Addiction is a disease that is complicated for a number of reasons. The exact causes of a person’s addiction can be quite varied and may date as far back as childhood. Addiction is often caused by a number of factors that may range from a genetic predisposition to environmental factors.
Often, when a person is addicted to a substance, they are in the presence of a number of people and situations that are enabling or triggering an addict to use. For this reason, systemic therapy is a highly effective type of treatment because it uses a number of methods to help treat and identify problems within an addict’s entire life and body.
Many treatment centers recognize that there is a connection between physical and mental health. For this reason, physical activity is an integral part of many treatment programs. Through physical activity, a recovering addict can help gain a sense of balance, inner strength, and willingness to overcome major obstacles.
When an addict begins to find physical strength, they may naturally feel stronger in the face of uncomfortable emotions or actions that they would rather not take. Many physical activities also offer a chance to find some sense of calm and even meditation.
One thing that can be difficult for a recovering addict is achieving peace of mind and the ability to recognize destructive thoughts and then choose not to indulge in them. Activities like yoga or outdoor activities can help cultivate a sense of total mental and physical well being.
Addiction is a disease that affects not just the addict but everyone close to them. Often, when one person in a family is struggling with addiction, they are part of a system of behaviors that may be feeding into and even perpetuating addictive behavior. For this reason, family therapy is often used as a means of treating addiction.
In systemic family therapy, a counselor works with an addict and their entire family and helps facilitate a number of important and constructive conversations. It is not uncommon for family members of addicts to experience feelings like guilt, shame, and regret.
It is also highly likely that when a family member is suffering from addiction, other members in the family may be behaving in a way that is inadvertently triggering addictive behavior. Family therapy offers an analysis of the family system as a whole and gives both the addict and their family a chance to find healthy ways of functioning together.
There are a number of ways in which an addict may be cultivating an unhealthy life for themselves. Among the most common triggers for use are stress and anxiety. It is possible that many of the lifestyle choices an addict is making may be making them more prone to use without them even realizing it.
In treatment, a recovering addict and his counselors and doctors work to assess the addict’s life as a whole. While treatment is certainly focused on using, it is also important to look at other aspects of one’s life that may be impacting the addict’s mental health. If an addict is in an unhealthy romantic relationship, for example, they are at far greater risk for experiencing stress and anxiety, as well as for experiencing the emotional highs and lows that are often associated with drug use.
Other factors, such as a job that makes one extremely unhappy or puts them in a state of real and severe stress may be contributing factors to an addict’s use. Treating the person and their life as whole helps greatly increase the chances that an addict will find lasting success and happiness in life after rehab.
Entering addiction treatment can be a very tumultuous time. Often, by the time an addict has decided to enter a treatment facility, they have hit “rock bottom” and endured several painful and emotional moments. Addiction is a dangerous and destructive disease that has a disastrous impact on all aspects of an addict’s life.
When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain becomes hardwired for addiction, meaning that their reward receptors become so accustomed to consuming more of a drug that they place finding and consuming drugs above any other life activity, such as holding down a job or maintaining important and meaningful relationships.
These destructive behaviors can only continue for so long before an addict realizes that their life cannot continue as is. This is frequently the time when an addict makes the life changing decision to enter a treatment center.
Initial Stage of Treatment
The first thing that an addict must do upon entering a treatment facility is to detoxify from the substance they are addicted to. In treatment, there will be a team of medical professionals and addiction specialists available to help make sure that as an addict detoxes, their physical condition is monitored and treated safely and effectively.
This is by no means an easy process, because when a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain becomes so used to receiving more of the substance they are addicted to that it fires off severe withdrawal symptoms when it does not receive the substance it is addicted to.
Withdrawing from drugs or alcohol may not be easy, but a recovering addict can hold onto the knowledge that at the other end of this discomfort is health and the beginning of a new life.
Life Changes In Treatment
Once an addict has detoxed from the drug they are addicted to, they will have the mental and physical clarity to begin work on building the tools they need to regain a happy and sober life.
Being newly sober and removed from the life in which they used may come as quite a shock to an addict, as while they were using, their emotions were likely dulled by drugs. Newly sober, a recovering addict may face very intense and severe emotions.
Like withdrawal, the sensations behind these emotions may not be pleasant or easy to handle, but they are also very important and in many ways the key to finding real and lasting emotional growth. Without experiencing these strong emotions, no major or lasting change can be made.
Hard Work Leads to Major Transformation
It is important to remember that sobriety, like anything of worth, takes work and discipline to achieve. Recovery is by no means an easy process, nor is it as fast one. There are challenges throughout the way, and there is no cure for addiction. A person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol must continue the process of recovery throughout their entire life.
The hard work and challenges that recovery and treatment, present, however, also offer tremendous rewards. No matter how damaged or troubled an addict’s life has become because of drugs and alcohol, there is always a chance to find a new life, free from the chains of addiction.
With the right treatment and a willingness to work through the necessary steps to change the way one thinks, an addict can hope to once again have meaningful relationships and a full and rich existence. With sobriety comes a wealth of things that could not be possible when an addict was helplessly tied to the dangerous and destructive chemical that they were dependent on.
Rehab is a time of healing and discovery for many people. In treatment, newly recovering addicts have access to a number of resources that help them to gain the tools they need to carry on with a safe, happy, and sober life. Much of treatment may involve time spent with counselors talking through one’s past and identifying the roots of addiction, which my range from issues in one’s past to current psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and low self worth.
Another important and highly effective aspect of treatment is treatment activities. These activities range from center to center and from addict to addict, but one thing they all have in common is that they provide a wonderful healing experience, during which a recovering addict has a real chance to build their sense of strength and healthfulness.
Treatment Activities Designed to Strengthen Body, Mind, and Spirit
One thing that treatment activities all have in common is that they provide an experience that brings about positive change in a recovering addict. Activities are a highly effective way of bringing about transformation because by their very nature, they require a certain level of engagement.
Through action, a person must use a wide variety of their mental, physical, and spiritual skills to achieve success both in the activity and then in the longer process of achieving sobriety. It is, of course, possible to take in lessons that are learned through listening and reading, but the lessons that one learns through action tend to be absorbed in a more immediate and lasting way.
Different Kinds Of Treatment Activities
There are a number of different types of treatment activities that may be employed by treatment centers. One very popular treatment activity is yoga. Yoga is an ancient practice that is used to help achieve strength, balance, and flexibility of the body and the mind. Yoga is a meditative practice that helps recovering addicts find healing. One major aspect of yoga is that it encourages individuals to quiet the mind, and to become very in-tune with their bodies and the limits they can be pushed to.
By quieting the mind through meditation and yoga, recovering addicts can strengthen their ability to be more aware of their impulses, and, perhaps more importantly, their ability not to act on them. Another popular type of treatment activity is hiking. Hiking and similar outdoor activities allow a recovering addict to spend time in nature. Nature has a way of being a wonderfully restorative influence on those who are seeking peace, health, and clarity.
By spending time outside, recovering addicts are often able to connect to who they really are and to enjoy some time away from distractions and other stimuli. Hiking, like other forms of physical activity, is a great way for a recovering addict to get in the habit of pressing their boundaries and instilling in themselves the belief that they can and will overcome challenges and obstacles.
There are a number of other therapy activities that recovering addicts may take part in at their treatment centers. Some of these activities may even include things like equestrian therapy, wherein a recovering addict helps take care of and ride a horse and learn to care for themselves as they care for an animal.
Finding the Right Treatment Center
When choosing the right treatment center, a recovering addict has a number of factors to consider. Not least of these is whether the therapy activities at the centers are ones that appeal to them and that they may find strength, healing, and transformation in.
The activities at the treatment center, along with the staff and the environment in which treatment occurs may be key factors in determining the success of any given treatment program. With the right plan of action, a recovering addict who is determined to get healthy can find great transformation and healing.
Addiction is a dangerous disease that is also very frustrating and often terrifying for those who suffer from it. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, the chemistry of their brain actually changes so that it becomes hardwired to be singularly consumed with finding more and more of the substance it is addicted to.
For this reason, even though you may want to stop using, you may have found that you continued to use, or that you feel powerless to stop. This does not mean that you cannot recover from addiction. It simply means that you need professional medical help and support in order to gain the tools you need to regain control of your mental and physical health by enrolling in a treatment program.
The first step to gaining control over your addiction is to undergo the process known as detox or detoxification. Because your brain chemistry has been altered to be dependent on drugs or alcohol, your brain’s reward receptors may react very negatively when they do not receive the substance that they are addicted to.
The reactions that your body undergoes during this process are referred to as withdrawal symptoms and may include things like nausea, fever, and even seizures. For this reason, you may have little to no success when attempting to detox on your own, and may even face serious health risks if you do so. Detoxing in treatment ensures that you will make it through the process of withdrawal successfully because you will be surrounded by a support team of doctors and counselors.
A Safe Space In Treatment
Once you have gone through the process of detoxing, you will have much more mental clarity. In a treatment center, you will also finally be free of many of the things that may have previously prevented you from successfully quitting before, including access to drugs or alcohol. You will also have some time away from many of the people and events that may be triggering you to use, including other users or stressful or unpleasant situations.
Building Tools In Recovery
While in treatment, you will work with doctors, counselors, and perhaps fellow recovering addicts to cultivate tools that will help you maintain sobriety long after you leave the protected space of the treatment center. You will work with counselors on a number of things, including getting to the root of what led you to use and continue to use in the first place.
You will also work with treatment center staff to discover ways in which you can deal with triggers like stress and anxiety without drugs or alcohol. A big part of this therapeutic process will also entail engaging in activities and discussions that help you improve your self image and affirm your belief that you can and will overcome addiction.
Hope For a Better Life
The process of achieving sobriety is not simple or easy, but it is well worth the hard work that it requires. You may have spent a very long time feeling lost and hopeless in the throes of addiction, but regardless of how long you have been a prisoner to drugs or alcohol, you can and will find freedom.
The right treatment center will help you use the strength that already lies in you to carry on to a happy, healthy and productive life. Addiction is a disease that requires ongoing work and steps to maintain recovery, but with the right program, you will be able to return to your life empowered and ready to contribute to the world and the people around you in a real and meaningful way.
As one makes their way through recovery, it is important to understand the causes of their addiction and what led them to use in the first place. It is also important to understand as many of the factors as possible that are in place that should be addressed in order for an addict to effectively recover, both the addict and their professional team must understand any types of co-occurring disorders.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
When a person is said to have co-occurring disorders, they are also said to have what is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is what happens when a person is diagnosed with both addiction and another psychological disorder. These disorders may be quite varied and may include things like depression, anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobias, and schizophrenia.
How Often Do Disorders Occur Together?
It is very common for a patient in recovery to be diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. There seems to be quite a bit of crossover between mental illness and drug abuse. In fact, as many as 37% of alcoholics have some other type of mental illness, as do 53% of narcotics abusers.
Similarly, of the individuals who have been identified as those who suffer from mental illness, 29% may also abuse drugs or alcohol. The connection between drug and alcohol abuse may seem fairly clear, as there are a number of reasons that a person with a mental illness may be prone to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.
Psychological Disorders and Drug Abuse
One of the reasons that psychological may be so closely tied to drug and alcohol abuse is that many drug users use the drugs to numb or dull any sense of emotional pain that may occur. This temptation may be particularly strong in individuals with psychological disorders because disorders like depression and anxiety lead the person who is suffering from them to experience a number of unpleasant and even painful sensations.
An individual who is suffering from a disorder may be using drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate their problem and find that they are quickly dependent on the drugs. It is also possible for a person to develop addiction first, and then to begin to suffer from psychological disorders as a result of their addiction. Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to many highs and lows, including severe depression and even hallucinations.
Treating Co-Occurring Disorders in Recovery
It is important that both the addict and the counselors helping them understand co-occurring disorders because it is imperative that both issues are adequately treated in order for for an addict to begin to live in a healthy and sober way. It is difficult, if not impossible to achieve and maintain sobriety while an addict is also suffering from another disorder, because one issue feeds the other. In order for an addict to get the clarity they need to work toward health and through the deep seated roots of their addiction, they must also work on resolving any other psychological disorders.
Detox, Rehab, and Psychological Help
In order for a recovering addict to find health, they should have both their addiction and their psychological disorder treated at the same time. This cannot be done, however, until the addict has detoxed from the drug they are addicted to.
For this reason, the first step of any treatment program is always detoxification, because no real work can be done while drugs or alcohol are in an addict’s system. Once an addict has detoxed, they can continue into the process of rehab and psychological therapy to treat both disorders.
I’m Dr. Sheila Shilati. I’m a licensed clinical psychologist, and I’m the Chief Operating Officer here, proudly, at Seasons Malibu. I’ve been serving here in my position since 2011, and I can say my experience has been nothing short of the best experience I’ve had ever in such a clinical setting. I’m proud to say that not only do we offer such a multi-modal level of care, but I’ve personally been involved in integrating therapeutic treatments in surfing with some of our clients.
So I’ve got to say that the opportunity to integrate so many different modalities and to be able to provide so much support, you know, in a way that really meets the clients’ needs makes me continue to feel like we’re working towards something in healing.
My name is Dr. Mark Stalhlhuth. I have a PhD in clinical psychology, licensed in California. I’ve been here for about five years. I’m the clinical director here. I’ve been in the field of addiction treatment since 1981, and I’ve worked at some other facilities as well as this one, and have found this to be one that excels in the treatment of addiction compared to some of the other places that I’ve been. And that is basically because of the fact that the quality of staff here is outstanding, number one.
The number of one-to-one sessions that people get here is bar none the best, and there’s a huge emphasis on family work here, so that the people leave with a real understanding of how to make their families work more effectively when they leave, comprehensive psychological assessment that also helps them to get a real idea of what’s going on with them diagnostically.
Our most valuable asset is certainly the strength of Seasons Malibu after-care program. For any client to be successful in recovery you always have to have a strong after care plan. No other facility offers the level of accessibility as well as on going planning while they’re here in treatment with the community support system as well as the family support system to provide a safe structure and supportive environment, moving them through the next stage of their life.
Holistic Drug Rehab
You may have asked yourself what exactly holistic recovery treatment is and why it is successful. There are many different ways of treating addiction; holistic rehab places an emphasis less on medication and more on the improvement of health and sobriety through the body, mind, and spirit. An addict’s health is improved by addressing the mental and emotional roots of addiction by finding connections and positive ways toward health in the form of therapies that nurture them as whole.
Holistic treatment therapies can include a variety of therapeutic activities: acupuncture therapy, art therapy, creative writing, meditation, yoga, surfing, hiking, swimming, equine therapy, music therapy, nutrition therapy, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, etc. These types of therapies aim to build and nurture the mind, body and soul connection, and as mind, body, and spirit grow stronger, so does an addict’s ability to remain drug free.
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Working through a recovery program is a challenging process. While achieving sobriety certainly has countless rewards, a successful journey through recovery certainly requires hard work and a strong and reliable support system. This is why when an addict enters rehab, they often go through therapy with their families, either in the context of their treatment center or at a therapy session. Going through treatment with one’s family can help greatly increase the chances of an addict effectively staying sober.
Systemic Family Treatment
Group therapy, or family therapy, is often referred to as systemic family therapy because during sessions a therapist talks with all individuals in the family and helps identify and analyze the behaviors and processes that are occurring within the entire family.
This is different from individual therapy because systemic treatment focuses on relationships and behaviors that are being facilitated by more than one person. Understanding group behaviors often means assessing the organization systems that exist within the group and identifying the causes and effects of certain organization systems or behaviors that may be leading to a destructive or unhealthy environment.
Family Behaviors and Addiction
A very big part of recovery lies in the process by which an addict does individual work to help identify the causes of addiction as well as tools that may help them continue to successfully maintain sobriety. While this is certainly a very important part of the recovery process, family therapy is often also just as important. Addiction is a complicated disease that has its roots in many places.
Often individuals who struggle with addiction are also facing issues like depression and anxiety, which may have their roots in a number of places, including roles within their own families that may have stemmed from childhood. Systemic therapy can help bring light to organizations and behaviors that may be related to the roots of an addict’s addiction.
Addiction and the Toll On Family
It is seldom just an addict who is affected by their addiction. Often, those closest to an addict also suffer when someone they love is struggling with a drug problem. Feelings of guilt, anger, frustration, and helplessness are all common among those who have seen their loved one struggle with addiction.
These feelings often manifest themselves in behaviors that in turn impact the behavior of an addict. It is possible that an addict is being enabled or that triggers for use are being set off without an addict’s family being aware of this. Family therapy helps a family assess their behavior and ensure that all members of the family are taking steps to ensure that their actions and group organization support their loved on in recovery.
A Strong Support System After Rehab
Recovery is a lifelong process, and while an inpatient or outpatient treatment program helps and addict build the tools they need to stay sober for life, success in recovery lies in making sure that those tools are actually used. It is far more likely that a recovering addict will find success if they are surrounded by a support system that will help them make the right decisions and continue to work towards a sober life.
In systemic therapy, the family of an addict can help learn the ways in which they can best support their loved one, and the behaviors that are most likely to encourage personal growth and continued hard work. In time, the struggles presented by addiction will grow much less challenging for the whole family. The right treatment program can help a recovering addict and their family achieve a state of happiness, stability, and well being that is highly beneficial for everyone involved.