The War on Drugs is a vast, complex phenomenon, spanning from its origins in Nixon’s presidency to the push for legalized marijuana and more lenient sentencing laws. Most people have a lukewarm understanding of how the War on Drugs has impacted society- huge expenditures of taxpayer money going to fund state/private prisons, millions of Americans in jail (of which, a disproportionate amount are those of color), bloodbath in Latin America and derision in Washington, D.C. But few people, besides those afflicted, can speak to how the War on Drugs has unfairly impacted those struggling with substance abuse.
In order to understand the impacts of this policy, one must first understand the history of the War on Drugs. President Nixon was the first person to coin the term “War on Drugs,” in 1971, in response to the proliferation of drug culture in the 1960’s. During this time, Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most serious category of drugs. Though the level has since changed, the stigma has stuck. The 1970’s witnessed more permissive drug laws, it was with Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980’s that mass incarceration and drug abuse really took off. Reagan incited a period that witnessed the number of people imprisoned for drug crimes growing from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997. Additionally, his wife, Nancy Reagan, coined one of the most popular anti-drug catchphrases (“Just Say No”) as a response to rampant drug use, especially use of newly-created crack cocaine. The hysteria witnessed by the public during this time allowed a myriad of drug policies that spurred incarceration to be passed. This stigmatized view of drug use continued until the mid-2000’s. During this time, drug use admissions from political figures helped America begin to adopt more sensible drug policy. This includes health-based initiatives and a shift towards decriminalization, especially in regards to marijuana. However, there’s still a long way to go with half a million people still behind bars for nothing more than a drug law offense. Additionally, little is being done to combat the opiate crisis. President Trump recently selected Kellyanne Conway to be the “czar” in the fight against opioids, but almost no money has been appropriated to really combat the issue.
This brings us to the struggle of addicts, helpless against the whims of American politics and in desperate need of treatment and services. Current drug policy not only is ineffective in helping addicts, it also deeply hurts them. As anyone who has experience with an addict knows, an addict will go to any lengths to get their drug of choice. Because the War on Drugs has driven drugs so far underground, addicts put themselves in extremely dangerous, precarious situations to obtain their fix. Another way in which the War on Drugs severely impacts addicts is that the majority of drug-related funding goes to the incarceration of drug-related offenders. Addicts end up in jail, rather than a treatment center. Over 50 percent of federal inmates are in prison for drug-related crimes and the solution that’s supposed to “set them straight” usually just leads them to relapse and do the same things that got them into jail (shockingly, current American recidivism rates are at 68 percent within just three years of release).
Surely, there’s no easy fix to the behemoth national drug problem, but policies that act to rehabilitate and help drug addicts rather than place them in situations that only serve to be triggering, are a good place to start. If you have a personal experience with an addict and don’t know where to begin, contact the empathetic, supportive professionals at Recovery Care Partner.Learn More
Before you decide where to send your loved one to treatment, it’s important to look at the treatment center’s clinical philosophy and the type of therapies they currently use. Unfortunately, there are many treatment centers with antiquated, ineffective treatment methods- so it’s important to do your research. One of the largest offenses treatment centers are guilty of is not providing care that is long-term enough. The typical 30 day rehabs have been proven ineffective, if they are not followed up with consistent therapy/12-step meetings. Since addictive behavior is ingrained, especially after long-term use, short-term fixes will often lead to people going back to their ways. You can often deduce the length of a typical stay at any treatment center on their website, but there are more specific things you may want to have a sit-down with the staff to discuss before you or your loved one commit to a specific rehab or program.
You will also want to consider which therapeutic approach the treatment centers use- some therapies have been proven more effective than others. Certain therapies that have been proven quite effective in combating substance abuse include: cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and relapse prevention.
Motivational interviewing entails a therapist empowering a client or patient to change a destructive behavior in their life via motivation and positive reinforcement. It encompasses four central parts: engaging (talking to the patient and establishing a positive relationship with trust), focusing (starting to discuss the unhealthy behaviors the client wishes to change), evoking (empowering the client to change by stating the importance and accessibility of change) and planning (determining specific steps the patient can implement to achieve their goals). Research has found motivational interviewing to be quite helpful- leaving 3 out of 4 patients with a significant and clinically relevant change in affect.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another addiction treatment method that has been found to be effective. Cognitive behavioral therapy entails clients trying to change their traditional ways of thinking and trying to understand why they engage in certain behaviors. It is a short-term, goal-oriented type of therapy. And though therapy should certainly be continued past the CBT phase, CBT has been proven to show significant strides quickly, boasting an impressive success rate of approximately 50 percent. Relapse prevention techniques are also somewhat obviously helpful and imperative during substance abuse treatment. Relapse prevention therapy utilizes CBT to have patients develop self-control strategies regarding abstinence. This treatment approach includes the identification of high-risk scenarios and the creation of alternative coping mechanisms. There is significant research that suggests relapse prevention therapy increases the likelihood of continued sobriety after treatment. Some prescription drugs have also been proven to be successful in combating cravings. These include: naltrexone (manages alcohol and opioid dependence) and acamprosate (reduces cravings for alcohol).
However, there are some treatment methods that are proven to be less effective. Confrontational therapy, for one, has been proven widely ineffective in treating addicts and alcoholics. Confrontation therapy is a model that has been employed in many treatment centers (more particularly, in the past) and entails the therapist (or other patient) telling the patient who is allegedly in the wrong exactly what they feel and how they think of them, often using aggressive or pejorative terms. In a study in a treatment center in Bergen, Norway, 46 clients were either given confrontational therapy or not. No significant difference was shown in drinking after 6 months and actually the control groups had somewhat higher rates of abstinence. That’s why its important that when confrontation is necessary (such as in an intervention) it be done in a loving, supportive way, such as is the case with Recovery Care Partner.
Of course each addict is an individual and individuals will respond better or worse to certain treatments, depending on their personalities and lifestyles. That’s why it’s so important to do proper research before committing to one program- and remember, Recovery Care Partner can help you with all of your treatment needs.Learn More
“How did my days go? Well, I’d wake up each morning, that is if I even got sleep the night before, which was doubtful unless I had as much heroin as I needed, which never seemed to happen. I tried to never have less than two bundles (each bundle has approximately 1-1.5 grams of heroin in it, a collection of 10 bags, varying some state to state) on me at all times, but that was pretty unsuccessful. I’d spend all night blowing up my dealer’s phone. Then the misery, sickness and insanity of withdrawal would set in. Then I’d drive the 1.5 hours round-trip distance from Morristown to Paterson (both cities in New Jersey) to buy a brick (5 bundles, or 50 bags), which would only last me two days max.”
Mike says all of this in the way you’d talk about someone you didn’t know well whose dad had died: with resignation, sympathy and detachment.
Mike is one of 2.6 million Americans who suffers from Opioid Use Disorder. The criterion for an individual to be diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder (as stated in the current DSM-5), includes manifestation of at least two of the following in a 12 month period: opiates are taken in larger quantities than intended, consistent desire to cut down use (to no avail), large quantities of time spent to obtain, use and recover from opiates, use resulting in failure to fulfill obligations at school, work or home, using despite social/interpersonal problems caused by use, social, occupational and recreational activities given up to pursue opiates, use of opiates in situations which it is physically dangerous, continued use despite sustaining a physical/psychological issue due to the substance, increased tolerance to opiates and lastly, withdrawal, by which the user has withdrawal symptoms that match with those listed in the DSM or they use opiates to relieve or avoid withdrawal.
Mike says his use encompassed all 12 of the criterion. Surely, the habit and schedule he mentions had to arouse some attention from his loved ones.
“I would have to turn the GPS off my phone when I was making those trips to Paterson. My parents could see where I was with the Find My iPhone App and if they saw that I was in Paterson, they’d know that I was buying heroin and there’d be trouble. So on the way back from buying heroin, I’d pull off to the side of route 80 in the shoulder and shoot 7 bags right there to stop withdrawing, then I’d race back home while nodding out on the highway, frequently waking up while I was driving, which was incredibly scary.”
But after all the anticipation, all the build-up, all the lies for proper execution, all the danger he put himself in, it still wasn’t enough for Mike.
“When I got home, I’d do another 3-5 bags, smoke cigarettes, watching netflix alone in my room all day. I was incredibly sad and lonely and my life was going nowhere. I felt close to no one, I’d steal from my parents- not even when I needed money, just in anticipation that I would need it soon. I also sold heroin to get mine for free. Everything I did was for or in pursuit of heroin. I only left my room to sell or buy drugs.”
Like the criterion for Opioid Use Disorder mentioned, Mike’s use drastically cut into all facets of his life.
“I had a horrible job in the fast food industry, horrible hygiene, horrible relationships with my family and horrible mental health- I had a really bad temper and abysmal self-esteem.”
But there is hope, Mike now has 9 months sober after getting clean in a long-term treatment center, followed by living in a halfway house and filling his life with sober supports and AA.
“I came from the lowest point a human can be- sickness, mental illness, criminality, despair, to having a love for life, for my family and friends, for myself and for God- all with the help of treatment, AA and those around me. I truly think that if I was able to overcome my affliction, there is hope for anyone.”Learn More
It’s important to know that you are not alone in battling addiction and seeking recovery. It is for this reason that the celebrities below became candid about their personal struggles with alcoholism and addiction. Here, Recovery Care Partners lists celebrities who are in active recovery and want you to know about their story.
Russell Brand is one of the most candid celebrities about his problematic struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. His story is one of hope and complete change- he was arrested over a dozen times before finally accepting help. Ever since, he has been a beacon of hope- sponsoring men, using his platform to educate people on the disease of addiction, creating documentaries on the subject and even advocating for change on a governmental policy level. About addiction, Russel states, “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
As the star of quite possibly the most popular book/movie franchise of all time, Daniel Radcliffe certainly encountered a lot of stress during his tenure in the Harry Potter series. This, he says, lead him to heavy drinking and frequent blackouts.
“There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos. I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes,” he says about his drinking. He says he’s been much happier in the past five or so years since he realized he had a problem and stopped drinking.
Sir Elton John
The pop legend struggled for nearly two decades with a crippling cocaine addiction. It wasn’t until the death of Ryan White (an Indiana teen who became an advocate for AIDS before he died) that he decided to get help.
In a NPR interview in 2012 he said, “When I knew Ryan, I knew that my life was out of whack. I knew that I had to change. And after he died, I realized that I only had two choices: I was either going to die or I was going to live, and which one did I want to do? And then I said those words, ‘I’ll get help,’ or, ‘I need help. I’ll get help.’ And my life turned around. Ridiculous for a human being to take 16 years to say, ‘I need help.’”
The Barney star turned to Disney sensation used drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of both fame and mental illness (Lovato has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder). During the height of her addiction, she states, she couldn’t go 30 minutes without doing cocaine. At 18, she went to rehab and though resistant at first, has been mostly sober since.
“I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone,” she says about the moment she realized she had a problem with drugs and alcohol.Learn More
Addiction, especially opiate addiction, knows no bounds- it affects Americans from every state, of every color, every socioeconomic status and gender. It takes many forms- the teenager uneducated about the perils of opiates and addiction seeking heroin from the many Interstate vessels it flows so freely from, to the worker hurt on the job who is seeking an end to the chronic pain he suffers from. Many Americans have preconceived notions about who opiates affect- they think of homeless people, people living in crime-ridden areas, those predisposed to the affliction by having addict family members. But many would be surprised to see just who is suffering from this illness. Your neighbors, your coworkers, your family members, your friends- all of these people know someone struggling with addiction, if they aren’t themselves. But the problem is too pressing to sweep under the rug, as there are nearly 100 opioid overdoses resulting in death every day. Overdoses by heroin, fentanyl, or prescription opiates are the leading killer for Americans under 50.
The numbers continue to rise, despite the fact that measures have been taken on societal and governmental levels. There has been a crackdown on “pill mills,” pain management centers where opiates are prescribed without legitimate purpose, flooding communities with illegal narcotics. Many have been shut down and the doctors dispensing the medications lost their licenses. However, with the abundance of medical practitioner options available in a country that utilizes private healthcare, opiates are still relatively easy to get, or people simply turn to other options, such as heroin or fentanyl. Another measure taken has been to offer and expand these use of opiate supplements suboxone and methadone (administered in clinical settings). And while these drugs may do some good to inhibit the effects of withdrawal in a short-term capacity, they do nothing to fix America’s dependence on opiates, with many patients taking the supplements while still purchasing illegal opioids.
But the death toll continues to increase and no widespread change has really been achieved. This is because opiate addiction, and addiction in general, continues to be treated as a condition of moral turpitude rather than a disease. The stigmatization of addiction and addicts themselves has led to a culture that is ambivalent to their treatment. Instead of offering people who have been caught using/possessing illegal drugs help, we offer them jail time where they can be constantly exposed to drugs in an environment that is notorious for recidivism. Instead of offering spaces where people can stay to avoid the temptation of drugs or alcohol at a subsidized rate (as is available for the mentally ill, battered women, homeless and those in poverty), there are few legitimate and cost-effective options for long-term treatment and support. Recovery Care Partners can provide substantial help on a personal basis, but widespread, governmental policy change is still lacking and something we advocate for. When Recovery Care Partners helps an addict or their family understand more about the disease, we hope that it has an exponential effect, reaching communities and individuals we can’t even anticipate.
But still, much more is needed, especially in terms of education. Instead of teaching our youth what drug addiction is and who drug addicts are, we paint drug users as demonic and children never begin to develop empathy for them. At Recovery Care Partners, we hope to reverse that stigmatization by providing counseling and education and proving, through our own success stories, that recovery is possible and there is a good person inside of your loved one afflicted with opiate dependence or addiction in general.Learn More
Many people believe the opposite of addiction is sobriety and while that is technically true, modern ideology is beginning to suggest that the true antithesis of addiction is connection. This theory debunks previous sentiments that addiction was a direct result of the demonic drugs themselves and had less to do with the user. While addiction is commonly viewed as a substance disorder, recent findings could liken it to a social disorder as well. Namely, those who struggle to find connection or meaning are predisposed to substance abuse.
This is in direct contradiction to more rudimentary research that simply suggests that people become addicts because they enjoy the sensation of the drug or drink. This, however, would mean that anyone who tries a substance automatically becomes an addict and we know that to not be the case. Many people who have an initial experience with a substance go on to either never use that drug again or to have a casual, recreational relationship with it. Based on the fact that most people do not become addicts, it can be assumed that over time a person’s initial experience of pleasure is not what causes them to recklessly pursue the drug, even when sacrificing career, academics, family life, friendships, romantic relationships, freedom or even physical health.
But this theory didn’t start being debunked until the late 1970s and early 1980s, when scientists began to explore the phenomenon. In one groundbreaking study, the psychologist Bruce Alexander looked at the results of studies in which rats were placed in empty cages, alone. In the cages there were two water bottles: one with pure water and the other water was infused with heroin. The experiment resulted in the rats getting addicted to the heroin and ultimately meeting their death by overdose. It was derived that extreme pleasure itself can be very dangerous. But that is not at all where the conclusions end.
Alexander was bothered by the fact that the cages in which the rats were isolated were small, with no potential for stimulation beyond the heroin. It didn’t surprise him that they all got high- what else were they supposed to do? In a superfluous study, Alexander created a rat park- which consisted of a cage 200 times larger than the original- with lots of fun attractions. These included food to eat, space for mating and raising litters, hamster wheels, balls to play with and more. And he put not one rat, but 20 rats into the cage. Then, he offered them one bottle of pure water and one bottle of heroin water. This resulted in astounding results- the rats were not interested in the heroin but rather all the fun activities the park offered like: fighting, playing, eating, mating. It was concluded that with connection and activity, addiction disappeared.
The most basic finding from this experiment is that people use addictions of all sorts, not just addictions to drugs, to adapt to the alienation or dislocation that has always been a part of the human experience, but is incredibly prevalent in this modern age.
Interestingly, both AA and the addiction treatment community as a whole realized this fact long before Alexander’s rat park experiment. In truth, the work of 12-step recovery programs and formalized addiction treatment programs, involve connecting the addict to other people. And not just any people, either- safe, supportive, reliable, empathetic people. And while developing healthy interpersonal connections is not easy for any humans, most of all addicts, success stories of those who achieve recovery suggest it is possible.
The wildly popular TV show “Intervention” has inevitably impacted the way its viewers (and all those cognizant of the show) view addiction and those it afflicts. “Intervention” is an American documentary television series that premiered on March 6, 2005 on the channel A&E. It follows one/two participant(s), who are dependent or are addicted on a substance or behavior, documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. During the intervention, each participant is given an ultimatum: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. The producers usually follow up a while later to monitor the addicted person’s progress and film it for “follow-up” episodes of the series or for shorter “web updates” available on the show’s website.
Interventions don’t just happen on the aptly named show, however. An intervention is a process in which loved ones, family, friends or a combination of these people get together and confront someone about their drug abuse or other addictive behavior. A therapist or interventionist is recommended to partake in these to serve as a buffer between family and addict and provide objective experience and advice. The intervention often provides specific examples of destructive behaviors and their impact on the loved one’s family and friends. The intervention also offers a prearranged treatment plan with clear steps, goals and guidelines and spells out what each person will do if the loved one refuses to accept treatment.
Intervention has invariably affected the way we, as a society view addiction and recovery. On one hand, the show has proven very helpful in aiding cognizance of the disease of addiction, an incredibly widespread illness that affects 23.5 million Americans, or roughly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12. “Intervention” gives viewers an idea of what addicts are up against, what drugs are being widely abused and what active addiction commonly looks like. It also gives family and friends with an addicted loved one hope and guidance for how to properly intervene and suggest treatment. This is incredibly important as addiction can often feel incredibly dark and hopeless, both for the one addicted and those watching the illness unfold. However, the show can often paint treatment optimistically, as recovery is an unwitting and evolving process, often taking several attempts, more than the secured rehab trip at the end of the show suggests. The chronic nature of the disease of drug/alcohol addiction means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely. Relapse rates for addiction are similar to those of other well-understood chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Drug addiction witnesses a relapse rate of approximately 40 to 60 percent. However, relapses and drug addiction as a hole are much more stigmatized. One of the good things about the show is it brings a light to addiction and suggests that recovery is incredibly possible and has been achieved by a number of participants on the show.Learn More
Unfortunately, a large amount of addicts suffer from more than one mental illness. That’s why its of the utmost importance to treat more than just chemical dependency in treatment centers. There are a range of mental illnesses that affect substance-abusers including mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and personality disorders such as those grouped in Cluster B. A dual-diagnosis client is identified as one with a personality/mood disorder and an addiction disorder, which entails more than just drug addiction but expands to include those with shopping, gambling, food, sex or other addictions. It is incredibly imperative that both (or more if there are more than two) conditions are addressed, because as is the case with addiction interaction, one condition will be exacerbated if the other is simply taken away and the root causes behind it are not explored. Unfortunately, current treatment standards do not reflect this necessity. The Office of Applied Studies, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reported that only 12 percent of the 4 million American adults who suffered from a Dual Diagnosis received treatment for both conditions. In order to help yourself or your loved one in identifying a dual-diagnosis, it’s important to first understand the mental illnesses that are often an accompanying part of the diagnosis.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are perhaps the two most common mental illnesses afflicting people today. So it’s no wonder that they also impact the addicted population of the nation. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16 million American adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That amounts to 6.9 percent of the United States population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Anxiety is also astoundingly prevalent: the NIMH estimates that anxiety disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States (approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54). But it’s unfortunately even more widespread with addicts. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people addicted to drugs are roughly twice as likely to have mood and anxiety disorders, as compared to the general population. Additionally, according to a report conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder, such as depression, also have a substance abuse disorder, and about 20 percent of those with a substance abuse problem also have an anxiety or mood disorder.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by personality styles that are impulsive, dramatic, highly emotional and erratic. The disorders include: narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of disregard for (the violation of) others and their personal rights. Narcissistic personality disorder entails a person’s preoccupation with themselves and their power and the lack of seeing how one’s own actions affect another. Borderline personality disorder is represented by impulsivity and instability in mood, interpersonal relationships and self image and is characterized by an intense fear of abandonment. Histrionic personality disorder is defined by excessive attention-seeking behavior, seductive behavior and an intense need for approval. Cluster B personality disorders disproportionately affect the addicted population. Drugs and alcohol by no means cause personality disorders, but substance abuse is more prevalent in those with personality disorders. Individuals with borderline personality disorder, for example, have high rates of substance abuse. It has been estimated that approximately two-thirds of individuals with borderline personality disorder abuse drugs, alcohol or both. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people with antisocial personality disorder also have a higher rate of alcohol abuse and alcoholism than the general population.
In summation, due to the increased likelihood of personality disorders with the substance-abusing, it is incredibly important to procure dual-diagnosis treatment as part of caring for your addicted loved one, or yourself.
Delray Beach, Florida
For those who call this southeastern Florida beach city their home, it comes as no surprise that it be dubbed the most sober-friendly city in America. Delray Beach is home to a high concentration of quality treatment centers and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people attend 12-step meetings each week. There are prototype communities across the country, where recovering addicts plant roots near renowned treatment centers (such as the recovery community near Hazelden in Minnesota), but many say that no such community compares to Delray, because of its compact geography and egregious quantity of recovering substance-abusers. The large amount of addicts in the area causes Delray to boast incredibly unique attractions, such as a recovery radio show and a coffeehouse with a therapy group. However, those who live in the area cite their fellow addicts and accompanying camaraderie as the reasons so many people suffering from chemical dependency find help in this beach town.
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels boasts more than just sunny weather and celebrities, it also has one of the most sober-friendly communities in America. Initially drawn to the world-famous treatment centers, addicts flock by the thousand in an attempt to find sobriety in the Big Orange. Once in Los Angeles, or the neighboring Orange County, substance-abusers feel right at home in a community that holds over 3,100 meetings per week. However, southern California offers plenty of activities that aren’t related to recovery, including sightseeing, surfing, hiking, camping, restaurant-going and art-appreciating, to name a few. And as anyone in recovery will tell you, it’s incredibly important to live somewhere with plenty of action, as boredom is often at the root of relapse.
The Twin Cities
America’s heartland also boasts an impressive recovery community in its twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul. The area is home to Hazelden, which has been a pinnacle of drug and alcohol abuse treatment for some time (it is now partnered with the Betty Ford Foundation). Subsequently, many substance-abusers flock to the area and end up making the Twin Cities their home. Minneapolis and St. Paul are also home to approximately one-third of the nation’s recovery high schools. The Twin Cities are not only ahead of the curve in the academic sense, but their progressive medical and legal systems also aid them in being at the forefront of providing knowledge and abolishing judgement regarding the disease of addiction.
While a college town may not be the most likely candidate for a thriving sober community, Boston certainly goes against the grain by having over 2,000 meetings in the city’s greater area. Not only does it boast an impressive amount of meetings, but its meetings also entail a special program called a “commitment exchange,” in which home-group members are required to speak at meetings other than their own, creating a sense of camaraderie unique to the Boston AA/NA scene.
New York City, New York
New York City is a great place to be a recovering addict. There are 4,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week in the five boroughs alone, especially those catering to diverse populations, specifically the LGBT community. There are also meetings in different languages and those intended for diverse cultures, typical of the melting-pot dynamic in the city.
Many people underestimate the importance of substance abuse treatment. Substance Abuse treatment and addiction education include a wide range of treatment modalities, from Inpatient Treatment, PHP (Partial Hospitalization), IOP (Intensive Outpatient), Outpatient Treatment to 12-step support groups. Each step is important and vital to one’s recovery. In today’s fast-paced times, with the increasing pressures of life, most people see it as a burden on their lives to enter into a treatment program. What they don’t seem to understand is without taking the time to take a hard look at their life, and being vigilant in their recovery, they could be treading into dangerous territory.
Substance Abuse Treatment is Vital
People will usually unknowingly shortchange themselves and choose to abstain from their drink or drug of choice without working on the core issues that cause them to drink and drug in the first place. What they don’t realize is that recovery from addiction is much more than just abstaining. Addiction starts from within, when you go through a physical detox you are still left with the mental urges and triggers that had kept you using in the first place. Without realizing what those issues are, and taking steps toward fixing them, you will be put in a position where you are left vulnerable to repeating the same mistakes you made in the past. Going to an outpatient facility and support groups will help keep you out of the grips of addiction in early recovery.
You are going to need to arm yourself against the disease of addiction. While you are relaxing at home, your disease is metaphorically in the parking lot doing push-ups, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Identifying and working on the core, underlying issues that have been fueling your addiction will help prevent you from repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Without undergoing substance abuse treatment you are not learning your relapse triggers, not working through the past, and not learning steps of how to maintain your sobriety. The rare instance we see someone beat their addiction without going to meetings or working on themselves, we are usually left seeing someone who is not clean or sober, but rather “dry” without any lasting emotional sobriety.
Instead of gritting your teeth and white knuckling, you can go through the process with the help of caring therapists and a support group who are able to help you tackle the issues hands-on as opposed to avoiding them. You can only avoid an issue or trigger for so long till it ends up blowing up in your face.
It is important to take care of your issues at-hand instead of letting it go to the wayside. Today is the perfect day to stop and take control of your disease!
Addiction is not easy; no one should have to go through it alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with overcoming addiction, there is a way out! At Recovery Care Partner, we understand the delicate nature of planning an intervention and guiding a loved one toward recovery from active addiction. We offer a free, 30-minute pre-treatment consultation to help you make an informed decision on if our support is appropriate for your circumstances. Beyond that, we offer intervention services, post-treatment support, recovery care monitoring, transition coaching, and sober companions for intensive, discreet, and professional one-on-one support.
Our goal is to help your loved one come to terms with their illness and learn to build stable, sustainable lives while concurrently improving the lives of those directly affected by their disease.Learn More