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What happens during “treatment”?

A great deal of life changing awareness can occur, a person literally going from alcohol and drug dependence to a life of serenity and responsibility. How? Much of treatment can be broken into some basic concepts or components. The Twelve Steps are a very important part of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (and other groups for specific drugs). Acknowledging powerlessness over the particular substance, and spiritual growth in a manner fitting for the individual is supported and nurtured. The living better outwardly starts to occur after internal and shared acknowledgment, and at this point the individual may start addressing mistakes of the past and work to “make amends” or strive to repair damaged relationships. This is action, and is far more than merely a verbal apology.

Treatment is more than the Twelve Steps. Some programs use other educational and psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral skills, family systems, motivational interviewing, attachment theory, choice, health education media, and stages of change. There are other articles about a number of these. Many are talking therapies, with education, information, emotional self regulation, and emphasis on what would you like different in your life and how to get there. Some programs do not like the idea of medication assisted recovery, but more are acknowledging the contributions of addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry in this regard. While program professionals may be firm, clear, and challenge old habits, they are very empathic, understanding, caring, and dedicated people who have made a choice to work with suffering people to transform their lives. Watch some WYNK vignettes to help yourself to growth and change.

by: Lois Cochrane Schlutter, Ph.D. L.P.

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