a “slave to the lender”. Money talks, it’s what makes the world go round, in fact, there’s the old adage that suggests money answereth everything. When you’re rich, there isn’t much you can’t do and if you can’t do something, you pay someone who can. Most people strive to be wealthy for that purpose. The idea of having a carefree life full of luxury and financial freedom seems epic. No cares in the world, no one to answer to, no having to get up early to go to a job you don’t like, kissing up to people who don’t appreciate you and doing your best to earn your part of the “American Dream”. Most of us want that “pie in the sky”. It makes us feel as though we are safe, there’s the idea that wealth brings security. If you’re rich, you haven't a problem in the world. Right?

For most people who have a keen understanding about life in general and with social media giving us a closer look into the lives of the more fortunate, we all know that in reality, a lot of this isn’t true. In fact, when it comes to having money, there aren’t many people who can sum it up so eloquently as one iconic street poet did when he said that where there’s “Mo’ Money” there’s “Mo’ Problems.” People chase the green like a good golf swing, it’s natural to want, but at what cost? There have even been reported horror stories of lottery winners who have won mega jack pots, enough to last them generations, but because of a lack of understanding on how to maintain said wealth, have gone bankrupt within 5 years of becoming “newly rich”. It doesn’t take a Harvard study to figure out that having wealth doesn’t mean not having problems and it’s from this foundation where we address this myth.


While it is true that drug and alcohol addiction tends to be more prevalent among lower income households, some attribute it to the fact that lack of higher education and the lack of knowledge and understanding on how to deal with life’s problems can contribute to the overall addiction issue ( But does a lack of understanding discriminate between the rich and the poor? Do life’s problems affect one more than the other? Absolutely not. In fact, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

"The Contra Costa Times reported Feb. 19 that disposable income, disconnected families, and pressure to succeed all contribute to drug use among upscale youth, adding that parents in these communities add to the problem by denying that it occurs." -DrugFree.Org

The same can be true of adults. Being disconnected, overworked, feeling inadequate and not able to handle the pressure of keeping up with the Jones’ (or Kardashians as it were) can contribute to the rise in substance abuse and addiction within people of affluence. Add to that the access of disposable income and there you have the perfect storm. The impact can result not only in the loss of wealth, but families, friends and overall livelihood. The cycle then comes full circle when there’s the feeling that there is no one person or thing to turn to accept that which has caused the initial downfall. As it has been said before, addiction does not discriminate. It does not care who you are, what you do, what your social status is, what influence you hold on any particular person or parcel of prominence. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer and it has no qualms in taking out any and all who stand in its path. It’s what it was born to do. But is that the end of your story? 

It doesn’t have to be. While it may seem cliche, the reality is that hope, help and healing are just a phone call away. No pressure, no prejudice, just Parkdale. We’re available to help get you what you need so you can get where you’re going. Become the person you were meant to be. It all begins with giving us a call. 

For more information on Parkdale Center you can visit us at We look forward to hearing your story and hopefully adding a new chapter.