Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Focus On Recovery – A Lifestyle Transformation

Four BDR graduates find that overcoming addiction is much more than just getting clean and sober. Here are their stories.

Struggling with addiction is an extremely difficult time for any person to go through. A hectic lifestyle, often plagued by legal troubles, wreaks havoc on the emotional health of individual, as well as their friends and family. Many times, there are countless lies and dishonesty, theft, isolation, broken promises, mistrust – countless ways that relationships can be damaged and families torn apart. The heartache becomes too much to bear, and the individual or their loved ones finally seek out professional help.

But this can be a difficult prospect in itself. Many people simply have no idea where to turn, and the options available can be overwhelming. They don’t understand that there are many different methods of rehabilitation, many paths to overcoming addiction, and may even believe that they are all the same. They don’t know how important it is to make sure that the treatment center is a good fit for the individual. All they know is that they can’t live like this anymore, and that they are looking for a way to fix it.

One of the biggest problems that people have when they are fighting against their addictive behaviors, and one of the biggest causes of relapse, is the idea that rehabilitation is a “quick fix” for someone struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. It is anything but. Overcoming addiction is a tough road to travel, and requires hard work and dedication. Without making a personal commitment to recovery, no program or facility is going to be able to help someone beat his or her addiction. There is no such thing as a “quick fix”, and not all recovery programs and treatment facilities are the same.

The addiction treatment strategy at Best Drug Rehabilitation was developed taking this into account. We don’t just focus on helping our patients to get clean and sober. We help them to find the tools and skills that will help them to achieve long-term sobriety. By addressing the causes of their addictive behaviors, such as past traumas, rather than the symptoms of those behaviors – the actual abuse of drugs or alcohol – we are really focusing on recovery, not just on sobriety.

If the focus of a program is just to quit using drugs or alcohol, the chances of relapse are much, much higher. This was a lesson that Jenna, a recent graduate of the BDR program, learned the hard way. She had actually been clean for 14 months before a relapse hit her hard, devastating her family. Through her treatment at our rehabilitation center, Jenna made a startling discovery. “I didn’t have a whole lot of self-worth,” she admits. “I have a beautiful three year old boy at home. I was doing it all for him and for my husband. That doesn’t work. I thought ‘If everybody else approved of what Jenna was doing, I’d be okay’. That wasn’t what it was supposed to be.”

Jenna realized that she had been going about it wrong. Her main focus was the happiness of her family, rather than focusing on her active recovery from addiction. Repairing the damaged relationships that have resulted from a person’s substance abuse is important, but the main focus in recovery must be on the individual. If they are healthy, happy, and have found inner peace, the rest will follow. Jenna discovered that she needed to work on herself first. “As hard as it is, I’m going to go straight from here and go to sober living,” she says. “It’s not easy, but whatever is easy in life doesn’t mean that’s the right choice. Sure, it’d be easy to pop back home. But it was easy to pop a pill.”

 

Cerisse made a similar discovery when, after many years of being clean and sober, she got a little too comfortable. “I do have 12 years free from heroin right now,” she says. “I thought I was ok. I started drinking a glass of wine at night, which was ok at first, and then it turned into me hiding alcohol from my husband.” Despite all of her efforts to hide her drinking, Cerisse’s husband knew what was going on. He approached her about it, and they both agreed that she needed to get help.

Cerisse had stopped focusing on her sobriety and staying clean. She thought she had been “cured”. But, she discovered what so many others have before her – there is no “quick fix” for addiction. During her time at our treatment center, she realized that recovery is about learning how to live life and handle daily stress without using drugs or alcohol to cope. It is about handling issues and negative emotions in a positive way, and addressing the causes of her substance abuse rather than just the symptoms. “My advice to others is that there is hope,” she offers. “It can be done, it’s just something that you have to work at on a day-to-day basis. There is hope out there, you just have to be ready to make that change.”

 

 

Many of the patients that we see in our recovery center are in a hopeless and despairing emotional state. Kyle, who had been using drugs and alcohol since he was only 10 years old, was one of them. His drug use had progressed further and further over the years, and he had lost all hope. “Many times I would lie in bed after using and I just didn’t feel like living anymore,” he admits. His wife and daughter knew something was wrong, and they approached him about it. Kyle was flatly honest with them, and together they searched for help.

When Kyle got to BDR, he was still struggling, and he was unsure of just how much help our program would be to him, a middle-aged man who had been using for much longer than he had not been. He noticed that he was older than some of the other patients, and this worried him at first. He soon realized that he had no reason to worry. “I think the greatest thing about this place is the peers,” he says. “Initially, I thought that I didn’t want to be around the kids here, but I’ve learned more from those kids.” Kyle now understands that, no matter how young or old a person may be, as long as we keep our focus on recovery, everyone has something to teach.

 

 

How does the Best Drug Rehabilitation substance abuse treatment strategy keep such an intensive focus on actual recovery rather than just getting clean and sober? A big part of what makes our treatment plan so effective is the wide variety of program options that we offer for our patients to choose from. Each person is a unique individual, traveling unique journeys through life. Each will have different needs and find different things to be more beneficial as make their own unique journeys through the recovery process. Graham, another amazing graduate of the BDR program, explains: “The fact that I got to choose was really appealing to me because a lot of the places that you go, they choose for you, or it’s strictly a 12-Step program or SMART Recovery program. You have choices here.” He was able to focus on his own recovery at his own pace and in the way that he found, with guidance from his counselor and case manager, to be best suited to his individual needs. Graham gained a sense of confidence in himself and in his recovery, and he understands that maintaining sobriety is a personal responsibility. Like all of our graduates, he knows that there is no such thing as a “quick fix” for addiction, and that if he wants to stay substance-free, he must continuously focus on recovery.

 

If I Relapse, Do I Have to Start Recovery Over

If I Relapse, Do I Have to Start Treatment Over?

Treatment is one of the hardest and most rewarding things someone with a substance abuse problem can do for themselves. As with most journeys in life, recovery can come with setbacks. Without the right support system in place those setbacks can lead to relapse. It’s important for anyone in recovery to know the difference between a slip and relapse, and to know what to do if either occurs.

Slip Versus Relapse

When someone suffering from substance abuse experiences a slip, it typically occurs either against their knowledge or in an extreme moment of weakness. When the slip is realized there is a sense of remorse and a renewed dedication to sobriety. Relapse is not simply a one-time event, but is instead, continued use and a complete abandonment of the rehabilitation principles and sobriety. Relapse can often begin with an unintended slip and then escalate into a calculated break from treatment. When going through a slip it’s important to forgive the moment of weakness and understand that is all it is, a moment of weakness that does not have to happen again. Self-forgiveness and returning to treatment can keep a singular event from becoming a slippery slope to complete relapse.

Does Treatment End With Relapse?

The statistics for relapse are, frankly, alarming. That is unless you understand the instances between chronic disease treatment and relapse in general. The National Institute of Drug Abuse claims the rate of relapse is somewhere between 40 and 60 percent. Those numbers are high and may even deter someone from entering rehab because they feel the situation is hopeless. The important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease and the rate of relapse is similar to that of other diseases. The key is continued treatment and a commitment to recovery. Relapse does not indicate treatment failure, but simply the body’s resistance to recovery. Much in the same way the body may resist healing treatment with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon or a treatment failure for an addict to relapse in recovery. Continued treatment despite a relapse is the best response.

What to Do If Relapse Occurs

If relapse occurs it is important to seek continued treatment. While it’s never a good idea to enter treatment with the idea that relapse is acceptable or to be expected, it’s also not a good idea to turn away from treatment in the face of a relapse. Having a strong support system can help an addict realize that they have value and that it’s worth continuing treatment despite the relapse. Just because this has occurred does not mean that treatment has to start over from the beginning. For some individuals beginning again may be the most therapeutic, where others can pick up at a point in the treatment process where they feel they need to make more progress.

Why Does Relapse Happen?

Addiction is a disease that has altered the brain in a negative way. Treatment seeks to alter the brain in a positive way. Relapse occurs because even though the brain is learning alternate responses to using, the area of the brain that controls these responses fails during a time of need. It takes time for the appropriate responses to become automatic. For many it will never become automatic but they will experience a moment of choice, where they understand that they have options. Before treatment they never felt they had a choice because their brain didn’t know how. The damage that occurs to the brain during substance abuse can be extreme; it’s unlikely that treatment will ever be able to restore the brain to its pre-damaged state. What is possible is that treatment and time away from the substance allows the brain and body time to heal and create new behavioral patterns. The brain can be retrained to have different responses to cravings and events that were triggers prompting substance use.

Addiction is a painful disease that requires ongoing treatment. If given a choice, inpatient treatment is ideal for all types of substance recovery. It’s easier to focus on recovery without the outside world getting in the way. Leaving the safety of the sober environment can be terrifying and leave a person feeling vulnerable. Inpatient facilities will help ease the patient back into society while maintaining the safety of the treatment environment. While relapse is a risk regardless of treatment location, inpatient centers are better able to equip patients with the tools and aftercare support necessary to help all who suffer from addiction beat the odds.

Choosing the Right Aftercare Plan

Choosing the Right Aftercare Plan

When a person is involved with a substance abuse rehabilitation program, they learn many things. An addict is taught how to handle and resolve a variety of mental, emotional and physical effects from their addiction. Even after a treatment
program is completed, an addict could return to a toxic home environment. This could cause them problems. The recovering addict may get involved in situations that cause them to have intense cravings. This is something that could lead them to have a relapse. One way to prevent this is with an effective aftercare program.

Aftercare

A survey on substance abuse and health was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The results showed that over 23 million individuals 12 years of age or older need treatment for substance abuse. Some treatment facilities claim to have success rates of over 80 percent. Much of this success is attributed to providing successful aftercare programs. These programs are made to assist people as they transition from rehabilitation treatment to their usual home routines and environment. They can assist a person with overcoming any unexpected challenges or difficulties they may experience during recovery.

Aftercare Plans

It’s essential for an aftercare plan to be designed to meet the different aspects of a person’s life. The most effective
aftercare plans can be determined by a recovering addict and their substance abuse counselor or addiction specialist. This must happen prior to their discharge from a treatment program. The details of a plan depend on what the addict needs to maintain their sobriety. The addict’s community and home environment should all be taken into consideration. Every possible risk for a relapse must be identified. Without such a plan in place, the chances of a relapse increase significantly. An effective aftercare treatment program will address anticipated issues that could cause a relapse.

Group Counseling

In many cases, successful aftercare treatment involves group meetings. This provides a situation where people recovering from addiction are able to share their frustrations with others facing similar situations. They will be able to get the support and encouragement from people who understand from personal experience. This often provides a person dealing with recovery a chance to learn new tools to properly handle their addiction.

Family Counseling

Many successful aftercare programs also involve a person’s family. Many families are willing to work on the dynamics that
created an addictive environment. Family members are often open to finding ways of handing the challenges associated with a loved one recovering from substance abuse. This could involve family therapy sessions dedicated to addressing issues and more.

Individual Counseling

As a person recovering from addiction tries to return to their routine, they will experience many different challenges. Being
newly sober in an old environment is not easy. Many return to situations that caused them to begin their substance abuse.
Individual counseling is able to provide a recovering addict with an environment where they can feel safe to discuss the things
they struggle with on a daily basis. They can get direct answers to their questions on how to overcome their addiction.

Sober Living Residences

There are situations where a person has a very toxic home environment. Their sobriety may depend on not putting themselves back in such a situation. Sober living homes are able to provide successful aftercare treatment for such individuals. It will provide them with a clean, safe and sober environment to help with their recovery. They will be required to share the responsibilities of the home with other residents. A sober living home usually doesn’t provide rehabilitation or counseling services on site. They are able to recommend places for these services to their residents.

Education Counseling

It’s important for a recovering addict to understand how behaviors and environments can cause a person to abuse drugs or alcohol and become an addict. This knowledge often helps a person comprehend what has happened to them. This helps them continue their sobriety. The goal is to help addicts realize that substance abuse will not solve their problems. They need to realize it will only create a number of new problems in their life. It’s also important to educate an addict on the alternate solutions available to handle their life’s challenges.

Relapse Risk

Studies have shown that approximately half of the individuals who complete a treatment program will at some point relapse into their addiction. Many people who relapse don’t have another opportunity for recovery. Research has also shown that relapse can be prevented in most circumstances. The greatest chance for a person to relapse is two months following the completion of a rehabilitation program. The risk continues to be high during the initial five years after starting recovery.

Seek Treatment

The needs of every recovering addict are unique. A properly structured rehabilitation program, as well as aftercare program,
provide the greatest chance for success. Aftercare services are designed to help people deal with their individual situations.
Anyone who feels they have a substance abuse problem should seek treatment and get the help they need.

How Teens Can Fight Peer Pressure to Do Drugs

How Teens Can Fight the Peer Pressure to Do Drugs

Teens dealing with the peer pressure regarding drugs in school is more than common. It’s easy for some kids to be exposed to drugs depending on who their classmates are and what kind of neighborhood they are in. The problem is that most parents aren’t proactive against the problem. They simply believe that teens can handle the pressure, but taking precautions can make a world of difference to how they feel and if they can overcome the issue.

Educate Them About the Consequences of Drugs

Parents of teenagers should strive to handle the job of teaching their children about drugs upfront. Don’t be scared as a parent to talk about these subjects. Educating them about the consequences can make a big difference to how receptive they are when the temptations to try drugs out comes along. It can be hard not to know whether they are being threatened with drugs or not, but the key is just to educate them.

Staying Active After School

Staying active is not always easy, so that’s why you really need to get your kids active and going. When they are done at school, try to get them moving and in a sport or activity. Anything to get them off the street or lurking around the neighborhood doing nothing. Being in a sport can help maintain the ability to be active, alongside meeting fellow teens outside of school who are also in the same sport or activity. Keeping them away from being idle can be amazingly helpful.

Introduce Them to Different Activities

It doesn’t always have to be a sport that they take part in. It could be going to the gym, taking a Karate class, learning how to paint, taking singing lessons, or even a dance class. Enroll your child in different things to see what they are most interested in because doing so can give them that opportunity to strive for something more. This can help focus on them improving their confidence, self-esteem, and self-image, which can in turn improve their lives.

Provide Adequate Support Daily

Parents should strive to be their child’s moral support. Be wise with what you say to your child that may possibly damage their self-esteem and confidence. A single phrase that you say can highly affect their self-worth, and it may cause future problems when brought the opportunity to use drugs. Parents should be more supportive and kind, and simply being there for your kid can make a world of difference to how they see themselves and their world.

Monitor Their Lives While Giving Space

It’s important that you monitor their lives whenever you can. Doing so can give you the chance to stay updated on their lives. Whether it’s what they do on their phones or computers, you want to give them space while also trying to see what they are up to because you don’t want them veering off in the wrong direction.

Develop a Relationship

The way to combat any type of issue, whether it be about drugs, sex, alcohol, or any kind of abuse in their life, is to make sure you keep a good relationship with them. You want to authorize yourself as a parent while making it known to your kids that they can talk to you about what’s happening in their lives. Sometimes, it can be stressful to deal with the problems that arise from drugs in teens who have already made the mistake. For those who have gotten into drugs, going to a treatment center is the way to go.

Benefits of a Treatment Center for Teens on Drugs

The main benefits of going to a treatment center is the fact that the teen can receive personal help with powerful strategies to tackle their issues. Whether it was being pressured by classmates in school or doing it on accident, treatment centers can dive into the natural reason as to why they got started with the drugs.The personal one-on-one sessions can be very therapeutic and can inspire many to continue their lives. Treatment centers are always capable of inspiring and helping anybody of any age with their drug issues.

Going to a treatment center can guide a teenager to the right path to recovery. Everything from recovery sessions to private therapy, it’s the safest route to breaking the addiction.

Seeking help whenever possible is the best way to go if your teen has gone wayward with drugs. It’s best to prevent the issue, and you can do that by simply being a more aware parent. Be more aware of what they do in their daily lives and keep that open relationship so your child can know that they can speak to you if ever they do deal with drugs.

 

How to Stop the Vicious Cycle of Opioid Abuse

How to Stop the Vicious Cycle of Opioid Abuse

 

These days, many people find themselves in the troublesome grip of opioid abuse. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that somewhere between 26.4 and 36 million people abuse opioids across the globe. In the United States, roughly 2.1 million people are suffering from addiction to opioids. Nevertheless, individuals who are interested in escaping the deadly grasp of opioids can break the vicious cycle of abuse. Utilize the helpful hints and strategies outlined here to get your recovery process going and growing right now.

Enroll in a Professional Rehab Facility

One of the most important steps to take when you’re ready to stop the vicious cycle of opioid abuse is enrollment in a professional inpatient rehab facility. In this setting, you will obtain a diverse array of treatment services that help you overcome the mental, physical, and spiritual hold that drugs have over you. Some of the treatment services offered in the rehab facility include:

• individual counseling
• group counseling
• nutritional counseling
• mentorship
• restorative exercise (taebo, yoga, etc.)

Remember that attempting to stop the recovery process in isolation is dangerous and oftentimes fails to yield substantive, long-term results. Attaining treatment services in the presence of industry professionals with extensive education and experience in the drug recovery field will almost always yield more significant results.

Examine Your Environment

At some point, individuals who enroll in a treatment facility for opioid abuse will be released. At this time, it will be important for the recovering addict to optimize her or his environment. Doing so will help decrease the likelihood of a relapse into the world of drug addiction. In many cases, there are individuals within the former addict’s personal or professional setting who subtly or overtly encourage her or him to use opioids. If this is the case for you, it’s important to know that these relationships should be temporarily suspended until you are confident and secure in your ability to abstain from opioid abuse. In some cases, individuals may find it necessary to end these relationships permanently.

Optimize Your Eating Habits

Opioid abuse can and does have a profoundly adverse impact on your mind and body. To ensure that recovery is permanent, you should get in the habit of eating well. Replenishing your body with the right food accelerates and optimizes the recovery process while also enabling you to connect with a new and different mode of living that helps place distance between you and the past of addiction. There are numerous ways that you can get on the road to eating optimally, and one of them is by recording your nutritional and caloric intake through online food journals such as www.cronometer.com. You may also want to consider hiring a nutritionist to develop a customized meal plan for you.

Seek Support

People who attempt to recover from a drug addiction in isolation are less successful in realizing the goal. As such, it will be important for you to seek support as you go through the stages of recovery. There are numerous sources of support that you can utilize during this time, including a local church, mosque, or a mentor.

Don’t Delay: Stop The Vicious Cycle Of Opioid Abuse Today!

If you’ve been struggling with opioid abuse but are now ready to stop the vicious cycle of addiction, now is the time to implement techniques that will facilitate long-term recovery. Some of the strategies that you can implement to get on the road to recovery now include enrolling in a professional rehab facility, examining your environment, optimizing your eating habits, and seeking support. By implementing these techniques synergistically, you can expedite and optimize your recovery process.

Making Tough Choices | How to Select an Effective Rehab Center

There are many options when it comes to rehabilitation programs and facilities – finding the right one for you or a loved one can be difficult and overwhelming

Recovery from addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can ever go through. To be certain, the hardest step in overcoming addiction is the very first one – understanding and acknowledging that there is a problem with drugs and alcohol and that help is needed. However, not everything that follows is smooth sailing. From repairing the physical damage caused by long-term substance abuse to uncovering and addressing the underlying causes of addictive behaviors, to learning how to build healthy and functioning relationships and dealing with reemerging emotions, the path to recovery has plenty of obstacles to overcome.

Before we even get to any of that, there is a very important decision to be made – researching and selecting an effective treatment program at a professional rehabilitation center. This decision can have a profound impact on the success of the individual that is struggling with addiction. It is vital that we have an understanding of exactly what is offered and how it will benefit their recovery.

There are so many options in treatment available to a person that deciding on a treatment center can be overwhelming. Every person is different, and will respond differently to any particular method of treatment. Without knowing what to look for or which questions to ask, it is entirely possible that a person may end up selecting a program or treatment center that isn’t going to fit their needs.

 

 

This is part of the reason why the treatment program at Best Drug Rehabilitation was developed. We realized that different people would find different methods of rehabilitation to be more beneficial to them. So, rather than put each individual through the same “cookie-cutter” program, we decided to give them a choice in treatment. We offer a variety of options that allow each patient to decide which path to recovery they will travel. “I think the main reason that we’re better is because of the program options that we have,” says Casey, one of the Case Managers at BDR. “There’s three main ones that you can choose, and then we have a bunch of different Tracks and 12-Steps that you can do, from traditional to Native American and Buddhist.”

Another problem that many people have in different rehabilitation programs is that they are rushed through the program in order to fit into a certain timeframe. At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we base our patients’ progress through their individualized programs on results rather than expecting them to fit into any 30-, 60-, or 90-day period. Some will work at a faster pace, while others will need more time to get through the process. This also gives the patient an opportunity to explore all of our treatment options to find the best one for their individual needs. “I finished SMART Recovery last week, and decided to take another program,” says Jeremy, a patient at BDR. “That’s great, because I felt I wasn’t ready and they’re not going to be like ‘Well, ok, time to go’. They do care.”

Jeremy has had a history of addiction, recovery, and relapse. Having been through a couple of different rehab centers, and in and out of recovery since he was 18, he has a unique insight into what works in a treatment facility. For him, aside from the various options that we offer and the freedom to take as much time as he needs to work through his program, one of the most important characteristics of our rehabilitation facility is the compassion that our staff shows for our patients. “I feel like a rehab really needs a caring honest staff,” he observes. “Staff who knows or has dealt with it firsthand is always better.”

Many of our staff members have been through the recovery process themselves, or have witnessed a loved on in their struggle with addiction. Having that firsthand experience with addiction and recovery means that our staff has a deeper understanding of exactly what our patients are going through, and allows them to be able to connect with each patient on a more personal level. From counselors and case managers to group facilitators and even our kitchen staff, each member of the Best Drug Rehabilitation family has made a personal investment in the success of every patient that comes to us seeking help in overcoming addiction.

Sifting through the many different options in treatment programs and recovery centers can seem like a daunting task, and many are overwhelmed by the idea of it. This can lead to poor decisions being made, as some may just think to themselves “Any program is better than no program at all”. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if the program doesn’t fit the needs of the individual, they might believe that it is their fault – that they failed rather then the program failed them. This could lead down a path of self-doubt, where many may think that rehabilitation simply won’t work for them.

This is a dangerous way of thinking that could end up being deadly in the end. That is why it is so important to make sure that the program or facility that you choose offers what you or your loved one really needs – a path to recovery from addiction that can address the individual needs of any individual that needs help overcoming addiction. At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we believe that we have found a better way to recovery. Our unique program is designed to be adaptable to the needs of any individual, regardless of age, gender, race, or personal spiritual beliefs. Our patients find a path to a happier and more positive lifestyle that works best for them.

A Day At The Beach – Best Drug Rehabilitation Celebrates Memorial Day

Taking a welcomed break from the often-difficult recovery process, BDR patients and staff observed Memorial Day on the shores of Lake Michigan

Addiction is a tough road to travel, and overcoming it is no picnic either. While it is ultimately worth all of the effort and difficulty, recovery is not an easy task. It is stressful, and there are plenty of obstacles to surpass. From going through withdrawal and repairing the physical damage caused by long-term substance abuse, to uncovering and addressing the underlying causes of a person’s addictive behaviors, to learning how to handle reemerging emotions, numbed by months or years of drug or alcohol abuse, in a positive and productive manner, every part of the rehabilitation process has something to deal with.

While our patients’ progress through their treatment program is of the highest priority at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we also understand the benefit of taking some time to step away from the recovery process to relax, unwind, and blow off some steam. Often, especially when facing a particularly tough part of the program, focusing on something else for a while can allow the patient to return to their program feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and better able to work through whatever might be causing them difficulty.

We offer our patients many opportunities to do this throughout their stay at our treatment center. There is some amount of free time available to them each day to socialize or to reflect on their recovery. There are also community outreach events that they have the option of participating in, such as charity fundraising 5K walks or volunteering at the local animal shelter in Manistee, MI, where our facility is located. Additionally, during the observance of certain major holidays, we will often plan special functions or outings for our patients.

This past Memorial Day, that national holiday where we honor those fallen soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedom, many of our patients and staff members headed to the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan for a day of fun, food, and fellowship in the sand. We could think of no better way to honor those brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom than to enjoy that freedom to its fullest.

That isn’t the only freedom that our patients were celebrating. They were celebrating the freedom that they discovered in the rooms and hallways of our recovery center – freedom from the addiction that led them to our doors. They were celebrating their newfound ability to enjoy the things that the world has to offer them, and to handle the stress of daily life in a positive and productive manner. They were celebrating the optimism and hope that they now have for their future.

The weather was beautiful, as the last days of the often-chilly Michigan Springtime began to give way to the warmer days of summer. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, we fired up the grill for a feast of the traditional American cookout fare, complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and everything else one would expect to find at a lakeside picnic on Memorial Day. Playing volleyball, walking in the surf, or simply enjoying the feeling of bright, warm sunshine on their skin, the patients and staff were all smiles. On a day where many of them would have been reveling in their intoxication a year ago, they discovered that it is more enjoyable and fulfilling to experience life for what it is, without that foggy haze of drugs and alcohol dimming their memories.

On the surface, this fun day at the beach may seem like just a quick break from the recovery program to let loose and clear the head, but the patients are also learning a less obvious lesson that will help in their continued sobriety after they graduate from our treatment center. “I think it’s a really good thing to not have drugs or alcohol clouding up your mind when you go out on a day like today, and have fun and enjoy the holidays,” explains Jamie Rossi, the Director of Training at BDR. “Everybody’s not drinking and people aren’t using drugs – they see that ‘Hey, we can have fun. We can enjoy life. This is what life really is.’”

Yet another added benefit to day trips like the Memorial Day cookout at Lake Michigan is the personal interaction that our patients have with each other. They have grown close during their time at our recovery center, and have gained an incredible amount of strength and support from each other. Taking a day to enjoy life, and to enjoy the company of others, strengthens the bonds of friendship that are still being formed. That connection with others helps our patients to learn how to form healthy and functioning relationships, and to repair the damage that their substance abuse may have caused to other relationships in their lives.

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we aren’t just offering our patients a way to get clean and sober. We provide a thorough and effective recovery strategy that brings about a complete lifestyle transformation that will help them to stay clean and sober in the long term. With the various options that we offer in treatment method, the wide array of supplemental groups and life skills courses, and the opportunity to discover practical applications of the concepts and ideas learned through the recovery process, our patients are able to find the path to overcoming addiction that will work best for their individual needs. They gain a sense of self-confidence in their recovery, and an understanding of the level of personal responsibility that they hold in their sobriety. They find an inner peace and serenity, and the strength within to work towards a brighter future full of hope and promise, free from the bonds of addiction.

How to Identify the Signs of a Possible Relapse

Graduation from the Best Drug Rehabilitation program is only the first part of a lifelong path to recovery from addiction

The simple truth about rehabilitation is that it is not a “cure” or a “fix” for addiction. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. It is a journey, not a destination. Rehabilitation is just one chapter in the story of life, but recovery is the rest of that story. Successful recovery from addiction requires daily work and effort. The obstacles will always pop up, and the stress of daily life will always be present. Rehabilitation is a way to learn how to handle those stresses and face those obstacles without resorting to using drugs or alcohol.

For many people who are on the path to recovery from addiction, relapse is an inevitable occurrence. This is not true for everybody, but it is certainly true in plenty of cases. One thing that we must remember is that relapse is not a failure. It isn’t the end of recovery. Albert Einstein once said, “You never fail until you stop trying.” This is especially true in cases of relapse. Rather than looking at relapse as an unsuccessful attempt at sobriety, it must be looked at as an opportunity to get it right the next time.

While relapse might seem inevitable for some, many may be able to avoid the issue entirely by knowing the signs of a possible relapse and being able to identify the potential for backsliding into the old habits and addictive behaviors. Recognizing these indicators might mean the difference between relapse and continued sobriety. They include behavioral changes, certain painful or traumatic events that are tough to process emotionally, and even the perception of others, imagined or not – all of these are things that can push a person over the edge and back into their old habits.

“Some of the signs that would show a person is going into relapse would be getting overtired, trying to do things on their own, and not being with other recovering people,” explains Julie, a counselor at Best Drug Rehabilitation. “Normally, a relapse starts a few weeks before they pick up anything. They go off in seven directions at once trying to clean up everything that they’ve done, and they can’t. That’s just impossible to do, it’s overwhelming.” A person who is fighting their compulsive behaviors and the urge to use must remember that the coping skills they are accustomed to, drinking or using drugs, were part of the symptoms of their inability to handle the various obstacles and stresses of daily life. Taking on too much at once is a way to self-inflict even more stress. One solution to this is to try to live life one day at a time, working on each individual problem as it comes rather than trying to solve every problem all at once.

Sometimes, the obstacles and stresses that a person in recovery comes up against are much more difficult than what daily life hands them. Things happen, and sometimes those things are extremely painful or shocking. “My grandmother died when I was 4 months sober,” says Vanessa G., a patient at Best Drug Rehabilitation who has been in several different treatment centers. The pain she felt at losing a loved one was a factor that contributed to her eventual relapse. “I had to go home, and I just wasn’t ready at that time,” Vanessa continues. “Then I had another encounter with health, and then what I did was I started lying about little things, like calling my sponsor, working my program. So, basically my relapse started with a lie.” She wasn’t ready to deal with a tough situation like the passing of her grandmother, and she went back to the only way she really knew how to cope with such a painful experience – using drugs.

With all of the different things that a person can look for when they are concerned that a loved one may be heading towards relapse after graduating from a rehabilitation program, there is one major factor that they might be overlooking – the effects that their actions, behaviors, and attitudes may be having on that person.

Sometimes, particularly in cases where the individual’s choices and behaviors became dishonest as a result of their substance abuse, it can be hard for those around them to trust them again. Rebuilding a relationship takes time, and it trust is not given but earned. Even so, it is vitally important to the recovery of a loved one that the people around them remain supportive and positive. Overcoming addiction is difficult enough for someone to go through without the people that they care about treating them with constant distrust.

While trust takes time to rebuild, if they feel like everything they do is under scrutiny, it may make them feel defeated. “I frequently hear that,” Counselor Julie points out. “You know, ‘They are accusing me of doing things that I’m not doing, so why don’t I just go do it?’” When the people that they care about treat everything that they do with suspicion, even if it is out or concern, it might be enough to push them over the edge and into relapse.

Of course, the choices that they make are their own, and their continued sobriety is their responsibility. However, positive reinforcement is much more effective than negative mistrust when it comes to helping a loved one who is battling their addictive behaviors. This is one of the reasons that we offer an extensive Aftercare Department to our patients at Best Drug Rehabilitation. We remain committed to the success of our patients even after graduation, and do all we can to help them and their families transition to a healthier and more positive lifestyle.

Art in Recovery – Positive Methods of Self-Expression

In our Art Therapy group, patients discover a healthy and constructive way to handle negative emotions and stress without needing to use drugs or alcohol

Addiction 

The substance abuse treatment program at Best Drug Rehabilitation is much more than just a way for our patients to get clean and sober. Though some may not quite grasp it, overcoming addiction is not just about dealing with the symptoms of drug or alcohol dependency. True recovery is realized when the underlying causes of a person’s addictive behaviors are uncovered and addressed, and when they are able to discover the tools and skills needed to remain clean and sober after graduation.

One of the root causes of addiction for many of the patients we see at our recovery center is the desire to numb themselves of negative emotions or the stresses of daily life. They have either forgotten how to express those emotions or handle those stresses in a healthy, constructive, and positive manner, or they never really learned how. As a result, they resorted to using drugs or alcohol to “escape”, and they found themselves locked in a much darker prison with much stronger chains.

Learning how to deal with negative emotions is vital to the success of our patients. It becomes even more important as those emotions begin to reemerge after months or years of being suppressed by substance abuse. If they don’t learn effective methods of dealing with those feelings, chances are high that they will fall back into their old coping methods, and addiction will once more take control over their lives.

Recovery 

The recovery strategy at Best Drug Rehabilitation is designed to help our patients find those skills that will help them to remain substance-free when they graduate and return to their daily lives. We offer a wide variety of extracurricular groups and courses that build on the foundation provided by their core program selection. These supplementary groups focus on finding real-life practical applications of the concepts and principles discovered in the core program of the patient’s choosing.

One of the more popular supplementary programs that we offer to our patients is our Art Therapy group. This group concentrates on using visual art to express feelings and emotions and to manage stress in a healthy and constructive manner. The Art Therapy group is an effective program option for anybody regardless of how accomplished he or she may be as an artist. “They have a tendency to say ‘Oh, I’m not good at drawing’,” explains Sue Miller, the facilitator for the Art group at BDR. “I stress that this is not an Art Class. The purpose is to identify feelings, talk about coping skills, so it’s another way for them to express themselves.”

Art Therapy 

Aside from healthy self-expression of negative emotion, the Art Therapy group can also be a great way for our patients to learn how to repair relationships that may have been damaged through their substance abuse. As they work closely with each other, they begin to trust others again, and to trust themselves to work towards a common goal in a team atmosphere. “We’ve done a lot of teamwork building,” Sue says. “You’ll see the big mural on the wall, where they have to come together to complete it.” The ability to form and maintain healthy and functioning relationships also helps tremendously in forming the strong support network that will serve the patient in remaining clean and sober after graduation from our recovery center.

The Art program can be a way for some patients to rediscover an old passion that they once held. As addiction begins to take control over a person’s life, things that were once important to them are forgotten or left behind. Art, music, sports, writing, even friends and family all take a back seat to the desire to get high or drunk. Art Therapy can offer some patients a way to reconnect with something that was once incredibly important to their lives. “I kind of put art aside to do the things that I shouldn’t have been doing,” admits Vanessa M., a very talented artist that found her life being affected by her substance abuse. She was very excited to hear that Best Drug Rehabilitation had an Art Therapy program option, and even bought a new drawing tablet before she came to our recovery center. In a way, it was symbolic of her desire to start over with a fresh, clean slate. “It’s actually really relieving. Anytime I get upset or have a craving, I tend to pick up a pencil and draw. I think it’s cool to finally find me, without a substance.”

The Art Therapy group, along with the other supplemental programs that we offer, such as Music Exploration, Yoga and Meditation, and Beginners Martial Arts among others, give our patients an opportunity to discover what will help them most in recovery from addiction. They are able to find the things that they can turn to in order to handle negative emotions and stress so that they don’t have to resort to drugs or alcohol. Our patients are able to find the path to overcoming addiction that will be most effective for them. They discover a sense of confidence in themselves and their sobriety, and a renewed hope for a healthier and brighter future.

How to Get Off of Drugs

To find true recovery from addiction, we must break down the barriers that keep people from seeking help in in their struggle.

Getting Past the Fear 

For many people that are having a problem with drugs or alcohol, overcoming that addiction can be the most difficult thing they will ever go through in their lifetime. First, there is the need to understand and admit that they have an addiction, and that they need help. Then, they must dig deep to uncover and address the underlying causes of that addiction. There is also learning how to resist the urges and avoiding any triggers of relapse in their continued long-term sobriety. Without a doubt, the path to recovery from addiction has many obstacles that must be overcome.

 One of the first, and biggest, obstacles to get past is fear. For some, it could be a fear of change, because they are used to the way things have been for so long and are unsure of how to go about living life without using drugs or drinking. Others, particularly those who are in the public eye or hold positions of responsibility, might be afraid of a stigma that could affect their image, even though recovery from addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Yet, many more people deal with a different kind of fear when it comes to getting clean and sober – fear of withdrawal symptoms.

To be certain, withdrawal can be extremely frightening. When a person is so reliant on certain substances to be in their system at all times, to the point where they are physically dependent, withdrawal symptoms are almost always a major factor in continuing on the deadly path of addiction. These symptoms, depending on the substance and amount used and the length of addiction, can vary from mild discomfort and sleeplessness to severe pain and nausea. In the most extreme of cases, withdrawal can potentially be life threatening.

Seeking Help

“For me, I couldn’t handle withdrawals”, says Cary H., one of the patients here at Best Drug Rehabilitation. “If you are withdrawing, don’t try to do it alone. Come to a facility where they can help you out.” One of the most helpful things that we can offer our patients is our Medically Supervised Detox Clinic. This is where our nursing staff and certified withdrawal technicians can assist the patient through even the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. While the effects of withdrawal can never be avoided completely, the caring and compassionate staff in our Detox Clinic does everything that they can to help ease any discomfort.

Bianca is a Behavioral Interventionist at Best Drug Rehabilitation. She has seen many different patients through her work at our recovery center, each with their own struggles and their own concerns. “I know a lot of people will try on their own,” she observes. “There’s different aspects of recovery. There’s the mental aspect, the physical, and the spiritual aspect. If you take away one and you don’t nurture the others it’s not very successful. From my perspective, I think you have to have a healthy balance of all three. The best way to nurture those three aspects is to have the help of a facility with well trained staff.”

Finding a Program that Works for You

Another factor that can make many people who are struggling with addiction afraid to seek help is the fear of failure. A lot of the patients that we see at our treatment center have been through other recovery programs or facilities before coming to us. They often feel like nothing is ever going to help, and that they will always be stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction.

“Rehab centers that I’ve been to have all been 12-Step programs,” Cary says. “As far as BDR, they have different programs, like SMART Recovery and ACC.” In developing our recovery program, we found that there is more than one effective method to overcoming addiction. Every patient that we see is a unique individual, and each one will respond differently to any particular method of treatment.

Our program is designed to be adaptable to the needs of any individual who comes to us seeking help in overcoming addiction. “They don’t just offer a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach, where every client does the same exact thing,” Bianca explains. “They have AA/NA, they have Native American, they have ACC, which is Applied Communications Course, they have SMART Recovery. So there’s a variety.”

Additionally, we do not force our patients through their personalized program to conform to any 30-, 60-, or 90- day timeframe. They are able to work through the process at their own pace, taking as much time as they need to explore all of the options that we offer in order to find a treatment method that will work best for them.

“ACC has taught me how to be comfortable with myself,” Cary continues, “and confront situations that I’ve ran from my entire life. Instead of running from my problems, they’ve taught me how to confront them – deal with it instead of using drugs to cover it up.” With the ability to explore different avenues of rehabilitation, Cary was able to find a treatment method that will be most effective and beneficial for his situation and his needs.

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we believe that we have found a better way to help people get clean and sober. More than that, we believe that we provide the most thorough and effective way for them to discover the tools that will work best for them in maintaining long-term sobriety after they graduate from our treatment center. They find a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter future in recovery.

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