Substance abuse is a significant and prevalent problem in modern society. The abuse of alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs has had a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States, with no socioeconomic or other demographic group escaping unscathed.
The abuse of alcohol and other drugs leads to tolerance (requiring increasingly greater amounts of the drug in order to experience the high that previously resulted from smaller doses) and dependence (physical reliance upon the drug in order to forestall the onset of withdrawal symptoms). Depending upon the nature and severity of an individual’s substance abuse problem, the effects can range from dangerous to deadly.
Substance abuse and addiction are associated with a host of negative physical outcomes, including damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain, as well as injuries from slips, falls, car crashes, and other accidents. Individuals who are trapped by substance abuse and addiction also face a range of cognitive, emotional, and psychological problems, from temporary impairment to irreversible brain damage.
The impact of substance abuse is not limited to a person’s physical and mental health, as these behaviors are closely associated with damage to personal relationships, employment status, academic achievement, and financial well-being. Substance abuse is also a common contributing factor to a host of legal problems.
At Life Healing Center, we understand the devastation of substance abuse and addiction. More importantly, we know how to stop the destruction and put people back on the path to a healthier and much more promising future.
The Connection between Substance Abuse and Trauma
Substance abuse and addiction may be the result of myriad causes and precursors, such as both genetic and environmental factors, including trauma. Traumatic experiences that can trigger or lead to a substance abuse problem include abuse, neglect, serious accidents and illnesses, physical assault, grief/loss, verbal or online harassment, combat, and natural disasters. Some people turn to alcohol or other drugs later in life as a way to self-medicate unresolved trauma, such as abuse or assault, which occurred during childhood. In other cases, trauma survivors may begin abusing substances in order to cope with ongoing trauma, such as domestic violence or workplace harassment, or as the result of the death of a loved one. Regardless of how recent or long ago the original trauma occurred, attempting to treat the substance abuse problem without addressing the impact of trauma is likely to be an exercise in futility. In situations where a person’s substance abuse or addiction is related to unresolved trauma, Life Healing Center is uniquely prepared to provide the therapeutic intervention that will get results.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Watching a loved one struggle with a substance use disorder can be an excruciating experience. In many cases, this difficulty can be compounded by the confusion that the disease of addiction and a lack of information about possible solutions. The good news is that there are several steps that loved ones can take that may make a real and lasting difference in the life of an addicted friend or family member:
- Educate yourself. The first step toward finding a solution is understanding the specific nature of the problem. In the case of substance abuse, it is important to learn about the disease model of addiction, and to understand how any co-occurring disorders may be complicating the situation.
- Research treatment options. Realizing that a loved one may need to get help is an important first step, but it is just one of many steps that will need to be taken. As you learn more about your loved one’s condition, make sure that you are also discovering the types and levels of treatment that may best meet his or her needs.
- Be supportive. Your loved one is in a state of distress and may not be able to respond in what appears to be a healthy or productive manner. Understand that his or her responses will not always reflect actual hopes or feelings, but instead may be the manifestation of the symptoms of the disorder he or she is struggling with.
- Be realistic. Overcoming a substance abuse problem is not a simple endeavor. Do not expect that you will be able to solve your loved one’s problems merely by meaning well and acting in a supportive manner. There will be obstacles and setbacks. Make sure that you have realistic expectations regarding your loved one’s progress.
- Get help. Do not try to be the sole source of support for your loved one. Enlist other trusted friends and family members to form a support network – both for your loved one and for each other. Self-care is an essential component of caring for an individual in crisis.
To summarize this advice: Be compassionate, be consistent, be informed, and be realistic. Substance use disorders are challenging for both sufferers and loved ones. By approaching this challenge with information, compassion, and a dedication to being a long-term positive presence, you can play an essential role in improving the quality of your loved one’s life.
Types of Treatment Offered at Life Healing Center
Life Healing Center is a place of hope and renewal for adult men and women, ages 18 and above, who are struggling with substance use disorders, mental health conditions, issues relating to sex, love, and relationships, and the aftereffects of trauma. At Life Healing Center, patients benefit from a clinically sophisticated combination of traditional therapies and emerging methodologies, delivered in an atmosphere of dignity, discretion, and respect.
Life Healing Center features the following treatment programs:
- Our Empowerment Program provides a full spectrum of services for adult men and women who have suffered from trauma.
- Our Hope Program offers comprehensive care for adult men and women who are struggling with substance use disorders.
Within these core programs, Life Healing Center offers a range of treatment methods and therapeutic activities, which are combined to create truly personalized plans to address the unique needs of all patients. We are particularly adept at caring for complex patients who are struggling with co-occurring conditions that require clinically sophisticated courses of treatment. Our goal is not merely to provide superior treatment, but to customize that treatment in a manner that is most beneficial to each person who chooses to heal with us.
The following are among the services that may be incorporated into a patient’s personalized treatment plan at Life Healing Center:
Detoxification services: For patients who have been dealing with substance abuse and addiction, detoxification may be a necessary precursor to beginning the therapeutic phase of their residential treatment. Detox is the process of ridding a person’s body of the substance or substances to which he or she has become addicted. Depending upon several factors, including which drugs were abused, how long the abuse occurred, and the severity of the abuse, withdrawal can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. Our medically supervised detox allows patients to go through this process as safely and comfortably as possible.
Medication management: A board-certified adult psychiatrist completes thorough assessments on each Life Healing Center patient soon after the admissions process has been completed. If this assessment reveals a clinically appropriate need to incorporate medication into a patient’s treatment plan, the psychiatrist will be able to prescribe the medication, monitor its use, and meet with the patient throughout his or her time in treatment to ensure that the medication is having the proper effect. A client’s medication use will also be monitored and facilitated by members of our nursing and medical technician staff.
Individual therapy: Personal one-on-one therapy sessions between a patient and his or her primary therapist will occur at regularly scheduled intervals throughout the duration of the patient’s stay at Life Healing Center. These individual therapy sessions are a fundamental component of each patient’s treatment plan, providing ideal opportunities to evaluate progress, process setbacks, review goals, and address any other issues that are important to the patient. Depending upon the needs of the patient, additional individual therapy sessions may be added to the schedule on an as-needed basis.
Family therapy: Family can play an essential role in long-term recovery, and Life Healing Center is dedicated to providing the necessary support to promote healthy and positive intra-familial relations. As with all services at Life Healing Center, family therapy will be conducted when it has been determined to be appropriate for the patient’s continued progress. The number of family therapy sessions, the frequency with which they are conducted, and the topics addressed during these sessions will also be determined by clinical appropriateness.
Group therapy: As is the case with individual therapy, group therapy sessions are also fundamental elements of the Life Healing Center treatment experience. All patients will participate in several types of group therapy, which provide unique opportunities to complement and build upon progress that has been made in individual therapy sessions and other therapeutic activities. Group therapy allows patients to learn from the experiences of others, to share their perspective and insights with others, and to gain information on a wide range of topics that are important to the treatment and recovery process. The following are among the more common topics and issues that are addressed in group therapy sessions at Life Healing Center:
- Understanding the disease model of addiction
- Learning to prevent relapse
- Overcoming shame and guilt
- Living a healthy lifestyle
- Living a balanced life
- Preventing and resolving conflict
- Learning to regulate one’s emotions
- Developing effective communication skills
- Trust and acceptance
- Preparing for life after discharge
Experiential therapy: Therapeutic opportunities at Life Healing Center are not limited to traditional “talk therapies.” Experiential therapy provides patients with the opportunity to address important issues and develop recovery-related skills and strategies while participating in a variety of expressive and creative endeavors. The following are four types of experiential therapy offered at Life Healing Center:
- Group equine therapy
- Movement therapy
- Group art therapy
Ancillary therapies: Substance abuse patients who participate in the Hope Program also have the opportunity to participate in a number of ancillary therapeutic experiences during their time at Life Healing Center. Depending upon clinical appropriateness and the specific needs of the patient, the following are among the ancillary services that may be incorporated into his or her treatment plan:
- Individual equine therapy
- Individual art therapy
- Somatic experiencing
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Discharge Planning and Continuing Care
Residential treatment can be an essential first step on an individual’s path toward long-term recovery but, at Life Healing Center, we are well aware that this is only the first of many steps. For that reason, the process of preparing for life after discharge begins on the day a patient first arrives on our campus and continues throughout his or her time with us.
In addition to the personal planning that occurs in one-on-one sessions between patients and their therapists, discharge-focused group sessions also provide essential insights into best practices for establishing, evaluating, and maintaining an effective continuing care plan after a patient has completed the residential phase of his or her recovery.
The specific contents of each patient’s continuing care plan will depend upon his or her specific situation. However, certain elements will be featured in all plans. For example, each patient’s continuing care plan will include information related to maintaining his or her recovery, including support groups in the area, referrals to therapists or other community-based services, a relapse prevention plan, and (if the family has been involved in the treatment process) a family plan for ongoing support.
As with all facets of treatment at Life Healing Center, discharge planning is a collaborative effort between the patient and members of his or her treatment team. All patients are both encouraged and expected to play active roles in their treatment and recovery, and it is essential that they be fully engaged in preparing for their discharge.
If you or your loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem and any related or co-occurring conditions, Life Healing Center may be uniquely prepared to provide you with the solutions you have been searching for. To learn more about how we can help you or your loved one achieve the promising future that you both desire and deserve, please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.