One of the principle causes of relapse is thinking that you don’t need help, or that you can manage recovery on your own. We hear lots of people say:
I understand how to manage my recovery. I don’t need a counselor or a sponsor.”
Relapse begins the moment a person in recovery thinks they can outsmart their addiction. Remember, alcoholics and addicts are handicapped by an addicted brain which has developed the neurological wiring to respond to a disease that is very cleaver.
The people who do best in recovery are those who realize their weaknesses. They are willing to ask for help and accept it. They practice surrendering their will in order to rely on the strength offered to them through programs like AA, NA, or Celebrate Recovery – programs that recognize a need for a spiritual solution to addiction by having the humility to depend on a “power greater than ourselves.”
By Michael Campbell
Like any chronic disease, addiction needs to be treated; however, the answers do not lie in quick fixes. Overcoming addiction requires learning the tools, strategies and behaviors that enable someone to manage life without resorting to drugs or alcohol as the easy answer. Help is important, because the addicted person must learn to think, act, and behave differently.
There are many types of treatment, including residential programs (i.e. inpatient facilities). The benefits of residential treatment include keeping the addict in a safe environment, away from triggers to drink or use, and away from access to their drug of choice. It also gives the addict a community with constant monitoring that allows staff to observe and address dysfunctional behavior patterns that are associated with, or reinforce, the addiction.
Research tells us the best results come from an intensive program that helps people better understand their feelings and find new ways of coping with stress, conflict, anger and emotional issues.
To be thorough and effective, treatment should include:
- Recovery Education to correct old patterns of pessimistic thinking and emotional suppression, and provide important life skills to establish healthy boundaries, manage stress and pain, & improve problem solving and conflict resolution.
- Individual Counseling to identify and learn to manage co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, etc.
- Group Counseling to share personal experiences with peers, and learn to appreciate similarities and differences in their beliefs, thoughts and feelings.
- Family Counseling to educate the family about the disease of addiction, identify unhealthy patterns and begin to develop better family dynamics.
- 12 Step Groups to interact with those who have struggled with addiction and learned from their personal experiences.
- Relapse Prevention Groups to identify triggers to drink or use, and to learn which behaviors lead to relapse.
Recovery also requires the discipline to work on staying clean and sober every day. To succeed in treatment, the addict or alcoholic must ignore his pride and the belief; “I can do it on my own.” Success lies in accepting the help and support of others, especially from those currently living a life of recovery…
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
By Michael Campbell
Posted by Michael Campbell under Miscellaneous
For some people the main obstacle keeping them from entering addiction rehab is their job. How do they tell their boss? What do they say to co-workers? Will they be fired? Fortunately the answers are often easier than they think. At St. Joseph Institute, we take care of most communication with the employer.
For those people who work in an organization with more than 50 employees and have been employed a year or more, their job is well protected. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of leave for medical reasons while protecting your job and your confidentiality. The process is simple. We call the Human Resources department on your behalf, advise that you need to take medical leave and request the paperwork. Discussions with the HR staff are protected by confidentiality laws and very few personal details are disclosed. The HR staff is directed to inform your supervisor that you are “taking medical leave” and no more information is disclosed. A government form is completed and leave is granted.
In larger organizations, the process is even more confidential because they often have an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) which manages these requests. We communicate directly with the EAP, and the employer receives no confidential information. The same process is used when applying for short term disability. Confidential information never goes beyond the HR staff and employment is well protected.
In smaller organizations, or when an individual has been employed for less than one year, a discussion needs to take place with the person in the organization responsible for HR. We secure a commitment to keep the information confidential before we disclose the employee’s name. As with FMLA, supervisors and colleagues should not hear more than the statement “they are on medical leave.” There is never an obligation to disclose more information to colleagues or supervisors unless by choice.
We have found that employers are very supportive of people seeking help to improve their lives and get well. In our experience, employers will often go the extra mile to provide benefits and support that exceed the written contracts.
The bottom line: don’t let job concerns prevent you from getting the help you need. Getting caught using on the job or performing below expectations is where the real trouble lies. Take the initiative to start treatment. We will take care of the paperwork.
By Michael Campbell