Posted on September 5, 2014 by Henry Tarkington
It seems impossible to convince the necessity of it to someone who is not ready for substance abuse treatment. Research shows it could take 5 – 6 treatments to help a person with a serious addiction to permanently stop using alcohol or drugs. Is that too much for a long term change? How much effort is worth getting your loved one, or yourself, the life you truly want?
How many times does it take a person with diabetes to never eat a sweet treat again? How many efforts does it take a person with heart disease to begin a serious exercise program and healthy diet? A lifetime of treatment? How many substance use disorder treatments are necessary? Daily insulin? Is ongoing high blood pressure medication needed? We take the treatment as many times as it takes. What is our life, or the life of your spouse or child, worth? Is eating sweets or unhealthy foods less of a life choice for people with diabetes, heart disease, etc.? Do we get angry with people who have chronic physical diseases, throw our hands up and tell them we are done with them?
Substance abuse doesn’t require a lifetime of treatment. Often completing outpatient treatment programs can result in long term recovery. Depending on the severity of the condition, multiple treatment experiences may be necessary before a person becomes completely well. Is recovery less important because it is alcohol or drug use and not heart disease, diabetes, or any other chronic, fatal disease? Though it is difficult to see in advance, recovery usually resolves many, often most life crises of a substance user. You will be surprised with the changes caused by commitment to a recovery program when practiced over a period of just a few months. When the improvements are obvious, it isn’t the time to become complacent. Recovery, and the life improvements offered, is an ongoing process.
You and your loved ones are worth every effort we, together, can put forth. Keep coming back; it really does work if you work it. It works best when the family and the recovering person work it together. When recovery has been accepted and practiced, it won’t take as long, cost as much or be as challenging as recovery from diabetes, heart disease, cancer or other chronic conditions.
Our family program is helpful there is no cost. SA IOP is the most successful form of outpatient treatment. We will consult with you at no cost if you have questions. Our family therapists can give good advice. Call us at (919) 833-8899!
Henry Tarkington, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
“First step is a professional, friendly environment which assist and educate people from all walks of life how to understand and deal with the ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse. Most individuals began the program afraid or kicking and screaming, but soon find out that they are in a relaxed and comfortable environment and complete the program with information to apply to their future.” Anonymous