Despite its portrayal in the media or what common knowledge may try to dictate, drug and alcohol treatment is not just for people who have hit rock bottom with substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic disease, and as with most medical conditions, treatment and subsequent recovery are not a quick fix or a desperate measure, nor does it happen overnight. It requires time, patience, and commitment, and the earlier you start, the more effective it can be. Though many do, there’s no need to wait until you are at your lowest point to enter treatment. If you suspect you or a loved one could use help, act on that feeling and seek help as soon as possible.
While there are various methods and approaches to drug and alcohol treatment, most of these fall under two fundamental types of programs. Inpatient treatment comes to mind for most when thinking about “rehab.” Inpatient treatment can include entering a facility to stay in a live-in program that oversees the day-to-day, allowing treatment professionals to monitor the patient throughout the program, and enabling them to get to know the patient in their most vulnerable stage, cut off from substances and influences. Inpatient treatment facilities, in essence, isolate the addict from their “everyday lives,” working toward a life of sobriety while living and learning with counselors and other addicts. Outpatient treatment differs because the addict still attends meetings, therapy, and group sessions. Rather than stay overnight in the facility, they maintain a sense of regular life, attending work, school and family, and daily functions.
While both have vital considerations, it is essential to note the distinct differences between inpatient and outpatient therapy.
We live in an age where the world seems to be zipping by, and sometimes, it can seem like we are being left behind. We start to believe the messaging of famous sayings like FOMO (fear of missing out) and the non-stop barrage of social media memes shouting that amazing things are happening without us. We know in our logical minds that the highly filtered and curated lives we intentionally share on social media are a distraction to our real lives. Oddly, we seem to have stopped living, and we are neglecting “real life” while we wait for this Instagram version to arrive at our doorstep by some magic.
No matter our jobs, social lives, or realities, none of us are immune to these images and pressures. We are internalizing and even passing these insecurities onto our children and spouses. But how do we break free from this cycle – take back a “normal” sense of self and stop punishing ourselves for falling short?
It isn’t a surprise that addiction and drug abuse affect all parts of the human body. For some of us, we learned the hard way. And through treatment, we have come to understand that what we were doing to our bodies while dependent on drugs was the slow unraveling of many of our mental, emotional, and physical systems. Simply put, addiction was chipping away at all parts of us. We may not have understood or noticed it at the time, but we have learned that these effects are far more significant than we probably ever realized.
Our body systems, our mental and emotional processing, and even our mood, equilibrium, and sense of well-being are all conditioned while under the influence. Some of this deterioration and damage is no doubt physical, as substance abuse fundamentally compromises our organs and senses.
One of these is our eye health and vision.
At the best of times, spending a holiday with family can be a stressful endeavor. Virtually all of us have family members that rub us the wrong way and while we hope for an enjoyable few hours around the table, often it is fraught with arguments, egos and general nastiness.
Many of us in recovery may have unresolved issues with one or more family members. After all, addiction and mental health disorders don’t only affect the individual themselves, but truly everyone around them feel the effects. Parents and siblings may feel a great deal of resentment toward you while, on the other hand you may resent them for situations that may have led to or worsened your addictive behavior. And while the best addiction and mental health treatment programs endeavor to repair relationships in the family, sometimes this can take a while and other times, it is simply impossible.
Dr. Smith, addictionologist at Destination Hope, presents an informational session on the causes of addiction, who may be at risk, and what is needed to prevent relapse. Dr. Smith also shares his story of addiction and the common thoughts and behaviors of those seeking treatment for substance abuse.
The decision to take a step toward treatment for addiction is an important one in the right direction. However, there is a lot of stigma and false information spread about rehab and what the experience entails. The road to recovery is a series of ups and downs, but knowing you are in a direction toward a better self keeps you grounded in living the life you deserve. That being said, there are some myths to debunk and addiction treatment:
Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves a facilitator conducting a therapy session with more than one patient. It creates an environment of empathy and common struggle that may make a person more likely to share their own experience. However, every session of group therapy is different, and a therapist must remain flexible in order to cultivate the most welcoming and constructive environment for their patients to share. Read more about how group therapy can be used to its greatest potential.
November 11th marks Veteran’s Day in the United States. Veteran’s Day exists to honor those that have put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. Many veterans have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice a great deal throughout their life and may have seen things that should never be seen by anyone. These experiences can lead to self-medication through drugs or alcohol to try to dull the pain that memories bring.
It is easy for veterans to feel alone even when others are around. It’s easy to believe no one understands their thoughts or what they went through. However, help is out there, and people care deeply about supporting veterans through addiction and mental health treatment.
Residential Treatment for Addiction & Mental Health
Residential treatment centers for substance abuse and mental health issues offer a chance for patients to fully immerse in their treatment and receive the most in-depth and all-encompassing care available. They provide extensive therapy, drug and alcohol-free living facilities, 24-hour supervision, and recreational activities.
Residential treatment centers provide different benefits versus outpatient programs, and for those who are suffering from serious addiction or mental health disorders, they are often the place to start treatment after detox or hospitalization.