Tag Archives: drug addiction

Tag Archives: drug addiction

Building a Treatment Organization Through Ethical Business Development Standards and Practices

As the addiction treatment field wrestles with the uncertain impact of COVID-19, ethical business development and outreach practices are more important than ever to ensure that patients find appropriate placement, resources and treatment services to meet their needs. Join us for this presentation focusing on ethics in business development practices in a changing treatment landscape.

When: Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m EST/ 12:00 p.m. CST

THIS IS A ZOOM MEETING- You will receive Zoom ID Information closer to the event date. 


Who Should Attend: Business Development and Marketing professionals in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Industry

Course Overview: Through the use of case studies, this presentation will identify key areas of learning for business development professionals that support ethical growth of personal business brand and represented company, including how to choose like-minded professional partners, how to grow referral channels, the different between ethical versus legal and how both impact brand trust, how to identify an ethical compensation structure for business development staff, and how to appropriately market online through digital media.

Course Objectives:

– Identify how to organically grow professional referral relationships that support long-term growth and sustainability.

– Define ethical versus legal.

– Understand when to admit and when to refer out: How clinically appropriate and inappropriate admits impact the bottom line and brand.

Course Outcomes:

1- How does choosing like-minded professional partners impact the organizational and business development professional’s personal brand, trust and bottom line?

2- What is the importance of mentoring, support, oversight and supervision in the role of new business development and marketing professionals in the field, and how does that lead to positive or negative outcomes for patients and families?

3- How important is it for a marketing professional to understand and access a potential patient’s clinical needs?

About the Presenters:

Alex Denstman started working at Ashley in 2009 as a Patient Care Coordinator and has since held several roles including Director of Alumni Services, Director of Clinical Outreach, and Vice President of Business Development. In his current role as Senior Vice President, Chief Growth Officer, he now oversees Intake, Clinical Outreach, Utilization Review, Patient Care Coordination, Communications, Alumni, and Development. Alex received his undergraduate degree from University of Baltimore in Health Systems Management with honors and is now pursuing his Master in Business Administration from University of Maryland Global College. His association with Ashley started in 2003 when, at age 20, he was a patient in our program. Alex has remained in recovery and is an active member of the local recovery community. He is passionate about using his personal experiences and 15+ year’s background in the industry to help ensure that patients, families, and referring professionals feel cared for and appropriately served at the intake and discharge stages of treatment and beyond.

Zach Snitzer is the co-owner and Director of Business Development at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations, communications, and social media strategies of the organization. Zach is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Marketing. Prior to his career working in addiction treatment, Zach worked in marketing, communications and public relations in both the sports and media industries. Due to his own personal journey of recovery, Zach had a vision of bringing world class long-term treatment to his home area that viewed addiction as a chronic illness and offered a continuum of care that truly aided in healing patients and families with a path of sustainable recovery. In addition to his duties at MARC, Zach serves on the Board of Directors of Valley/Bridge House, the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia Professional Liaison’s Association (DMV-PLA) leadership committee, and the National Advisory Board for the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD.)

Tom Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Qualified Mental Health Professional in the state of Virginia. He has been working in the substance use disorders and behavioral health field since 1999. Tom spent 10+ years providing direct care to clients and families as a counselor prior to beginning business development work with regional and national healthcare organizations and co-founding Encore in 2016. In addition, Tom has been in long-term recovery and actively engaged in the local recovery community since 1997. His work and personal recovery have been primarily focused in the Washington DC region, and as a native to the area, Tom is passionate about ensuring that the individuals and families living here have access to the highest quality of care possible.

This workshop aims to help attendees better understand substance abuse diagnosis, co-occurring issues and addiction in our society, shifts in treatment options and guide in the pain recovery processes. Attendees will be encouraged and will learn ways to provide useful methods for facilitating improved understanding and multiple approaches to address these problems from a clinical standpoint.

This presentation aims to help attendees better understand substance abuse diagnosis, co-occurring issues and addiction in our society, shift in treatment options and guide in the pain recovery processes. Attendees will be encouraged and learn ways to provide useful methods for facilitating improved understanding and multiple approaches to address these problems from a clinical standpoint.





8:00-8:45 Registration Opens (Coffee served & Continental Breakfast)

8:45-9:00 Welcome to Attendees and CE announcements

9:00-10:30 The Blessings : Judith Crane, MA, LMHC, CAP, ICADC, CSAT

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:15 The Neurobiology of Trauma : Mandy Baker, MS, LCDC

12:15-1:15 Buffet Lunch

1:15-2:45 Collaboration Model for Substance Use Disorder: Dr. Gregory Boris

2:45-3:00 Break

3:00-4:30 The Science of Measurement in Substance Use Disorder Treatment : Nicholas Hayes, PhD

4:30-4:45 Closing, Evaluations

Total Hours: 6.00 CE’s



Continuing Education

This program is co-sponsored by BRC Recovery and The Institute for Continuing Education. The program offers 6.00 contact hours, with full attendance required.

There is no additional fee for making application for continuing education credit. Application forms and other CE materials will be available on site. CE verifications are mailed to attendees within 30-days following the event. If you have questions regarding the program, continuing education learning objectives, presenters, agenda, contact The Institute at: 800-557-1950 / email: instconted@aol.com

NOTE: To receive continuing education credit, applicants must complete all CE materials, sign in/out at designated locations, and submit an evaluation form for the sessions attended.

NOTE: It is the responsibility of the attendee to determine if CE credit offered by The Institute for Continuing Education meets the regulations of their state licensing/certification board, including the Ethics Workshops scheduled.

Psychology: The Institute for Continuing Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Counseling/ MFT: Counselors will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance.

Social Work: The Institute for Continuing Education is recognized as an approved provider of continuing education by the Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners, Provider 1416, expiration 4/30/20.

Non-Credit Events: Registration, breaks, and lunch

Skills Level: This program is open to mental health professionals of all skill levels.

Instructional Methodology: May include lecture, demonstration,  and audio/visual.

ADA: If you have special needs, please contact Ruth Ann Rigby at: Rrigby@brcrecovery.com

MCCME: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the MS State Medical Association and BRC Recovery. The MS State Medical Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The MS State Medical Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Event Details:

A Day with the Enneagram & Ian Morgan Cron
Join us for a day with Ian Morgan Cron & The Enneagram

When: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Training Begins at 9:00 a.m.)
Where: Cumberland Heights River Road Campus (8283 River Road Pike, Nashville)
Cost: $15.00 (Lunch Included)

The Enneagram is a personality typing system that teaches there are nine basic personality styles in the world, one of which we gravitate toward and adopt in childhood to feel safe and navigate relationships. It is a powerful tool for individuals, corporations, and non-profits seeking to help their leaders and teams become more self-aware and productive.


In this workshop, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, corporate consultant, and nationally sought after speaker Ian Morgan Cron (The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery) will:

  1. Introduce the Enneagram system of personality as a resource for personal and professional transformation
  2. Explore the nine types—how each sees the world, what motivates them, their respective strengths and challenges, how understanding the Enneagram can help leaders and professionals in the caring professions grow their effectiveness
  3. Explore the Enneagram’s potential application in the journey of recovery
  4. Discuss practical ways the Enneagram can dramatically improve the workplace

IAN MORGAN CRON is a bestselling author, psychotherapist, Enneagram teacher, Episcopal priest, and the host of the popular podcast, Typology. His books include the novel Chasing Francis, the spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, and The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery. Known for his transparency, humor and depth of insight into the inner workings of the human heart and mind, Ian uses the Enneagram personality-typing system as a tool to help leaders cultivate self-awareness and emotional wisdom. He is a sought-after speaker, thinker and advisor to a growing roster of clients such as the Discovery Channel, Ramsey Solutions, Michael Hyatt Company, Warner Brothers Music, OCLC, among others. He and his wife, Anne, have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Social: Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @ianmorgancron | Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @typologypodcast

Websites: https://ianmorgancron.com and https://typologypodcast.com

Online Course: Enneagram Made Simple – https://businessmadesimple.com/enneagram-made-simple-ian

Assessment: iEQ9 Enneagram Assessment – https://ianmorgancron.com/assessment

Every parent wants the best for their child. You take them to school, put band-aids on scraped knees and help them through life’s challenges. By showering your child with care and love, you set them up for success, all while hoping that nothing bad will ever happen to them.

Unfortunately, addiction does not discriminate. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), over 20 million people in the United States have a diagnosable substance use disorder. No matter how well someone’s life is going, it is possible to start down a slippery slope of drug or alcohol misuse. If you notice that your child seems to be struggling with addiction, there are specific steps you should take today.

Is My Child Addicted?

Before confronting your child, you should first determine to a reasonable degree of certainty that they are misusing drugs or alcohol. Signs of substance use include:

  • Becoming secretive
  • Lying about their whereabouts and activities
  • Socially isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Seeming “off” – acting restless or extremely sedated
  • Exhibiting external signs, such as dilated or constricted pupils, skin picking, or rapid weight loss
  • Spending time with new, unsavory “friends”
  • Finding paraphernalia or signs of drug use in their room

It is important to note that some signs of substance use, such as secretive behavior or changes to one’s personality, are also hallmarks of young adulthood. It is natural for teenagers to withdraw from their parents and attempt to act out or assert their independence. Because this is exactly when they are at risk for addiction, parents must navigate this difficult time by upping the strength of the relationship with their teen.

Strengthen Your Relationship

Young adulthood is a difficult period full of transitions and tough choices. This is when open, honest communication becomes a key pillar in any parent/child relationship. By asking nonjudgmental, open-ended questions and creating opportunities for topics to be explored in a safe way, you can ensure that your teen will feel safe coming to you with any struggle.

If this is not the way your relationship has functioned until now, it is not too late to change. When speaking to your addicted child, stay focused and engaged on what they are telling you. Always respond kindly and try to diminish negative reactions when possible. Overt emotionality is not helpful in these conversations; if you are too upset to properly regulate your feelings, try to set up a plan to revisit the topic when you have both calmed down. However, keep in mind that addiction is not a problem that will go away on its own – you need to step in to help your child find recovery.

Don’t Enable Your Child – Set Clear Expectations

One of the most difficult aspects of parenting a child with addiction is the breakdown of boundaries within the family unit. This disease thrives in secrecy and passive-aggression – if you don’t address it, nothing will improve.

It can also be tempting for loving parents to cover up for their child. Maybe they will call in an excuse to school when their teen is too hung over to attend or will even provide the financial means to purchase more of a drug when their supply runs out. Parents who exhibit this behavior focus on alleviating short-term pain, but they unintentionally reinforce their child’s substance use in the process. This is called enabling, and it is an extremely unhealthy approach to any loved one’s substance use disorder.

The best way to avoid enabling is by defining cause-and-effect consequences with your child. These boundaries should be set during calm periods, not during a binge or fight, and will help to define which behaviors will be tolerated. By holding to consistent standards, you can help your child to understand the problems inherent to their behavior. This also provides you with evidence of tested boundaries down the road. By painting a clear picture of their behavior, you will be better able to convince your child to accept treatment.

Identify Resources and Seek Treatment

Finally, you should seek professional care for your child and your family. Conduct some research to learn more about credentialed treatment centers in your area. Ideally, you will find one that offers the full continuum of care – this means that everything from detox and residential treatment to outpatient services and transitional sober living is provided by the same facility. The best programs will be accredited and will be helmed by industry experts who can help your child to rid their body of toxic substances while also building new, substance-free coping mechanisms for the future.

Don’t forget to care for yourself and other members of the family as well. Addiction is a family disease, meaning that everyone from parents to siblings can be affected negatively by one member’s substance use. Programs like Al-Anon can provide group support and individual counseling sessions can be helpful for the process of working through past trauma.

At Cumberland Heights, we transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol and drug addiction. Our rehabilitation programs for adolescents (ages 14-18) and young adults (18-25) are designed specifically for the complex needs of the younger generation. To learn more about our youth programming, contact Cumberland Heights at 800-646-9998 today.

Opioid Overdose Response-Naloxone Administration TrainingDrug overdose is the leading cause of death in Americans under 50. In many cases lives could be saved if someone nearby had the education and ability to administer Naloxone. Naloxone is designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or even stopped due to the overuse of heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

Event Details:

WHAT: Opioid Overdose Response-Naloxone Administration Training
WHEN: Saturday May 4th 10:00AM – 11:00AM
WHERE: River Road Main Campus – Ishee Chapel

In 2018, over 1,500 Tenesseans were administered Narcan to reverse a potential drug overdose. Narcan can be a life saving medication for an addict in distress. The more public knowledge and accessibility the more lives can be saved.

Kaitlynn Jackson is a Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist with STARS. She will be facilitating an hour long training and providing free Narcan kits to attendees.
Kits include: 2 doses of Narcan, a pair of gloves, an instruction sheet, a card with a list of substance use treatment resources, and a reporting form for the state if the Narcan is used.

This event is FREE but RSVP is required to receive a Narcan kit. Please RSVP to Jaime Gibbons. Thank you, see you soon!.

Who should attend?

  • Employees of Heathcare or Mental Health facilities
  • Community members who come into contact with people at risk of overdose
  • Family & friends of people with Substance Use Disorder
  • Caregivers of the Elderly/Disabled
  • Anyone interested in saving a life

Below is the current Surgeon General’s Advisory regarding Naloxone and Opioid Overdose

“I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. For patients currently taking high doses of opioids as prescribed for pain, individuals misusing prescription opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, health care practitioners, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.”

Training Objectives:

  1. Understand administration of naloxone products, including “Good Samaritan” protection law
  2. Recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and identify its causes and risks
  3. Describe what NOT to do during an opioid overdose
  4. Know the steps to follow when encountering an opioid overdose
  5. Earn a certificate of completion of naloxone administration training

parenting an addicted childParents battling addiction may lack the ability to provide structure and support for their children. This can be an incredibly stressful time, as children often do not understand why or how their parent became addicted to substances and often blame themselves. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACA) notes that children face a number of stressors when parental addiction is involved, such as conflict within the home, increased isolation and decreased family cohesion. If you are a parent who has been working diligently in recovery and have reached a place where you want to reconnect with your child, you must realize that it will take time.

A study conducted at Western Sydney University in Australia emphasized the importance of empathy and emotion regulation when it comes to re-connecting with one’s child. There are three main aspects to this:

  • Cognitive empathy – being able to understand what your child may be going through and perceiving what his or her feelings may be
  • Emotional reactivity – the ability to respond emotionally to your child’s pain
  • Social skills – being able to gauge the effect of your behavior on your child and on others

Many 12-Step programs endorse this, but it’s important to admit to your child the pain you’ve caused them and explain that it wasn’t their fault. It will take time to rebuild trust, but acknowledging how you’ve affected them is a great place to start. As you work towards strengthening this relationship, maintain open communication and remind yourself to see things through your child’s point of view. They’re hurt and they may be very upset and unsure if they can trust you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t repair your relationship with them, it just means that you’ll have to prove to them – with your words and actions – that you are on the path of recovery and will be staying there.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

man with methamphetamine addictionThose with methamphetamine addiction may find difficulties with recognizing and predicting loss, as well as other efforts involved in decision making. Rita Goldstein, part of a research team that conducted a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience regarding how cocaine affects the brain, stated: “We see that everywhere, from basic survival – getting food and avoiding the poisonous stuff – to relationships and work in the modern world. If people cannot predict losses, their long-term planning…will be very different. This loss might be contributing a downward spiral in [those with addiction].”

In August of 2018, researchers from the University of California San Diego reviewed what has currently been done in our understanding of meth use and its effects on memory and learning thus far. The hippocampus in particular is a region of the brain that is responsible for memory storage, consolidation of memories and pulling long and short-term memories into recollection. When meth is used, an influx of dopamine (the “feel good” chemical), can actually alter the structure of the hippocampus as it stores memories of the substance and sparks cravings for it. As MethProject.org states, meth also affects the frontal lobe of the brain, which makes it more difficult for individuals to think rationally.

With such significant effects on the brain, can these damages be reversed?

It truly depends on the person and how severe their addiction is. The overall health of a person can definitely improve over time if recovery is maintained, but some functions may take a very long time (up to several years) or may not recover fully if the addiction was severe. If you or a loved one have battled meth addiction in the past, work towards recovery today. The sooner you begin the journey towards recovery, the sooner you can be on your way towards a healthier mind, body and spirit.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

teen with addictionIt is estimated that approximately 2 million children between the ages of 12 and 17 need treatment for substance abuse concerns. Teens and pre-teens have easier access to substances both in a physical sense and in a virtual sense, as the internet has also perpetuated substance-related activities. If you’re the parent of a teen with addiction, you’re going to find the struggle between ensuring their safety and opening up communication with them while also being firm and setting expectations.

It can be challenging to know what our teens need during this time, but CBS News suggests starting off with exactly what teens don’t need. Here are some parenting tips to avoid:

  1. Failing to tell your teen what you expect of them. Set the boundaries for your teen upon their return home so they know exactly what will and will not be tolerated.
  2. Ignoring your teen’s mental health issues. If you can tell they’re depressed, anxious or experience symptoms of a mental illness, make sure you take the steps necessary to get them additional help.
  3. Blaming yourself for their substance use. Stay focused on the present moment and the fact that your teen is recovering. Dwelling in the past will only hold you back.
  4. Setting a bad example. If your teen is recovering from alcohol, you certainly don’t want to drink around them. Show your teen what sober living is really about – and how much fun it can be, too.
  5. Don’t be judgmental. Set some ground rules, but don’t jump to further conclusions about what your teen will or will not do after they’ve been in recovery. They need your guidance – but they also need your faith right now.

Your teen has been working hard in recovery, but this transition back home is going to take some time and effort too. Don’t rush the process. Stay open and communicate often. Learn more about your teen and rebuild a life of recovery with them, one step at a time.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Why Quitting Cold Turkey Could Mean Life or Death

“There are a lot better ways to do withdrawal than the way I did it…Because for me, quitting cold [turkey] led to a whole host of other behaviors that were – in many ways – more debilitating than opioid addiction.”

In a personal story shared on Vice, a woman shared her story with quitting opioid addiction “cold turkey”. We’ve all heard of this phrase and why do so many people do it? There are a number of reasons, but it could be due to financial strains, fear of what treatment might be like, lack of support, the idea of avoiding certain people or places or an overall belief that a person can “get over” addiction on their own. No matter the reason, it’s incredibly dangerous – and here’s why.

Each person’s medical and substance use history is different, which means that what worked for one person may not work for another. It’s a lot like medication – and assuming that recovery is a “one-size-fits-all” could place you in grave danger. Very Well Mind emphasizes that once the body is addicted to something, a quick, sudden drop in use could shock the system – leading a person to potentially experience seizures, heart problems and more. On top of that, not having the right structure and support to move forward with recovery can make it that much more tempting to use again if the withdrawal symptoms become too painful or uncomfortable.

Withdrawal may include shakiness, nausea, headaches, hallucinations, anxiety, depression and more, and if a person tries to use again, they often believe they can pick back up with the dose they left off; Sherry Benton, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida, told Vice that when this happens, a person’s tolerance has already lowered – and the larger dose taken is enough to kill a person.

By having a healthcare team available, a person is able to be monitored and assessed so they don’t experience further damage to their brain and body. This safety support network is crucial because it ensures that a person detoxes in the safest, most painless way possible.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

couple enjoying life after PTSD and addiction treatmentIt’s not uncommon that many of us just don’t realize just how fragile we really are. If we put this into perspective, it’s quite natural – as human beings, we have so many thoughts, feelings, decisions to make, relationships to maintain and circumstances that affect all of these and more. How could we not possibly be affected by them?! In previous decades, it was thought that expressing the pain, sadness, anger or other negative feeling could be seen as “weak”, but we’re now realizing that holding these feelings in are what can cause us poor health, isolation and a host of other issues.

If you’re in addiction recovery (or even mental illness recovery) right now, you’ve either already or will soon be exploring how your past has affected your present. This is probably something that most of us are familiar with and that’s because the people and circumstances in our lives often affect us so deeply that it drives us to self-harm, drink, abuse drugs and engage in other risky behaviors. Traumatic events make us particularly susceptible to drug abuse later on, as the aftermath of trauma can leave us with so many devastating thoughts, memories and nightmares that it can feel as though there’s no way out.

A 2017 study conducted in Canada sought to explore the connection between trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction by asking 132 participants in outpatient clinics to complete questionnaires. Of these participants, all had a history of addiction, and 87% met the criteria for PTSD. The researchers found that severity of PTSD symptoms was directly related to severity of addiction – why would this occur?

PTSD can be extremely difficult to live with, as the symptoms often include nightmares, paranoia, depression, anxiety, irritability, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and more. When every day presents itself with a number of these symptoms at varying intensities, it can have a significant effect on a person’s family, home and work life. For many people, they just want the pain to go away – and that’s when they turn to substances.

One person shared their personal experience of living with PTSD via the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Here is an excerpt from their story: “I lost all ability to concentrate or even complete simple tasks. Normally social, I stopped trying to make friends or get involved in my community. I often felt disoriented, forgetting where or who I was.”

Self-Medication: Trying to Find a Way Out

The truth is, as humans, we’re wired to find the easiest and most efficient ways out of our problems. When we’re going through some serious mental health turmoil, we often turn to the perceived easiest and most efficient route – for many people, scheduling an appointment and attending therapy isn’t at the top of the list, especially taking into consideration finances, resources, transportation, support needed and more. Substances, on the other hand, may seem easier to obtain, easier to take and faster-acting in terms of temporary relief. Quality is more important than quantity, however, and while substances may appear to save time, they’re unfortunately prolonging the symptoms we’re trying so hard to mask.

The reality is that self-medicating can’t solve our problems, it can only add to them. The emotional upheavals experienced through PTSD and other mental health conditions need to be worked through over time and the longer we hold them inside of ourselves, tucked away never to see the light, the longer we deprive ourselves of the healing and post-traumatic growth that we deserve. So many times, we try so desperately to find a quicker way out that makes sense, but we come to find that the long, arduous road of recovery is most worth it in the end.

Bessel van der Kolk, professor of psychiatry at Boston University, told Vice Magazine“Trauma is not a story about the past, it’s about how the past continues to live on in your body; that’s the core issue.”

Moving from Addiction to Recovery

While substances temporarily relieve the symptoms we experience, they cause our brain and body to become dependent on that “feel good” chemical called dopamine being released each time. We become dependent on the drug and later addicted. What many people find is that their problems never really left them – they just became distracted from those problems temporarily.

A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review assessed the many factors that are needed for successful addiction recovery, especially when PTSD is involved. The authors talked about how much more important it’s becoming for healthcare teams to be “trauma-informed”, which means they take into consideration the amount of stress a person goes through when affected by a traumatic event.

A number of other factors were found to be very important for those in addiction recovery:

  • Focusing heavily on coping mechanisms for dealing with trauma and addiction
  • Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an approach that helps people identity negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive, productive ones
  • Exposure therapy was found to be preferred
  • Different treatment options really help clients figure out what works best for them cost-effective wise, as well as based on their needs
  • PTSD can have a significantly impact on a person, but that doesn’t mean their life is over. Recovery is possible and while substances can’t “solve” these problems, time, therapy, healing and overall recovery can help a person make significant progress.

Cool Springs Treatment is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. Designed for individuals 18 and older, we strive for individualized, quality treatment to meet each person’s unique needs. Our outpatient program gives you just enough structure to really keep a firm grip on your recovery, while still allowing you the time to follow through with outside responsibilities such as family, school or work.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to get more information on seeking the help you need.

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Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

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