How to treat Addiction Successfully
How to treat Addiction – What is the best way to treat addiction correctly?
How to treat Addiction Correctly – What is the best way to treat addiction successfully? This is a question that has been asked over and over for a very long time by many well versed, educated and well read individuals. My views are of course my own but I have had experience of treating addiction and observing different ways that others have gone about it, both from a professional perspective as a nurse and counsellor in the UK and as an addict and alcoholic in recovery myself. I believe that the combination of the two provides me with a good understanding of how this thing works from a reasonably educated and open-minded insider. The first thing I have to say is that no two people are exactly the same, we have similarities of course, ones which are vital to our understanding of addiction but we need to judge each person with absolutely zero preconceptions. This throws any ‘one size fits all’ notions of addiction treatment aside to begin with so that eliminates a lot of places that I am willing to work with. Until all treatment centres start adopting a client focused and not a mass focused approach to addiction treatment, nothing will change, we will all be judged by the same standards, our progress monitored alongside what people have been told is a benchmark for recovery, when in reality there is no benchmark. I believe that this fresh approach to client centred treatment needs to be adopted for every single person who is admitted, that’s what we do here at CapeRecovery and it is certainly what all of our chosen rehabs and treatment centres do. Making assumptions and generalisations about any addict coming for treatment is nonsense and life threatening, some of the people judged to be sailing through rehab go on to relapse the second they leave, sometimes the person who is the most difficult in rehab goes on to achieve a long term and authentic recovery. I know people in recovery who have remarkable stories to tell and no one backed them at the start, I also know people in recovery who have not changed and although the plaudits say that they have done well and got years of clean time, the evidence, their attitude and total lack of compassion for anyone but themselves, tells me otherwise and speaks volumes. This is the thing, we just don’t know, we need a blank canvas, a starting point, one which we will never get unless the one ingredient that I can work with is their, the willingness and total desire to change, we can work with that in anyone. Below are my idea of the top 5 things required for my personal recipe for how to treat addiction successfully, and what I believe to be the best way to treat addiction correctly.
What is the best way to treat addiction correctly?
Remember, this is only my opinion and based on nothing but having lived with a crippling addiction for 25 years and my work in the industry for many years. My point is, there is no quick fix, there is no one way or one wholly appropriate treatment. What I do believe though is that if we ensure we have the following five boxes ticked then we are giving every one of our clients the best possible chance of a full and life long recovery from all addictions, process addictions, dual-diagnosis issues and eating disorders. So, what are the key ingredients required for the best way to treat addiction successfully?
Here is the CapeRecovery 5 step approach:
1.) Client Centred Care – Everyone is different. Some ‘firefighting’ is necessary at the start, by this I mean dealing with the most obvious things first whilst keeping the person safe. Things like immediate health risks, dangerous environment or simply getting the person substance free! Stabilise, start with a fresh slate, focus on the individuals priorities and not anyone else’s.
2.) Desire – We can do very little about addiction until a desire and willingness to do what is told or suggested is present. We can encourage it by interventions and opening the addicts eyes to the harms they are causing to themselves and to others but until they decide it’s a good idea, it’s a non-starter really.
3.) Correct Placement and Quality Professional Support – I believe this is key to a successful recovery. Too many people are placed in an inappropriate environment with staff lacking in knowledge of their specific needs, this is a waste of both time and money and leads to distrust and confusion in the industry as a whole when people inevitably fail, in inappropriate placement you are literally setting the addict up to fail. Don’t go where you are told to go if you are not 100% happy, there may be hidden reasons for it being suggested, usually financial, seek impartial and professional advice. CapeRecovery are the only one’s that adopt this attitude towards all client placement, this is a sad state of affairs but it is true.
4.) Reasonable time in a supported environment – Again this is key, I am always being asked why the promised 21 day or months treatment ‘didn’t work’ and why the person re-lapsed on discharge. I tell people that’s because it doesn’t work, there is no quick fix to this disease, years and decades of damage are not simply undone in a month. People need to stop going into treatment until they have a full plan of lengthy support, we do full pre-assessments and plan the entire recovery journey before it even begins. This doesn’t mean it has to be vastly expensive and even that they must stay for months in an expensive rehab. It does mean however that a correct plan must be made and quality supported and lengthy sober living is what I believe to be the way forward. Stay for longer, 3, 6, 9 months or a year at a fraction of the average rehab rates. This leads to point 5.
5.) Surrounding oneself with the right people – This is probably the most important thing, once the crisis stage of addiction treatment is over and the client is stable and in the swing of things. For a while, we simply must be surrounded by positive people who want the best for us, this may mean cutting some people out of your life, it will certainly mean not revisiting certain places and things that make us vulnerable. There is no reasonable or logical reason for testing yourself in recovery, it makes no sense, authentic recovery is tough enough as it is!
The rest comes and over time, hope returns, with hope comes confidence and with confidence a new life becomes possible. That’s the CapeRecovery way, we can’t say we have all the answers on how to treat addiction correctly but at least we have ideas on a way to treat addiction successfully, things that work for us and more importantly, for our clients, so contact us today or check out one of the incredible CapeRecovery Experiences!