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Archive for the ‘Recovery and the Family’ Category

Simple Tips to Help Family Members Cope With Addiction Within the Family

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Tips to Help Family Members Cope With Addiction Within the FamilyMuch research has been done regarding the effects of substance abuse on an addict. When someone is addicted, there is plenty of focus on how to provide treatment and help them stay sober. However, family members often don’t receive the attention and treatment they need. If you are an addict’s family member, you’re probably going through a plethora of confusing emotions and wondering where to turn for help. The Treatment Center is honored to provide the guidance you need.

Educate Yourself

Some drug and alcohol abuse symptoms are common no matter what substance the addict uses. Such symptoms include severe weight loss or gain, bloodshot or glazed eyes, poor performance at work or school, and loss of interest in favorite activities. That said, some symptoms are unique to specific drugs. A heroin addict might have nosebleeds or a sore or peeling nose if the drug is snorted.

The Treatment Center urges family members to educate themselves on the specific drug being abused and its effects. Additionally, family members should educate themselves on recovery. Many people assume once an addict achieves sobriety, the addiction is “over.” Actually, addiction is a lifelong disease. Your loved one may relapse, or need continuous therapy to maintain sobriety. Most addicts battle temptation the rest of their lives, but can overcome it with a strong support system of family and friends.

Treatment, Not Punishment

Addicts’ family members often communicate treatment is punishment, whether they mean to or not. The addict gets the message he or she has done something bad, shamed the family, or deserves to feel miserable. Thus, his or her confidence and self-concept sinks lower, increasing the likelihood of seeking substances for relief. A vicious cycle begins, one that families struggle to escape.

Although you may be angry, sad, or confused, don’t treat your addicted loved one as if he or she is being punished. Do not shut the addict out of your life unless they ‘re a legitimate danger to themselves or others. Don’t shield an addict from negative consequences such as court appearances or jail time, but don’t shame them. Set boundaries, but do not use them to shame the addict, or as a form of discipline.

Provide a Safe, Relaxing Environment

Addicts often struggle to feel safe. Their brains have been so affected; they think they need their substances of choice for basic survival. Addicts may deal with anxiety, depression, nightmares, tremors, and other frightening symptoms, especially during withdrawal. They will be given a safe environment in inpatient treatment; professionals are trained to help them cope. After treatment, though, your addicted loved one needs to feel safe and secure in whatever environment is available.

Your addicted loved one has learned to use drugs and alcohol to relax, or as a reward. Give them healthy alternatives; enjoy a shared hobby together, encourage them to exercise and eat some favorite healthy foods, or encourage them to get adequate sleep and do relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation. Keep the environment as calm as possible; in a relaxing environment, the addict’s brain will gradually calm, as well. It will relearn substances aren’t necessary for survival.

Do Not Enable Your Loved One

Loved ones often enable addicts without realizing what they are doing. Enabling can be anything from giving an addict money to giving them transportation to dealers. Sometimes, offering an addict a place to live is enabling, because the addict assumes they can use drugs in your home. Speak with treatment professionals to determine what constitutes enabling. Learn to say “no” and stick to it. Learn to recognize manipulation, and refuse to be sucked in.

Watch out for statements like,

“If you loved me, you would…” or “You know what will happen to me without this substance.”

Addicts’ families often struggle to set and keep boundaries on their own. They also struggle with getting an addicted loved one to accept treatment. If this is the case, seek outside help from family, friends, clergy, and addiction support groups like Al-Anon. An outside support system will not only keep your loved one on track, but also prevent you from enabling.

Recognize an Addict’s Potential

Engage in behaviors that encourage the addict to change. This is called positive enabling. Positive enabling encompasses offering the addict the opportunity to change through long-term treatment, and letting him or her know you believe change is possible. Let your addicted loved one know you remember who is still there underneath the addiction. Communicate that he or she can be that person again. Emphasize that although you will not contribute to the addiction, your love for the addict has not changed.

Take Care of Yourself

An old proverb says you cannot pour if your own cup is empty. While dealing with addiction, physically, mentally, and spiritually care for yourself. Eat right, and get adequate sleep and exercise. Do activities you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to get away for a break. Do not blame yourself; your loved ones addiction was not your fault. Your addicted loved one needs your strength, but strength can only come from a person who takes care of their own needs.

If Your Loved One Is Suffering From an Addiction, Don’t Hesitate to Contact
The Treatment Center Now.
LET US HELP YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE THROUGH THEIR RECOVERY:

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How Addiction Recovery Improves Lives

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

How Addiction Recovery Improves Lives

September is National Recovery Month! Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month with the goal of increasing understanding and raising awareness of mental health and substance use disorders, as well as celebrating those in recovery.

Recovery Month aims to spread the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover. This time of the year also reminds those suffering from addiction that they are not alone–in fact, according to SAMHSA, 21.5 million people aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year, and as many as 1 in 10 Americans in that age range used an illicit drug in the past 30 days. With such a vast amount of people facing substance use disorders, it is important we give this issue the attention it deserves by increasing awareness and providing those in need with the right tools and education.

Millions of Americas suffering from addiction experience positive life-changing transformations through recovery. SAMHSA defines recovery from mental health or substance use disorders as, “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” This comprehensive definition points to the fact that recovery is different for everyone, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating these disorders. However, no matter which path is taken on the road to recovery, one thing is for sure–recovery from substance addiction brings endless benefits and life improvements. Below are just some of the ways in which recovery can enhance your life.

Health Improvement

There are countless physical and mental health benefits brought on by addiction recovery, as substance abuse is linked to many medical issues. Alcohol consumption, for example, can damage the brain as well as most body organs, and is linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer. Heroin is associated with increased risk of infectious diseases, and cocaine use can negatively affect the heart as well as the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. Other drugs, such as prescription medications, amphetamines, steroids and inhalants, also negatively impact physical health. People suffering from addiction often neglect their overall health. Those in recovery, on the other hand, increasingly engage in healthy behaviors such as regular exercise, healthy eating and even regular dental checkups.

In addition, drug and alcohol addictions often go hand-in-hand with mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly one-third of individuals with a mental health disorder abuse drugs and/or alcohol. However, recovery from addiction to these substances can greatly improve a person’s mental health. As a matter of fact, the Life in Recovery Survey reports that recovery reduces untreated mental health problems by 400%.

Career Improvement

Professional endeavors are another important life aspect that can be majorly improved by addiction recovery. Alcohol and drugs greatly impact their users’ professional lives with issues such as decreased productivity, employee morale and increased absences. Workplace injuries and even fatalities are also increased by substance use. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, breathalyzer tests found that 16% of emergency room patients with on-the-job injuries had consumed alcohol, and 11% of workplace fatality victims had been drinking.

In addition, recovery can improve employment stability. Workers who have had three or more jobs in the last five years are about twice as likely to be users of illegal substances as those who have only had one or two jobs. According to the Life in Recovery Survey, steady employment in recovery is increased by more than 50%. As the duration of recovery increases, the rates of steady employment increase. The Survey also shows that as recovery duration increases, more people go back to school or obtain other types of job training, and more people even start their own business.

Family and Personal Life Improvement

As many of us have heard before, addiction is a family disease. Whether it is parents desperately trying to heal their child, spouses doing their best to help their partners, or children dealing with the consequences of their parents’ troubles, families are deeply impacted by the perils of addiction. However, recovery helps those whose family lives have been damaged by addiction. Addiction recovery is associated with a 50% increase in family-activity participation, and involvement in domestic violence decreases dramatically.

Those in recovery can also experience significant improvements in their personal lives. Volunteering in the community and/or a civic group increases more and more as recovery progresses, and voting rates rise as well. Also, people in recovery are more likely to pay taxes, have good credit, pay back debts and make financial plans for the future. In addition, more people report having their own place to live, having a bank account and paying their bills on time as recovery progresses.

Life in Recovery is Better

The numbers prove just how much recovery can improve lives, but the most valuable evidence comes from the people who live in recovery every day. Here is what they have to say:

“Today, I have a whole different outlook on life. My life is positive, it’s happy, and I’m able to help other people who are just like me.” – Heather

“Now, I am not scared to face life and life problems that are thrown at me, I have great relationships with my family and I’m no longer controlled by drugs and alcohol.” – Jordan

“When I was using and I was in my addiction, I didn’t even know a life like this was possible. Now, I have my family back in my life who I have a great relationship with and they trust me again. I have friends in my life who actually care about me and my wellbeing.” – Mark

Life in recovery is better in countless ways. Join us in the observance of Recovery Month–visit us on Facebook to see and share recovery facts and stories. You can even find a Recovery Month event in your area, such as Art of Recovery, an open mic and art exhibit in Lake Worth, FL featuring a performance by recovery singer/songwriter, Elizabeth Edwards. Most importantly, if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and get started on the road to recovery.

Codependency (Part II): The Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Codependency: The Characteristics of Codependent Behaviors

This is Part 2 of our codependency series. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

One of the major problems seen in the families of addicts is codependency. Codependency is a set of dysfunctional behaviors that family members adopt in order to survive the emotional pain and stress caused by living with an addicted family member. Do you believe that love, acceptance, security and approval are dependent upon taking care of your addicted family member? While such actions may temporarily ease conflict and tension within the family, in the end they protect the addict from the negative consequences of his/her addiction allowing the addict to continue drinking or abusing chemical substances.

Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior. In a healthy relationship, showing compassion by attending to another’s needs strengthens the relationship and leads to mutual appreciation, good communication, deeper intimacy and trust. However, the compassionate person never loses sight of who they are and recognizes that their own needs are of equal importance.
In the case of the codependent person, their identity rests upon their ability to rescue others. Often they are dependent on another’s inability to function and are unconsciously drawn to troubled, needy and dependent people. Obsessive care taking becomes a way of fulfilling their emotional needs. While intentions are well meant, these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual, in this case the addict, to continue on a destructive path.

The Cost of Codependency

Unlike compassion, codependency is associated with an overwhelming feeling of guilt; guilt is often the motivating factor for decisions and behaviors within the relationship, even though they don’t make any logical sense.

There are many definitions of co-dependency. In his book Co-dependence, Healing the Human Condition, Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. defines codependence as “A disease of lost selfhood.” Often, codependency is rooted in a person’s childhood. Exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behavioral patterns need to be examined. Treatment includes education, experiential and individual group therapy. Feelings that have been buried need to be examined in order for the codependent to retrace and identify self-defeating behavioral patterns.

Does someone you love abuse drugs and alcohol? Are you filled with despair and worry about this person constantly? Has your life become controlled by the addict’s addictive behavior? If you answer yes to these questions, know that help is at hand. The first step is acknowledging that you need help. Joining a 12-Step program such as Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon is a good beginning. Seeking the help of a professional therapist is also highly recommended.

Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you so absorbed in trying to stop your loved one’s dependence on alcohol or chemical substances to the point that your own life has now become unmanageable?
  • Does every moment of your waking day revolve around attempts to rescue, to control, to take on responsibilities that in reality are not yours to take on?
  • Do you find yourself, ranting and raging, complaining, policing, nagging the alcoholic/drug addicted family member?
  • Have you felt overwhelming fatigue?
  • Do you feel victimized?
  • Do you feel depressed?
  • Do you feel helpless and hopeless?
  • Are you experiencing a wide range of emotions that have begun to disturb you to the point that obtaining a good night’s sleep is nigh impossible?
  • Are you neglecting your own life and in so doing have stopped taking care of yourself?
  • Do you constantly feel responsible for others behavior?
  • Do you feel excessive guilt whenever you spend time on your own projects believing that your role is to take care of others needs?
  • Do you have difficulty expressing your own wants? Do you find yourself becoming angry when your own needs are unmet?
  • Do you seek approval and validation?
  • Have you become totally absorbed to the point of obsession with watching over and covering up for someone who is abusing drugs and alcohol?
  • Do you have difficulty setting boundaries – saying NO?
  • Are you driven by fear of failure and the need to avoid being wrong or making any mistakes?
  • Are you losing your own identity in trying to rescue and fix others?
  • Do you pretend that circumstances aren’t as bad as they are?
  • Are you in a constant state of anxiety?

Could you be Codependent?

In her book, Codependent No More, Melody Beattie describes codependency as follows: “A person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior” (Beattie 1987). My question to you is “Have you allowed someone else’s behavior to take control of your life?” If so, it is possible to learn to enjoy life again, to learn to detach with love. Make a plan to embark on your own recovery journey — you will find it to be an exciting and empowering voyage of discovery.

By Judi Jenett

Judi Jenett is the Family Program Coordinator for The Treatment Center.

Judi's pic

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

Monday, March 28th, 2016

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged doctors to avoid prescribing powerful opiate painkillers for patients with chronic pain given that the risks for taking such drugs far outweigh the benefits for most people. The CDC is taking action to combat the nation’s fatal prescription painkiller epidemic.

The new CDC guidelines include an exception for patients receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care. If doctors determine that such painkillers are necessary in other situations, the CDC suggests that doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.

The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers

According to the CDC, roughly 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers. In 2013 alone, an estimated 1.9 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opiates. CDC director, Thomas Frieden, commented, “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently…These are really dangerous medications that carry the risk of addiction and death.” Many prescription opiates are as addictive as heroin and poorly control chronic pain.

The CDC hopes their new guidelines, directed to primary care physicians who prescribe nearly half of the opiates, will help doctors determine better practices for prescribing prescription painkillers. Although doctors aren’t legally obligated to follow the guidelines, such directives often have a significant influence. For the first time, the government is communicating that the practice of treating non-fatal pain conditions with long-term opioids is dangerous and inappropriate. Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, called the guidelines a “game changer.”

Nonopioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

The CDC recommends nonopioid therapy to treat chronic pain outside cancer, palliative and end-of-life care. What types of nonopioid therapy exist for chronic pain? The Treatment Center’s outpatient care center, Restore, provides evidence-based treatments for chronic pain sufferers by offering a wide variety of holistic treatment services. We believe in teaching our patients how to safely and effectively manage their chronic pain. Our alternative pain therapies include chiropractic care, cold laser therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, traditional physical therapy, yoga and meditation:

  • Chiropractic care: Can increase mobility in your neck, back, legs, and arms; relieves stress, tension, and headaches you may experience when quitting narcotic painkillers
  • Cold laser therapy: Effective in reducing joint inflammation and muscle spasms; also increases the effectiveness of chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture: Useful in treating depression and insomnia; reduces drug cravings without the use of other prescription drugs
  • Massage therapy: Can ease anxiety and muscle tension; promotes restful sleep
  • Physical therapy: Can improve your physical health and mobility, particularly if you experience chronic pain or have endured an injury
  • Yoga: Boosts self-esteem; improves physical strength; improves mind-body-spirit connection
  • Meditation: Can improve your ability to cope with stressful situations; promotes feelings of calmness and happiness

At The Treatment Center, we believe that holistic therapies are an essential component to an effective pain recovery plan. Our pain management program will teach you safe and effective ways to manage your chronic pain. With the proper treatment and support, it is possible to learn how to manage your pain without depending on opiate medications.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. The Treatment Center is here to help suffering individuals find lasting recovery. Call our 24-hour confidential helpline today at 877.392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions staff will find you the appropriate help you need to combat your addiction.

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Our Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

On March 10, 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Senate bill passed 94-1 to combat opiate addiction. The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription painkillers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

Prescription drug abuse and heroin use has taken its toll on the country, while also straining law enforcement and addiction treatment programs. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, as well as the prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and others.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the bipartisan bill, known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) would expand access to naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, and provide opiate addiction treatment to people who are incarcerated due to drug use. CARA has been in development for three years and is currently the only bill in Congress that includes all four aspects of an appropriate and effective response to combat opiate addiction: prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement.

CARA would provide a series of incentives and resources designed to encourage states to pursue a wide variety of proven strategies to combat opiate addiction. The bill is comprised of six major sections: prevention and education, law enforcement and treatment, treatment and recovery, addressing collateral consequences, addiction and recovery services for women and veterans, and incentivizing comprehensive responses to addiction and recovery.

Senator Whitehouse commented on the bill saying, “This legislation identifies specific steps that will help us combat addiction and support those in recovery, and provides the tools needed for states and local governments –in coordination with law enforcement, educators, and others — to take them. It’s a comprehensive approach to a problem that demands our full attention.”

Improvements in 2016 CARA Bill

What are some of the major features of CARA?

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction with evidence-based treatment
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid treatment and interventions program
  • Strengthen and improve prescription drug monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals in order to combat opiate addiction

Although there are some concerns with CARA, the effort made by the Senate shows a shift in the political discourse regarding the nation’s opioid epidemic. Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance, commented, “the momentum behind CARA offers hope that lawmakers are starting to evolve toward treating drug use as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.”

On March 7, 2016, the bipartisan bill passed its first procedural hurdle with the Senators voting 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. A vote on the final passage of the bill took place on March 10, with the Senate almost unanimously voting in favor of the legislation. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives and Senate leaders are pushing for quick action. The bill is expected to face a more difficult battle in the House, but if CARA reaches the White House, the president is expected to sign it.

Help for Opiate Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an opiate addiction, help is available. Call us today at (877) 392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admission counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays.

Trauma (Part 2): Symptoms of Trauma and Effective Therapies

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Trauma-an-Often-Overlooked-pt-2

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

In Part 1 of the trauma blog series, I explained how complex trauma, adversity early in life, and untreated psychological trauma is often the root of addiction.

In Part 2 of this blog, we explore the symptoms of trauma and effective therapies that have been scientifically proven to help trauma survivors cope better.

Symptoms of Trauma

In severe cases, the person who has been harmed as a result of a deep rooted trauma may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is characterized by recurrent, unwanted distressing thoughts and flashbacks.

Symptoms of changes in emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) include irritability, explosive outbursts and aggressive behavior. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulties in concentration
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Constant feelings of danger

Self-destructive behaviors such as drinking too much or driving too fast as a way of anesthetizing the pain may become a daily occurrence. Life may become unbearable to the point of such despair that suicide may seem to be the only way out.

Reaching Out for Help

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, reach out for help straight away. Contact your doctor, mental health provider or other health care professional. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here in the United States is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) trained counselors will be standing by.

Remember, with the right treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you can speed your recovery. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on. Using mood-altering substances will not help you work through your pain, working through trauma will, and this requires courage and commitment.

Evidence-based Treatment Methods

Some of the modalities incorporated in the treatment of trauma symptoms include:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems. Scientific and evidence based research has established EMDR as an effective treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Clinicians have also reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:

  • Addictions
  • Pain disorders
  • Complicated grief
  • Panic attacks
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Personality disorders

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilizes the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behavior. The subconscious mind is considered to be the source or root of many of our behaviors, emotions, attitudes and motivations.

Experiential Workshops

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience and involves actions, movements and activities rather than the more traditional “talk therapy.” This approach encourages patients to identify and address hidden or subconscious issues through activities such as role-playing, guided imagery, the use of props, and a range of other active experiences.

One of the many advantages of experiential therapy is that the experiences and activities that form the core of the process provide opportunities for the therapist to observe patients in situations where the patients are not focused on the therapy itself. Change, emotional growth, and personal empowerment are among the benefits of participating in an effective experiential therapy workshop.

Group Therapy

Probably the biggest advantage of group therapy is that it helps a patient realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have similar problems. This is often a revelation and a huge relief to the person.

Patients listen to each other and openly provide feedback; these interactions give patients an opportunity to increase understanding, try out new ways of being with others and learn more about the ways they interact. Most people find that they have important things in common with other group members, and as others work n concerns, they in turn can learn much more about themselves.

Vibroacoustic Therapy

Vibroacoustic therapy combines the physical vibrations of relaxing music with the vibrations of Pulsed Low Frequency Sine Tones. The process of Vibroacoustic therapy involves the use of recorded music, played through an amplifier and delivered to the body via a Vibroacoustic bed or chair. The physical vibrations of both the music and the low frequency sine tone are felt in the body and promote a feeling of calm. This form of therapy is a safe, drug-free, non-invasive approach to reducing pain, hyperactivity, stress and anxiety.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a safe and effective way to soothe physical pain and to manage stress. Trauma survivors need to feel safe, valued, in control, and open enough to be intimate with boundaries and trustful with others. Massage therapy provides a comfortable and relaxed setting to help trauma survivors manage their symptoms. While massage therapy can trigger traumatic memory, it’s also a powerful healing tool to help patients grow and thrive through healthy nurturance, intimacy with boundaries, and loving touch.

Receive Holistic Services at Restore

The Treatment Center recognizes the importance of an integrative program that treats both substance abuse and the accompanying trauma that often exists. Patients can receive hypnotherapy, vibroacoustic therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care from highly trained therapists at Restore, our holistic care center. The staff at Restore understands that recovering from trauma combined with chemical addiction takes time.

Patients need time to heal and to mourn the losses they have experienced. If you have been exposed to a traumatic event/s during childhood and beyond and have turned to drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism, please reach out to an admission counselor today and call 877-392-3342. They are available to answer any questions you may have about our services.

To make an appointment at Restore, call (561) 402-7222 or for more information reach out to our Director of Holistic Therapies, Erin Runhaar-Cobas at [email protected] The staff at Restore is here to help the community thrive in recovery.

Trauma (Part 1): An Often Overlooked Root of Addiction

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Trauma-an-Often-Overlooked-pt-1

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

The very word trauma evokes images of major events such as war, rape, kidnapping, and abuse. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and windstorms affect thousands of people every year, causing loss of life, loss of home and leaving economic damage in their wake.

When traumatic experiences occur, they often leave mental and physical scars that may feel impossible to overcome. Our sense of safety and predictability is challenged and this may trigger strong physical and emotional reactions.

The Truth about Complex Trauma

Complex trauma describes the dual problem of children’s exposure to traumatic events that occur within the caregiving system, the social environment that is supposed to be the source of safety and stability in a child’s life. Early experiences such as emotional abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing unpredictable domestic violence and repeated abandonment, often leave a child unable to develop appropriate language and verbal skills.

Children whose parents continuously dismiss or reject them learn to disregard or distrust their emotions, relationships and even their own bodies. Parental invalidation generates helplessness and hopelessness. The connection (bond) between a parent and a child is broken; the child is then forced to act “as though the trauma never happened.”

Exposure to Adversity Early in Life

Other traumatic events such as losing a parent to death or divorce can also leave emotional and psychological scars. Growing up in an alcoholic or addicted home or in any other environment where children are taught to bury their feelings causes intense feelings of fear and pain.

Children who have been exposed to severe adversity early in life are at increased risk of developing mental health problems, including drug and alcohol dependence. What happens within the family unit early in a child’s life will have a huge influence over them later in life.

Self-medicating with Drugs and Alcohol

What most of these young people have in common is the wide range of psychoactive substances used to self-medicate, a way of drowning out emotional and psychological pain. This form of mood management can and often does lead to addiction and the disease of addiction is progressive.

Drug and alcohol use allows a person to disconnect from their feelings rather than think about or relive the traumatic event. By using drugs, alcohol or other substances, feelings of fear and powerlessness, depression and those ever-present intrusive memories are dampened. Likewise, guilt or rage is avoided, thus the cycle of addictive or impulsive behavior begins.

When Psychological Trauma Goes Untreated

The effects of untreated psychological trauma can be devastating and infiltrate nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. Trauma disrupts the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing you into a state of hyperarousal and fear.

The nature of the traumatic event, the level of social and emotional support, past traumatic experiences, ones personality type, and the presence or non-presence of sound coping skills plays a large role in whether one will be more susceptible to trauma.

It is not a sign of emotional weakness or a character flaw to have flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, sleep difficulties or tremendous stress after witnessing a serious accident; debilitation from illness or injury; bullying; separation from home or loved one; incarceration; serious illness; loss of a loved one.

Complex trauma in early childhood can affect adults later in life. In part 2 of this blog, we will explore some of the symptoms of trauma and the feelings that are often attached to traumatic events and situations. Also revealed are some healthy coping mechanisms and therapeutic methods for survivors of trauma.

The Gift of Desperation in Recovery | The Treatment Center

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Desperation in recovery

Prior to walking on the road to recovery, Heather’s life was in shambles. She was homeless and broken mentally, physically and spiritually, which left her angry and hopeless. Although she knew she needed to get help, she refused to do any kind of intensive outpatient treatment program. However, The Treatment Center Outpatient Services soon became her gift of desperation in recovery.

With one phone call, she was able to get herself into treatment and it helped push her through those first few crucial months of early recovery. Realizing she had a caring and supportive team behind her, Heather was able to open up more about her addiction.

She was able to meet with a primary therapist to discuss her underlying core issues and express her emotions clearly. By engaging in multiple group activities, Heather was able to learn how to better communicate with other people, gain life skills and have fun while sober.

Prior to admission, Heather was alone and hopeless, watch the video below to find out how she’s been able to thrive on the road to recovery since receiving care at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services.

5 Common Questions in Early Recovery

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Common questions in early recovery

By alumni, Christian McLaughlin

As an alumni of The Treatment Center, I am asked a lot of questions on the best way to transition into early recovery after receiving inpatient treatment. Here are a few common questions about early recovery that may help you through the process:

1) What Do I Look for in a Sober Home?

It’s best to go to a single gender home that requires you to attend meetings and have a sponsor. Be sure to ask around about the home. Chances are others will know about them and be able to guide you in the right direction. Continuing care is a good resource for finding out about local sober homes that are accredited. All of us here in the alumni department went to sober homes so don’t hesitate to reach out to The Treatment Center as well.

When looking for a reputable and safe sober home, it’s best to do some research. Be sure to check into whether the home is accredited with state and local agencies, for instance the Florida Association of Recovery Residence (FARR) and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Ask around the sober community, chances are people will know of the good and bad sober homes and be able to guide you in the right direction. Find out the cost of the home and what the expectations are if you’re living there. Generally, a good sober home will require you to attend meetings, have a sponsor, a job, and pay rent.

2) What Are AA/NA Meetings?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings are gatherings of fellow individuals who have struggled with substance abuse. The common feelings and experience with substance abuse amongst the group is what allows us to relate with one another. The people within the meeting all have the shared experience of having overcome their substance abuse. They can help guide you through issues that may arise in living a sober life. It’s much easier to stay sober when you have support around you and people who can relate to you.

3) What Are “The Steps” and Why Do I Need a Sponsor?

“The Steps” as you will frequently hear are tools to help you live a sober life. They have been an effective approach in staying substance free for millions of people. Although they differ between AA and NA, the basic idea is the same. They are a resource to help you look at yourself and find root causes of your substance abuse. They further help you develop a new way of living a happy and sober life. The purpose of the sponsor is to guide you in doing these steps. You cannot take yourself through the steps, as you are the problem.

4) How Long Must I be Sober to Work at The Treatment Center?

We generally want alumni to have at least a year sober before working for The Treatment Center and the Teen Treatment Center. It’s best to stay involved with the alumni community and stay familiar with The Treatment Center, that way when a position opens, we’re able to let you know. We always love hiring alumni because they know our program the best and can help guide others on the same path.

5) What Can I Do for Fun When Sober?

There is plenty to do once sober. One big plus is that now you’ll have money to do many of the things you weren’t able to when you were using and drinking. If you’re an outdoors type, you’ll now be able to actually participate in sports, hiking, camping, golfing, and hunting without worrying about your next high or drink. Plus, you’ll be able to remember doing it. If you’re an indoors type, you can enjoy sporting events, museums, concerts, squash, reading, and dancing. These are just a few examples of sober activities.

If you’re an alumni of The Treatment Center, and want to know how to get more involved with the alumni community, contact us at (561) 876-8745 and follow our alumni page on Facebook for an alumni specific event or find out more information on our alumni page.

Building Trust and Meaningful Relationships in Recovery

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Building Trust and Meaningful Relationships in Recovery

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust, there can be no cohesive family unit and rebuilding trust for those recovering from an addiction is a process that can take many months or years. The disease of addiction creates imbalances in relationships and challenges the entire family system.

Families often experience a variety of emotions, unexpressed anger and pain, confusion, embarrassment, guilt, shame and fear. Added to this, are the physical and psychological symptoms such as loss of sleep, headaches, depression, helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, loss of concentration and great sorrow.

Managing the Unmanageable

Many times family members are so focused on the addict that they lose sight of their own needs. Many families have been deeply hurt by the actions of their loved ones; serious financial problems may have developed due to excessive spending, frequent work absences or loss of employment.

Extramarital affairs and untrustworthy behavior may have led to marital conflict. Major concerns and fears over verbal, emotional or physical abuse may have caused severe anxiety and lead a person to disguise their true feelings in order to manage the unmanageable. However, it is possible to heal the hurt that has been caused.

Restoring the Family Dynamic in Recovery

Addiction in the family need not destroy the family unit, family members can strengthen their relationships with one another by being willing to talk and explore new avenues of communication in an honest and open format. When the addicted family member begins their journey toward long-term sobriety, they will be more open to receiving your love, support and guidance.

Working through issues separately and together takes time, but relationships can be repaired. Exploring the dynamics within the family are key to opening the doors to change. Building family connections requires effective family communication; clear, honest and regular communication leads to strong family ties.

Addressing Enabling and Codependency

Exploring the dynamics of the family unit helps families to step back and recognize long-standing patterns of ineffective communication, codependency or conflict. These patterns may have started in childhood long before the addiction. When a child experiences inconsistent parenting, in an attempt to avoid upsetting the family homeostasis, they turn to people pleasing behavior.

This unhealthy dynamic may continue into adult life as a way of ensuring emotional danger is kept at bay. If emotions and fears cannot be expressed openly, children may develop destructive and impulsive behaviors in an attempt to conquer their pain. Feelings of low self worth and shame, and feelings of helplessness may overwhelm those living within an addicted family system. Despite well-meaning intentions, families may inadvertently become trapped in a cycle of enabling and codependency.

The Importance of Family Therapy

Family therapy is an essential part of your own and your loved one’s recovery. The Treatment Center understands and recognizes the importance of ongoing family therapy and makes it an integral part of The Treatment Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program. For families who live locally, we provide a monthly/bi-monthly Family Support Group.

The support group offers a safe place to explore the genetic, emotional and social factors that may have inadvertently led to a breakdown of family cohesion. Meeting with a therapist as a family can help improve communication among family members, rebalance the family dynamic and give family members a safe environment to express their anger, fear and other concerns.

Attending Family Workshops

Family therapy may also be helpful in preventing the children of addicts from succumbing to the disease themselves. The family connections that you learn to develop today will no doubt reflect the type of relationships you have with your family tomorrow.

For further information and/or registration, please contact me, family therapist, Judi Jenett. Assistance will also be provided with hotel reservations. You can contact me directly via email [email protected] or by calling 561-557-2797.

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.