Co-Occurring Friendly Treatment
You’ve successfully detoxed off of drugs and alcohol, you’ve completed the treatment program that you attended, and you’re on your way to sober living and aftercare. This narrative is common for hundreds of thousands of drug addicts and alcoholics who are newly in recovery. As aftercare has been proven to be an effective piece in long term sobriety, nearly all treatment centers will recommend a sober living experience, or SLE, after treatment is completed. Studies show that the longer somebody stays in treatment, they have a greater chance of success with long term sobriety.
But, what if drugs and alcohol weren’t your only issue?
Mental health disorders and addiction are known to go hand in hand. Usually self-administered as a means of self-medicating, drugs and alcohol work extremely well at masking the symptoms of various mental health disorders. As with nearly all addicts, drugs and alcohol are extremely effective for a while, until they aren’t any longer. Most commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders, addiction and mental health disorders are usually treated simultaneously. Therapy, medication, a strong support system, and a psychiatrist are just a few of the basic necessities for treating an addict or alcoholic who also suffers from a co-occurring disorder. Finding a facility or a sober living that has experience with treating mental illness as well as alcoholism and drug addiction is a vital step towards a wholesome recovery.
Is there truly a difference?
We believe that the range of care that one receives for mental health separate from addiction is imperative to the overall wellbeing of the individual with a co-occurring disorder. As temperament is just one factor during treatment, many separate amenities such as yoga, exercise, nutrition, and other holistic or spiritual remedies has been proven especially effective in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, particularly in young adults. A treatment center or sober living house that specializes in co-occurring disorders offers a unique opportunity to build a sense of community and connection. The treatment specialists are familiar with the difficulties that may arise in someone who is newly sober while they’re also managing medications and therapy. Residential advisors, who are commonly referred to as “techs,” or “technicians,” are sometimes offered special training that differs from drug and alcohol treatment centers.
So, there’s more to recovery than medicine and therapy?
Absolutely. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests the power of meditation as a vital part of the recovery process. As studies have shown that regularly meditating can alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even more complicated mood disorders, meditation is considered a crucial part of recovery in people with co-occurring disorders. Sober livings who embrace and encourage meditation practices are seeing greater success than those who do not encourage their clients to meditate. As nearly every addict or alcoholic uses to escape discomfort of various sorts and forms, learning to sit and embrace discomfort rather than escaping it is the beginning of a practice to become prepared for life in life’s terms.
How does meditation help somebody with bipolar disorder?
Other than promoting a general sense of calmness and well being, meditations effects on bipolar disorder are being proven as substantial. Some of the benefits of meditating with bipolar disorder are:
* Naturally increased Serotonin levels
* Helps to calm the amygdala or the “fear” center of the brain
* Strengthens the prefrontal cortex, commonly referred to as the “command center,” of the brain
* Helps to synchronize the brain hemispheres
With medication and meditation, as well as a strong support system and therapy, mental illnesses like Bipolar no longer have to rule the life of the sufferer. Adding meditation into your routine has absolutely no risk.
Having a daily routine is important for anyone with a co-occurring disorder. It’s been said that those who suffer from addiction have to fight a little harder than those who don’t in order to be happy. Those who suffer from a mental illness along with addiction have to fight that much harder to be happy than those who don’t. Waking up to a routine is especially helpful for anyone with a co-occurring disorder. Boredom isn’t just a trigger for using drugs and alcohol, but boredom can also lead to symptoms in mental illness as well as in addiction. Treatment centers and sober livings who specialize in treating co-occurring disorders have an insight into the value of encouraging clients to build and follow a routine. Treatment is practice for regular life, and sober living serves as a buffer to slowly integrate the individual into regular life. Developing a routine while newly sober may be met with a bit of resistance, and understandably so. Change is difficult in the beginning phases, but change can also be met with a bit of encouragement, patience, and practice. The advantage of having holistic options is that it allows many more tools for clients to choose from. Alternative methods of recovery such as the Buddhist based program Refuge Recovery offers a different path for healing than traditional twelve step programs.
Drug and alcoholic treatment centers and sober livings have different styles and have different missions for treating addiction and mental illnesses. The stigma of mental health treatment is that of a hospital like setting. The truth is that more and more facilities that specialize in mental health and co-occurring disorders are becoming modernized, offering luxury amenities as well as state of the art techniques for healing and growth. A healthy recovery and a fulfilling life begins with a strong foundation. If you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, finding a facility that’s experienced and successful in treating mental illnesses in addition to addiction is imperative. Treatment has progressed greatly over the past decade, with different tools and different programs available, finding a holistic approach to healing is available like never before. Meditation, medication, and therapy are just some of the tools that are used to harness the proper coping mechanisms to assure a healthy recovery, and a happy life.