You Can Recover!

Millions of people suffer from addiction, which is a disease not a moral shortcoming or character flaw. Let’s be very clear on that!
This disease is primarily caused by genetic and environmental factors:

  • A person can be born with a disposition to addiction; the first time they consume alcohol or drugs they find they cannot stop.
  • Others may use alcohol or drugs recreationally or socially for a time and then become addicted.
  • Still others may abuse substances for a period of time and never become addicted.
  • Some believe they are simply depressed when, in fact, depression is often co-occurring with addiction.

Regardless of the reasons, once a person becomes addicted they will always have the disease. Currently it cannot be eliminated although it can be put into remission.

By Kari Mackneer, Clinical Director, LMHC

Heart breaking stigma

In our society, no one wants to admit they may be an alcoholic or addict. The stigma around addiction is heart breaking, but there is nothing to be ashamed of. Few are ashamed that they have diabetes, congestive heart failure or cancer. Why this stigma persists is puzzling as more and more science comes to light around this incredibly destructive disease.

Denial is commonplace among addicts. Many have been to numerous treatment centers for inpatient and outpatient services, suffered unimaginable negative consequences. Yet they still don’t believe or can’t accept that they have a disease that is simply not going to go away.

 

Signs of Addiction

How does someone know if they are an alcoholic and/or drug addict? Ask yourself these questions:

  • When I consume alcohol and/or drugs, do I have trouble controlling the amount?
  • Do I have difficulty controlling the frequency of alcohol and/or drug use?
  • Do I plan work and activities around alcohol and/or drug use?
  • Am I thinking obsessively about using alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Do I experience physical cravings for alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Do I have an inability to focus without the use of alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Has my hygiene taken a dip as the result of using alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Am I experiencing relationship difficulties as the result of using alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Have I been late to work, missed work or failed to accomplish required duties at work?
  • Am I isolating in order to use alcohol and/or drugs alone?
  • Do I shake in the morning after a night of drinking and drug use?
  • Have I lost the ability to enjoy normal life activities without the use of alcohol or drugs?

If you answered most of these questions affirmatively, there is a distinct possibility that you may have the disease of addiction.

 

It can be treated

The great news is that addiction can be treated, and there are many different types of programs – inpatient, intensive outpatient and outpatient with various lengths of stay.

It is absolutely essential that you find a program that truly works so please do your research as thoroughly as possible.

 

What is life like in recovery?

The truth is that people in recovery often have lives that are vastly superior to their lives prior to addiction. There are many reasons for this:

  • People in recovery tend to put the needs of others ahead of their own. For many, this is the secret to a very rewarding life. They continuously help others and spend a great deal of time helping suffering addicts recover.
  • They learn to deal with life on life’s terms. When they return to work, they are often more effective then prior to their addiction.
  • For many, a power greater than themselves is recognized, and they ask this power for help in overcoming their addiction.

 

Treatment programs

Finding an effective treatment program is crucial. Strong programs will contain deep clinical work – groups, one on one’s and case management sessions are essential.

In any successful recovery program, the suffering addict must understand that they have a disease, and it has to be effectively treated. Their lives are unmanageable and must be set right.

As noted, many programs promote a belief that there is a power greater than themselves, a power they define on their own. They can tap into this power to help them overcome their addiction.

A number of programs strongly recommend an inventory process. Meditation and prayer are often utilized. The idea of helping others with addiction is also common – the idea that to keep what you have it helps to give it away.

 

Other options

Many strong programs also include a nutrition and exercise component. Some programs are clinically based while others can be more faith based. In addition to the help of a therapist, recovering addicts may have sponsors, recovery coaches, life coaches, pastors and priests as part of their support system.

 

Do your research

When selecting a recovery center, the Internet can be a great resource. However, you should also call these programs, ask detailed questions and inquire about references. Remember, this could very well be a life or death decision you are making so be very thorough.

Also, feel free to ask those with a strong recovery program to help you. These people can be invaluable resources. It is important that you find the right program and that the people who run the program truly care. This should become evident as you do your research. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Continue your research so long as time permits, and there is no undue or immediate risk to your health.

 

Maximizing results not revenue

We set out to design a treatment program that was not based on maximizing revenues but based on what would truly work.

We utilize a very holistic approach, including unique and deep clinical methodology that blends contemporary and eastern medicine, yoga, massage and meditation.

We also blend in a 12 step approach. I find that combining this approach with deep clinical work provides an excellent framework for reprogramming the mind as it heals. We also offer monitored community or transitional living at every level of care. This, we believe, further increases the chances of successful recovery.

Recent Posts

Don’t Let Addiction Harm Your Business

As drug and alcohol addiction reaches epidemic proportions, the cost to employers is also escalating since your workforce is most likely impacted by this tragedy. What can employers do? It’s a question many business leaders have struggled with for years, but the time...

How to Survive Spring Break and the Holidays with Addiction

The holidays can be an enjoyable time for most, but for those battling addiction, these days can be very stressful. Many fight anxieties that stem from personal experiences, family drama and social interactions involving substances that are personal demons. By Kari...

An Addicts Journey

Alcoholism did not get me until early my 40’s. But there were early signs that it would eventually take hold.I had tremendous academic and vocational success, but none of it made me happy for more than a minute or two. Drinking or not drinking, I was never there for...

Alcoholism – A Drinking Disease or A Thinking Disease?

I am often amazed how the thinking of alcoholics and addicts, prior to effective treatment, is so similar. I have worked with hundreds of such people from ages 18 to 77, male and female. The similarities in thinking patterns among the vast majority of these people...

Finding the Right Treatment Center

When looking for a treatment center, you should ask if the center incorporates some recovery coaching techniques and if the staff has been trained on these methods. These techniques are important because they help support an individual’s recovery. By Nick Cuneo,...
%d bloggers like this: