Addiction Counseling Services that Work

5 Tips for Staying Sober Over the Holidays

With non-stop parties, gatherings, and other holiday festivities, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day brings many situations that could be difficult for those new to sobriety. There’s no reason to miss the holiday fun just because you’re new to sobriety. Use Portner Counseling Group’s 5 easy tips for staying sober at holiday parties to ensure you’re sticking to your commitment to yourself!

  1. Bring a Friend

Having a friend who understands and supports your recovery can be a very helpful tool during the temptations of a holiday party. It’s easier to stay sober when you’re not the only one. Also try calling your sponsor or counselor for a little extra motivation.

  1. Hold a drink in your hand

You can avoid people constantly offering you drinks by simply having your own drink in your hand always. Keep water, soda, coffee, or any non-alcoholic drink with you so people don’t try to offer you alcoholic beverages.

  1. Have an excuse ready

Prepare an easy excuse to use in case someone offers you a drink or asks why you’re not joining. You can always say you’re the designated driver for the night, you’re not feeling too well, or you have something very important to do in the morning.

  1. Set Boundaries

Set boundaries for what you will and won’t be around at these parties. Know where you draw the line, and remember that you can always leave if you are uncomfortable or feel tempted to partake in risky behavior.

  1. Remember your commitment

More than anything else, remember your commitment to yourself. Keep your hard work and dedication to your sobriety in mind, and remember that drinking or using drugs at one party is a setback in your sober accomplishments.

Portner Counseling Group wants to ensure our friends and family feel comfortable and confident enjoying the holiday season with their newfound sobriety. Our Pompano addiction counselors are here for you. Call us today if you need help over the holidays.


Take the First Step Towards Drug Treatment

Whether you’re questioning your own relationship with alcohol or drugs or concerned about a loved one, the idea of talking to a professional can be intimidating. Although the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency estimates that over 23 million Americans struggle with addiction, it is a disease that carries such a negative stigma in our society that we often opt to suffer in silence.

Because of this, addictive behaviors are often (intentionally or unintentionally) cloaked in denial, resistance, ambivalence, and manipulation. Shame and uncertainty can create an unhealthy family dynamic, whereby family members rationalize and “look the other way,” even if they are beginning to notice unhealthy behavioral patterns.

Because of these factors, it is critical to find a provider that specializes in drug and alcohol addiction if you are exploring treatment options. Though there are many mental health counselors, social workers, and psychologists in South Florida, it is uncommon to find an outpatient counseling practice that has years of experience with this particular issue. Additionally, addiction is a complicated process that is often accompanied by other underlying issues of anxiety, depression, family conflict, or self-esteem issues. It is important to find a provider with the qualifications to treat “the whole person.” The director of the practice, Casey Portner, is a Certified Addictions Professional, and also earned his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, which enables him to create a comprehensive treatment plan that can help individuals maximize their progress by addressing their issues holistically.

When someone breaks an arm, the course of action is mostly standard and inflexible. There may be slightly different approaches – maybe the arm needs to be reset, or perhaps the individual needs their cast for a longer time period – but the philosophy will always be the same. Addiction, unfortunately, is not this simplistic. Addiction is as varied as the individuals who struggle with them, with varying causes, severity, motivation for change, level of support, and triggers. Because of this, when choosing a provider, it is important to find someone with a flexible and accommodating treatment approach. At Portner Counseling Group, we believe in using a collaborative process to help individuals non-judgmentally and honestly reflect on their own needs, values, and beliefs to determine their treatment goals. Take a look at the Biographies section for additional details on specific treatment philosophies and modalities used.

At Portner Counseling Group, we understand that exploring these uncertainties is crucial in determining whether someone may be struggling with drug or alcohol use. We pride ourselves in creating a warm and non-judgmental environment that facilitates honest and open communication, in order to get a sense of the true nature of your concern. The first step in the process at Portner Counseling Group is to complete a two-hour, in-depth substance abuse evaluation. The purpose of the assessment is to look at an individual holistically: to examine not only their patterns of use, triggers, and treatment history, but also other important factors such as mental health, support structure, career/school and finances, and environmental stressors. Considering all of these factors is important to get a well-rounded picture about an individual’s level of need.

Completing an assessment does not necessarily mean that an individual is committing to treatment. If you are unsure whether you or someone you love has a problem, it can be all the more reason to reach out. Sometimes, users and family members can be too close to a situation to see things objectively. Sitting down and speaking with a professional that specializes in addiction can help give you clarity. Our problems grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure. Though it can be intimidating, we encourage and empower anyone who is concerned about drug use or addiction to reach out and take this small step forward by making that initial call.

Coral Springs Teen Task Force for Healthy Choices

Portner Counseling Group has been actively involved in the Coral Springs Teen Task Force for Healthy Choices.  The task forces primary mission is to unite the community through empowering teens to make positive choices and unleash their full potential.  Currently the task force is constantly developing or supporting local projects and events that will help fulfill our mission.  PCG is working on a psycho-educational presentation for parents titled “Parenting your child through drug and alcohol use” and will be making it available through the task force to parents in the Coral Springs area.  More information will be posted as it becomes available as to locations, date and times of upcoming presentations.

The next task force meeting is tentatively scheduled for 8/15/11 and PCG will be there supporting it.  All are welcome, especially teenagers in the Coral Springs area who want to get involved.

Best Regards,

Casey Portner M.Ed, CAP

Transitioning From Middle to High School

Hello all!  PCG is excited to announce:

I have recently been asked to present at Coral Glades High School Freshman Orientation titled “Survial 101.”  The presentation will be focused on the adolescent developmental milestone of transitioning  from middle to high school.  I will be making the presentation available on my website for download and print, after the presentation on August 11th, 2011.  Please stay tuned for more information.

Best Regards,

Casey Portner M.Ed, CAP

Portner Counseling Group Opens April 2011

Title: Portner Counseling Group Open House


 Portner Counseling Group
1800 North Federal Highway, Suite 206
Pompano Beach, FL, 33062

Description: Come and visit my Private Practice and learn about the counseling services I provide for adolescents, young adults, and adults.

Start Time: 6:00PM
End Time: 7:00PM
Date: 04-20-11

Open House

Title: Open House
Location: 1800 North Federal Highway Suite 206
Description: Come and visit my Private Practice and learn about the counseling services I provide for adolescents, young adults, and adults.
Start Time: 6:00PM
Date: 13-04-2011-04-13
End Time: 7:00PM