People often ask us to try and describe our drug & alcohol rehab clinic’s ethos. What I would say is that our particular treatment is a very designed and intricately structured method of treatment that involves all the latest treatment techniques and methodologies such as 12-step treatments—the cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance-commitment therapy and transactional analysis. It’s an eclectic mix of all of those things presented in a way that engages people both visually, auditory and practically.
At ARC alcohol rehab there is also a series of what we call schemes of treatment looking at addiction and recovery from addiction and the causes of addiction, so we have an addiction scheme that looks at the causes of addiction, where it comes from, the nature of addiction and how it works and what are the solutions to it.
We have a negative to positive scheme so that we can turn the negativity of that person into a more positive way forward using a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy to get people into more positive frame of mind about life in general and about themselves and about their relationship with themselves.
We have a scheme that involves spirituality and beliefs because essentially, beliefs drive people, beliefs drive the subconscious and so it’s changing people’s beliefs. We are not really talking about changing people’s sort of religious beliefs, but more so their philosophical beliefs, for example, people have negative beliefs about loving themselves, so we want to change those beliefs, we turn them to positive beliefs.
We have another scheme which deals with the solutions, not just solutions to addiction, but solutions to the causes and the issues around addiction, so it’s just low self esteem, co-dependency—
We have another scheme called solutions and it explores solutions not only just to addiction, but to the causes and issues surrounding addiction, which is about issues, co-dependency, solutions to low self esteem and low self worth and solutions to a negative outlook. It’s a collection of these schemes that I’ve put together in a linear fashion which can be joined at any point in time so that people can get the full picture of addiction, the causes, the issues and the things to heal from
Is recovery, a new life, really possible?
It is most people’s experience of having a relative suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction that it is extremely frustrating, tragic, confusing, maddening and heart breaking. It is beyond most people’s experience so there is simply no way of knowing what to do or where to go. And it can seem that the situation is hopeless. Alcohol rehabs can help but they’re not always the right answer.
Of course it is possible for sufferers of alcoholism or drug addiction to recover. There are millions of people living in recovery from addictions. There is always hope. It is my opinion that love is never wasted.
People who experience problems with substances rarely solve those problems without help. So that person getting help from others is very important. Age counts. The older a person gets the more they are likely to recover. At least that is what the statistics demonstrate.
What is Alcoholism/Addiction?
Alcoholism and addiction have a number of different definitions. It is a complex and confusing disorder because it arises from natural human nature due to evolution plus individual genetic differences, plus the individual’s experience of nurture and environment, plus personality type, order of birth, culture and numerous other factors some of which, no doubt, we know nothing about.
It is normal and usual for our hearts to cry out, “There must be a simple reason for this! There must be a simple solution somewhere! Where can this be found?”. It is extremely frustrating that our hearts cannot be satisfied.
What’s the difference between alcoholism and addiction? – for most purposes they are one and the same thing. Alcohol is a drug. Therefor an alcoholic is a drug addict. A hundred years ago most people with addiction problems in the western world used alcohol almost exclusively, so they were called alcoholics. The availability of other drugs like cannabis, cocaine and heroin was simply not there and alcohol is cheap. Since the sixties many other drugs have come into the frame and become much more available and widespread. So these days there are people with addictions problems who rarely or never drink alcohol, so they are called addicts. This is how we have ended up with two different terms for the same thing.
Definition: Addiction is the behaviour of taking mind or mood altering substances in an excessive, compulsive and obsessive way such that there is harm to lifestyle, finances, relationships and possibly health as a result.
That’s one definition, there are many more. Why does it happen? It’s a complex and individual recipe.
It is normal human behaviour to avoid difficult situations and feelings. We do this by watching TV, eating, reading, working, gambling, sexual activities, playing, collecting, computers, texting, chocolate, smoking, relationships, thumb sucking, anything that might make us feel better and distract us from the difficulties. If you are particularly chemically sensitive then mood altering substances may be your best solution. If you use this solution regularly you may rely on this more and more and over time it becomes the only thing that works. Then comes the additional pain of withdrawals – physical or emotional or both! Once those withdrawals become the problem, the only solution is the drug (alcohol is a drug). So addiction becomes the biggest problem and the first problem that needs to be satisfied before any of the normal life problems can even be looked at. An impossible trap.
Order of birth, shame based cognition, local culture, willingness to break boundaries, traumas, abuse, neglect, abandonment, lack of psychological flexibility, cognitive perception, personality disorders, individual reactions to substances, etc all are factors in this complex, causal recipe. These factors, in any individual, may or not be directly causal to addiction but may affects that person’s response to their genetic predisposition and, if this is sounding very complicated now then you are getting the idea of what a mind bending problem it actually is.
There are genetic reasons too. The same percentage of rats and monkeys will become alcoholics as humans if alcohol is available. So this aspect of humanity was in place in a common ancestor from millions of years ago. Also most creatures will become addicted to drugs like morphine if it is taken regularly for a while.
Fixing the causes will not solve the problem. So whatever factors are involved in the why of it cannot help. There is no point in focussing on the why of it. In other issues and disorders of an emotional and psychological nature it may seem generally true that by getting closure on a past trauma might be the answer and produce freedom from the problem. That is rare anyway and would only apply to specific and relatively simple issues. This cannot work for addiction as addiction becomes its own problem regardless of the original recipe of causes.
Have you ever heard of the Chinese finger trap? Its a sort of tube you put on a finger of each hand and it is difficult to get off because the harder you pull, the tighter it grips. That’s very similar to the trap of addiction. It’s got nothing to do with willpower because the more willpower you have, the more often and harder you will pull, and the tighter the trap will become. Just thinking about not having a cigarette will make the average smoker crave, even if they have just put one out. So if your loved one seems to be reluctant or unwilling it might be worth you remembering the enormity for them of even just asking them to think about it.
So basically, if you have an idea in your mind that your loved one is suffering this because of something that happened in the past, you will be tempted to think that if they ‘get closure’ on that issue then they will be alright. I’m afraid not. That really is, just a story that is its own trap because the person needs to get sober before they can work with that but they can’t get sober because of that. I hope you understand.