Getting Sober Is Possible if Addicts Are Given the Right Tools.
In their new book Ending Addiction for Good, Richard Taite and Dr. Constance Scharff, PhD share the insights and lessons learned while working with hundreds of people at a cliff-side clinic overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California.
Addictions touch nearly every family. Your mother, father, spouse or child may be hooked on drugs or alcohol.
“Finding appropriate, positive, effective addiction treatment can be a daunting challenge, but it can be achieved,” says Dr. Scharff. Ending Addiction for Good provides tools and tactics that can be very helpful to finding the right treatment that will give the addict you love back the prospect of a better life. Here are just some of the many insights:
1. ADDICTION IS NOT A MORAL FAILING. IT IS A BEHAVIOR CHANGE.
When addicts go into treatment, they are told, “This will be hard,” and, “You have a disease you’ll have to contend with for the rest of your life,” or “Expect relapse.” It’s demoralizing. By using a behavioral approach to addiction treatment instead of a disease model, we say to addicts, “Addiction is simply a set of behaviors you can change.” There is hope in this message and with hope, there is recovery.
2. THE BIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND/OR SPIRITUAL PAIN THAT UNDERLIES ADDICTION CAN BE OVERCOME.
Addicts are motived by pain. They have suffered pain or trauma that they are covering with drugs. This could be from abuse, neglect, being bullied, having their sexual orientation denied or ridiculed, rape, war trauma, a bad car accident…. The list is long. By helping addicts face their pain in a safe, supportive environment, their lives can be transformed.
3. WHEN ADDICTS ARE GIVEN HOPE AND SHOWN HOW TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIORS, THEY DO RECOVER.
Half the battle of overcoming addiction is helping the addict believe that they CAN. Addicts come to treatment believing they are worthless, beyond hope, and/or too far gone to be helped. This is not true. Where there is breath, there is life. When addicts come to believe that their lives are worth saving, recovery begins to take hold.
4. THE SECRET TO LONG-TERM ADDICTION RECOVERY IS FACING AND OVERCOMING THE ROOT CAUSES OF ADDICTION.
Addiction doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It grows out of a need to overcome trauma or pain. When the issues that first caused the addict to use are dealt with in a safe, secure, loving environment, the need to use no longer exists. That is the secret of long-term recovery. Face the pain and you change your future.
5. THE ADDICT YOU LOVE CAN RECOVER FROM ADDICTION IF GIVEN SUPPORT BASED ON HIS INDIVIDUAL LEVEL OF READINESS TO CHANGE.
“But the person I love is in denial about his problem,” the addict’s family members say over and over again. This is okay. There is a proven recovery model that helps an addict through predictable stages of change. By using this knowledge of how change occurs, we can help an addict at any level of readiness to change.
6. PUT THE PROVEN PSYCHOLOGICAL POWER OF THE “STAGES OF CHANGE” TO WORK FOR YOU.
The Stages of Change model, created in the 1990s, has helped therapists understand exactly how to intervene and help addicts address the pain that caused them to use in the first place. This is true whether or not the addict knows he has a problem, believes he can change, or is fully motivated to make a complete life transformation. Change occurs in a predictable pattern. We help addicts through that process so that lasting change becomes possible.
7. RECEIVING THE RIGHT TREATMENT PROVIDES THE HOPE AND SUPPORT ADDICTS NEED TO CHANGE.
Addicts have the best chance at recovery when they are in a protected, safe, loving, supportive environment. They thrive when given highly individualized, intensive psychotherapy combined with whole-health treatments. Until this synergistic treatment was available, addicts had little hope. The right treatment program literally makes all the difference.
8. HOLISTIC TREATMENT, IN ADDITION TO INTENSIVE, INDIVIDUALIZED PSYCHOTHERAPY, WORKS SYNERGISTICALLY TO HEAL MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT.
Holistic – mind, body, spirit – treatment is the key to helping the addict thrive in his new life. Mind, body, and spirit are all damaged by substance abuse. Each area must be addressed and healed if the addict is to live a happy life.
9. ADDICTS NEED MORE THAN 12-STEP PROGRAMS TO THRIVE.
Twelve-step programs help some people, but they only address certain, mostly spiritual needs. Don’t take your car to a carwash and expect your transmission to be fixed after the service. If the addict in your life has suffered war trauma or sexual abuse, he will need more than a 12-step program to overcome those issues and stay sober long term. 12-steps simply don’t address that kind of trauma.
10. HOPE IS HERE FOR THE ADDICT AND HIS FAMILY WHO THOUGHT THERE WAS NO WAY OUT.
When treated with intensive psychotherapy, supported through a process called Stages of Change, and provided holistic treatment for their addiction, the individual treatments work synergistically and addicts enjoy a freedom they never knew was possible. This can be the case for the addict you care for.
Ending Addiction for Good
Richard Taite and Constance Scharff, Ph.D.
For more information visit www.EndingAddictionForGood.com