Over 2.5 million individuals receive treatment for substance use each year, though experts strongly suspect that many, many, many more people could benefit from such support. While an abundance of information exists for those expecting to enter treatment themselves, there is significantly less discussion about what this process looks like for the affected loved ones. Let’s get into some of this uncertainty.
The former heroin user recovered under impossible conditions and is now sharing the message that others can, too…
It is often suggested that individuals struggling with addiction consider therapy as a resource for their treatment and recovery. Individual therapy offers tremendous benefits in processing past, present, and potential future events, uncovering unconscious defenses and working to change negative behaviors. Individual therapy builds itself upon openness and compassion- it is a dynamic process that entails deep trust and intimacy between the client and therapist. Family therapy, however, offers a different angle to addiction issues. This kind of work activates and engages each member, defines individual parts within the addiction cycle, and creates a recipe for familial, rather than just individual, change.
With the firm warning from my sponsor and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous – “Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty.” He handed me a notebook to write in and a couple pens. He asked if I had a quiet place I could spend the time I would need to get it done. Of course, I had the time and place. He had made it very clear to me that my very life was on the line. Knowing how many times I had been face to face with the “Reaper”, I certainly did not have any doubts about that. Guys like me don’t get to knock on death’s door as many as I had. I should have been dust years ago.
Addiction is complicated. The human brain may be even more complicated. And, yet, research continues to evolve in both of these fields, as the addiction epidemic continues to unfold. As specialists continue to fine-tune addiction treatment, they are turning more and more towards the benefits of neurobiology.
Effective treatment for substance abuse disorder takes the whole person into account. After all, alcoholism and addiction are complicated issues, with a physical component as well as a psychological one. Sometimes described as a “spiritual malady” because of its complexity, substance abuse disorder is a spectrum disorder that responds to a combination of different treatment modalities.
There is a great promise in our literature. It is one of those statements that can be good news for some and terrible news for others.
All relationships have different degrees of agreed-upon behaviors and dynamics. In healthy relationships, both parties demonstrate mutual respect and compassion for each other’s needs. In these dynamics, communication is clear, it feels safe to express concerns, and there is a sense of support and safety even if disagreement or conflict arises.
Is there a magical formula for lasting recovery? If only! Sobriety, as many people have learned the hard way, doesn’t come in a pill, a bottle, a can, or a prescription. After putting in the serious work of getting through a treatment program, it’s important to commit to long term change in order to keep on the path of lasting recovery…
Regardless of the circumstance, rehab rarely constitutes anyone’s idea of optimal fun and excitement. Healing from addiction requires diligence, hard work, and tremendous effort. It requires willingness and patience- and a lot of it- in order to generate positive outcomes. Rehab is not easy. Neither is recovery. However, when successful, treatment can be the ultimate gift to restore your sanity and save your life. But, what if you’ve already done rehab? What if you already know the alleged ins and outs of the treatment process, groups, and therapies? Is it still effective? Is it still worth giving it another chance?