Meet The Masters New York Was a Success

drug rehabMeet The Masters, hosted by The Meadows at the Convene Conference Center in New York, was a huge success. Senior Fellows Claudia Black, PhD, MSW; Tian Dayton, PhD, MA, TEP; Shelley Uram, MD; and Bessel van der Kolk, MD presented to an audience full of 130 professionals seeking to expand their professional expertise and find new and improved ways to treat their patients. While the general theme woven throughout all the presentations related to childhood trauma and the brain, each one focused on unique ideas, including complexities of treating young adults, neuro psychodrama and sociometry, a return to the Essential Self, and the effects of trauma on mind and body. As one attendee commented, “I enjoyed having the four different views to bring together trauma treatment.” The Meadows in the premier drug rehab and psychological trauma treatment center in the country, we help change the lives of individuals through The Meadows Model, 12-step practices, and the holistic healing of mind, body, and spirit. For more information on our Senior Fellows, click here.

We would like to thank all of those who attended this special event. Together we can help improve the quality of life for our patients around the world.

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Chronic Pain Management and Opioid Addiction


Addiction TreatmentBy: Tammy M. Bolles, LCSW

Our stressed out society is very focused on comfort. A spa, salon, or massage therapist’s office can be found on almost every corner. Who doesn’t enjoy an occasional foot rub or the ability to sit back for a pedicure without a care in mind? For most people “comfort” simply means a time to relax and allow the stresses of life to fade from your mind for a bit.

However, for those who struggle with chronic pain, finding comfort is an everyday challenge. Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. It can include post-surgical pain, pain from injuries related to an accident, lower back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, pain caused by Fibromyalgia, and pain caused by nerve damage.

To relieve their chronic pain for even a few moments at a time doctors often introduce their patients to opioid pain medications like Vicodin, Percocet, Demerol, Lorcet, Opana, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl. These medications do their job well in providing much-needed relief, but can quickly become a pain-burdened individual’s new best friend.

When Your Best Friend Becomes Your Worst Enemy

Trouble arises when the pain medications begin to rule their lives. As with most narcotics, the initial dosing works for a period of time until the body builds up a tolerance to the chemical. The dosage must then be increased to allow the patient to find the same level of comfort they experienced initially. This is where the cycle of addiction often begins. The “new best friend” starts to reveal its dark side. Soon, all they can think about is their “new best friend” and they become willing to do anything it takes to get more of it even bypassing the doctor who prescribed the medication and seeking out alternative methods of getting their hands on it.

Having an opioid as your “best friend” may help you stay free of pain for a period of time. But, once it wears off and your body becomes accustomed to higher and higher doses you may begin to see the downside to this “friendship” such as muscle aches, runny nose, anxiety, sweating, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and dilated pupils.

To rekindle the “friendship” with this “new best friend” you may begin taking drastic measures to get your next dose, including lying, stealing, and manipulating friends and family—whatever it takes.

Though not all individuals with chronic pain develop an addiction, it has, unfortunately, become a growing trend. According to the New York Times, the current opioid epidemic in the U.S. killed more than 33,000 people in 2015 alone. (Bosman, J.2017)

It is unclear how many of these individuals suffered with chronic pain, but it does raise the question: Is opioid pain medication being over prescribed? It also leaves those suffering from chronic pain facing difficult decisions.

As a nation that is currently in an ongoing battle with opioid addiction, effectively managing chronic pain while preventing and treating addiction continues to challenge healthcare providers and chemical dependency counselors alike.

Find Freedom from Both Chronic Pain and Addiction

Google search ‘opioid use’ and you immediately see a clear lack of collaboration among physicians and addiction professionals, as most articles that come up focus on the viewpoint of one or the other. Influencing physicians and addiction experts to work side-by-side may be the key to a pain and addiction free solution to the current dilemma. There should be a better solution for those who suffer from chronic pain that will relieve their physical pain without leading to addiction. The “cure” for chronic pain should not be worse than the disease.

If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important that you take a proactive approach to treatment as you seek relief. Educate yourself on the prescribed medication, consult multiple healthcare providers, and ensure all of your doctors are aware of all medication changes. Remain vigilant in your endeavor to also find alternative life adjustments that may ease pain such as a change in diet and/or exercise, yoga, meditation, or acupuncture. As a precaution, you may also want to seek out guidance from an Addiction Therapist or Mental Health Counselor to help ensure that you don’t become dependent on the medication. These proactive approaches can help prevent a long and painful battle with opioid addiction that you never saw coming.

In the event that you find yourself addicted to prescription pain medication, you are most certainly not alone. We’ve helped many chronic pain sufferers free themselves from addiction, and find effective, alternative methods for relieving their pain through our highly individualized treatment program. For more information, give us a call at 1-866-292-7086. Our friendly staff are ready to help you take a look at your treatment options, and will help navigate through your health insurance benefits.


Bosman, J. (2017 06). Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from

Hedegaard H Chen LD, Warner M. Drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin: United Sates, 2000-2013. HCHS data brief, no 190. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from

Content Source Chronic Pain Management and Opioid Addiction


Do Religious Families Play A Role In Addiction?

Sex Addiction TreatmentReligious Families and Addiction

Written by Thomas Gagliano, MSW

In order to understand why religious families inadvertently and at times unintentionally create an environment where their children run to addictions rather than God as their coping mechanism, we must first begin by understanding the mindset of a child. When we look back on our childhood, we look back through adult lenses. Since then, we have grown by our maturity and life experiences, which may have distorted the truth of our childhood. Many of us carry messages that tell us we are bad children if we get mad at our parents or disagree with them. This message can have a profound impact on the way the person feels about himself or herself in adulthood. It is important to respect our parents but we can also have different opinions. A child needs to feel their opinion is important to their parents or the child may feel he or she isn’t important. Validating and acknowledging a child’s feelings is essential if they are to have self-worth. If children are afraid to share their true feelings and doubts in fear of reprisal then who can they trust? All of these messages set up the destructive entitlement that leads to addiction. It’s no coincidence that most addictions begin before the age of 18.

It’s important to understand that all children are egocentric at an early age. When my son was five, I was carrying him down the stairs and I stumbled. I banged my arm against the wall, broke my glasses, and hurt my shoulder while making sure he wasn’t hurt. At the bottom of the stairs, he looked at me and said, “It’s not nice to push little boys down the stairs.” This is the way children think at this age. They believe they are the center of the universe. Even when a parent dies at an early age, the child feels anger toward the deceased parent because they felt abandoned. If a parent works long hours in order to save for life’s expenses, the child may not view it this way. They may believe if they were better children, then the parent would want to spend more time with them. Their brain hasn’t developed enough to view this differently. Regardless of religion, skin color, or socioeconomic status, all children believe the world revolves around them. If the child believes something is more important to the parent than he or she is, then the child will develop animosity and defiance towards whatever it is. This includes religion. Contrarily, if a child feels he or she comes first, then religion does not become the enemy. They will welcome and accept religion as they grow older.

Today, there is a need to increase structure in the family system when raising our children. Unfortunately, too much control will create a child that loses their sense of self. In many religious families, parents use control as a mechanism to mold their children into who they want them to be. They forget that children need to feel understood for their beliefs and fears, as well as loved unconditionally, in order to want to be religious rather than feel they need to be religious as the way to receive their parent’s love. Parents’ control covers fear and fear covers inner pain. If they are very insecure on the inside, they tend to feel a greater need to control others on the outside. I see this quite often in religious families. When parents are afraid the child will not be religious, they tend to set many rules hoping their control will get the child to see things their way. The parents link this control to survival. In other words, parents believe if the child does not act and think the way they do, then something bad will happen to their child. As the child grows older they become more defiant against all types of rules. For example, many of my religious clients don’t wear seat belts when they drive, have multiple speeding tickets, and arrive late to sessions. They are basically telling the world that which they couldn’t say as a child, “Stop telling me what to do all the time, I’m tired of rules and regulations.”

They feel angry because they felt controlled and weren’t appreciated for who they are at their core, thus making them feel unworthy as children. This message is carried into adulthood and acted out with addiction. They need something to fill that void and feel independent and free. This freedom is shown with defiance towards any higher authority. These struggles create a need to medicate their inner pain with addictions, particularly with pornography. When children grow up in a religion that separates the sexes and restricts what nature deems natural, then sex becomes even more taboo and intriguing. The separation of sexes in itself doesn’t create addictive behavior. Addiction is created when the child feels defective or unimportant and needs something to fill that void. Easy access to the Internet has created a vehicle in which people can view almost anything with the touch of a button. It then becomes an easy escape, a quick ‘feel good’ for many adults, particularly men. They begin to feel, in a distorted way, that they are in control of their pleasure without any strings attached. The delusion that the individual can control sexual intimacy is what pornography offers. This could be a gateway to more serious addictions like strip clubs and prostitution. If a person cannot regulate and talk about their discomfort, they will learn to act out their discomfort. The neurons that connect discomfort to addiction will begin to fuse together as their coping mechanism.

Another hindrance on healthy parenting includes the need for many religious families to have many children, as they themselves came from large families. Even the most diligent parents will find it impossible to supply their children with the time needed to properly nurture each child. Again, at a young age the child won’t have the capacity to understand this; rather they will again feel dismissed and not important.

Healthy families are CURIOUS and HONEST with each other. They ask questions like “what was the best part of your day, what did you struggle with?” Healthy families don’t try to control their children’s behaviors; rather they supply their children with the tools to control their own behavior. For example, eventually a child will be on their own, so we want our children to avoid destructive behaviors because they want to, not just to please their parents. If the motive is to solely please their parents, then over time the person may fall victim to these behaviors. Wanting to do something is more powerful than needing to do something. For example, there are many people that need to stop watching pornography, but only those that want to stop will find recovery. Furthermore, healthy families create a safe environment for healthy communication, where each individual feels like their feelings are acknowledged and validated. They don’t have to agree with each other, but they still need to acknowledge each other’s feelings. They also share the belief that conflicts can be resolved. No one shuts down, runs away, or rages when there is disagreement. If the parents model this type of environment, while giving the child the message that they come first, then the child is more likely to walk towards religion on their own, as opposed to believing that you have to be religious first in order to be loved and accepted.

Thomas Gagliano, MSW, is the best-selling author of The Problem Was Me: How to End Negative Self-talk and Take your Life to a New Level, with Dr. Abraham Twerski and Don’t Put Your Crap In Your Kid’s Diaper: The Clean Up Cost Can Last a Life Time.

Content Source Do Religious Families Play A Role In Addiction?

3 Myths about Sex Addiction Treatment

Sex Addiction TreatmentAlexandra Katehakis, Senior Fellow at The Meadows, is one of the lead authors of an article titled, “Sex Addiction is NOT a ‘MYTH’ when Neuroscience Keeps the Score” featured in the January/February 2017 issue of The Therapist. The article is endorsed by several experts in the fields of trauma, addiction, and mental health including Dr. Claudia Black and Dr. Stefanie Carnes, both Senior Fellows at The Meadows; Dr. Jon Caldwell, Medical Director at The Meadows; and Dr. Monica Meyer, Clinical Director at Gentle Path at The Meadows.

In the article, Katehakis and her co-authors set out a convincing case for treating sex addiction as a chronic brain disease, much like other dependencies and process addictions. They also lay to rest many of the prevailing myths about the sex addiction model for treating compulsive sexual behaviors, pointing to evidence that the sex addiction theory offers neurologically-informed, sex-positive, and relationally-based therapeutic protocols.

Myth #1: Sex addiction treatment is a really just “reparative therapy.”

Reparative therapy (also known as conversion therapy) is a type of counseling that claims to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual. It has been widely discredited by mental health professionals and is illegal in several states.

Unfortunately, some therapists and counselors have misleadingly used the term “sex addiction” to lure clients into reparative therapy. Some also shame people who engage in what they see as non-conforming sexual behaviors. These practices are not considered ethical or appropriate within the sex addiction model of treatment.

Expert, credentialed, Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs) do not use, support, condone, or respect the destructive practice of reparative therapy; and, their aim is to help clients move beyond shame, not to intensify the shame they are often already feeling.

Individuals should not be classified as sex addicts based on their sexual orientation. Individuals of any sexual orientation may display symptoms of sexual addiction and be diagnosed based on self-reporting and a comprehensive assessment process conducted by a trained and knowledgeable sex addiction professional.

Myth #2: Sex addiction treatment shames people for enjoying nonconforming sexual behaviors.

Certified sex addiction professionals do not shame or scold individuals who struggle with sexual preoccupation and/or compulsivity or on the basis of their sexual preferences. The goal of sex addiction treatment is to guide clients toward a sexuality that feels right for them—a sexuality that is pleasurable, creative, and relational. Sexual compulsivity and/or preoccupation is marked by moderate to severe dissociation that is often accompanied by impulses that are destructive to the client’s sense of self and lead to feelings of dysphoria and isolation. According to the authors:

CSATs are educated about alternative sexual lifestyles which include ‘nonconforming’ behaviors such as kink/fetishes, BDSM, or other practices. Only if a client presents with sexual behavior—alternative or ordinary—that troubles him or her are practices explored and assessed. More importantly, this investigation aims to measure the problematic nature, not of the sexual acts themselves, but of their compulsive use. Recovery from sex addiction never means ‘repairing’ erotic minorities from their sexual preferences.”

Sex addicts expend most of their energy replaying past traumatic sexual experiences and/or repetitively fantasizing about future ones. These preoccupations and impulses are often overwhelming and severely disrupt their professional and personal lives. The disorder has no resemblance to even the most robust, healthy sexual interest and behavior.

Myth #3: Sex addiction treatment is just another 12-step program.

Sex addiction therapists do not see the 12-step program as the be-all and end-all of treatment. 12-step programs are valuable in that they can help participants increase their relational skills and ability to connect with others through regular interaction with a caring group. But sex addiction therapy does not end with 12-step work.

The most effective treatment for sex addiction is based on a well-designed, multi-faceted, comprehensive plan that is tailored to the client’s goals. The treatment provider also must help the client to develop support structures—like a 12-step program—that facilitate long-term and meaningful recovery.

For example, at Gentle Path at The Meadows and Willow House at The Meadows, treatment plans focus on trauma resolution and include neurofeedback and neuriobiofeedback techniques, EMDR, experiential therapies, individual counseling, mindfulness practices, yoga, acupuncture and more, in addition to 12-step work.

It’s a holistic approach that treats the whole person, focusing on the mind, body, and emotions of the client. Its goal is to help clients resolve past trauma and discover—sometimes for the first time—pleasurable, self-nurturing, and relational sexuality.

What is Sex Addiction Treatment Really About?

The sex addiction model of treatment is not sex-negative, puritanical, or anti-pleasure. It also does not disapprove of or try to discourage sexual expression outside of narrowly-defined, normative, heterosexual sex. Sex addiction treatment, when conducted by well-trained, caring professionals, is sex-positive. Its goal is to help each person discover, delight in, and fully express his or her preferred sex life.

For more information on sex addiction treatment for yourself or your partner or spouse, please give us all call at 866-613-1826. Our Intake Specialists are happy to talk to you about whether one of our 5-day workshops, inpatient sex addiction treatment, or outpatient sex addiction treatment may be right for you.

Content Source 3 Myths about Sex Addiction Treatment

Why The Meadows Outpatient Center is the Best Place for Addiction Treatment

Addiction TreatmentNo one plans to become addicted, but after that initial interaction with alcohol, drugs or dysfunctional behavior, they may like how it makes them feel and soon find themselves spiraling out of control. Individuals who engage in these types of escapism may have initially acted on it to feel good, but then find themselves having to seek it out just to feel normal.

And that is what confuses many people who do not suffer from addiction.

Why do people become addicted?

It can often seem mystifying as to why or how other people can become addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs; or how a person can find themselves engaging in addictive behaviors like sex or gambling. They may mistakenly believe that individuals suffering from addiction lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their harmful behaviors simply by choosing to. In reality, addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Addiction changes the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to.

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, approximately 40 million Americans ages 12 and older—or more than 1 in 7 people—abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs. This is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions (27 million), diabetes (26 million) or cancer (19 million).

Addiction is more common than most people realize. Unfortunately, many people do not seek the treatment they need.

What happens to the brain of an addict?

Addictive behaviors (gambling, sex, etc) and substances (ex. alcohol, drugs) affect the brain’s “reward circuit” by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system controls the body’s ability to feel pleasure and motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable “high” that can lead people to engage in their addiction again and again.

As a person continues to remain involved with their addiction, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine by making less of it and/or reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they first felt before their addiction worsened —an effect known as tolerance. They begin utilizing their addiction of choice more and more, trying to achieve the same dopamine high. It can also cause them to get less pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

  • Learning

  • Judgment

  • Decision-making

  • Stress

  • Memory

  • Behavior

Despite being aware of harmful outcomes, many people suffering from addiction continue to participate in these dangerous behaviors, which is the nature of addiction.

Addiction Treatment that Works

At The Meadows, we believe trauma underlies nearly all conditions. Trauma, whether related to addiction, family-of-origin issues or abuse, can reverberate through the many facets of our lives, follow us into adulthood and inhibit us from living in the present.

We believe that successful treatment combines different powerful and unique methodologies that enable support, discovery, and healing.

The Meadows’ highly trained staff and innovative therapeutic techniques have made it America’s leading treatment center for addiction and developmental trauma. For more than 40 years, The Meadows has helped over 45,000 people find healing and recovery from a range of addictions and co-occurring disorders. Our therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors look to the underlying issues to treat the cause of the problem, bringing lifelong learning and healing to each and every patient.

At The Meadows, our highly individualized treatment encompasses The Meadows Model to address emotional trauma and addiction with a multi-disciplinary emphasis. In addition to a medical integration model, our staff includes 24-hour nursing, on-site physicians, and a full-time Chief of Psychiatry. This talented team of professionals specializes in trauma resolution using a variety of cutting-edge therapeutic modalities.

The Meadows’ innovative Brain Center offers patients neurofeedback and other integrative equipment to aid in grounding and brain regulation. Patients have access to the latest and most efficient technology promoting “self-regulation” skills that can enhance and expedite the recovery process.

Recover from Your Addiction

We know that even though some people may suffer from the same mental health concerns, they each will have their own unique story and past history. This means that a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment will not work. At The Meadows, we create an individualized treatment plan for you based on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs to help you achieve long-lasting recovery.

To learn how The Meadows can help you or a loved one, please call 866-613-1826 or visit our website. All calls and communications are kept strictly confidential.

Content Source Why The Meadows Outpatient Center is the Best Place for Addiction Treatment


Gambling Addiction Treatment in Arizona

Gambling Addiction TreatmentWhat many people may not realize is that gambling addiction is classified as an impulse control disorder.

Individuals with impulse control disorders feel increasing stimulation before participating in the act of gambling. While gambling they probably will feel a sense of satisfaction; however, they may feel remorse or shame afterward.

Compulsive gamblers can’t control the urge to gamble, even when they know it has negative consequences that will hurt themselves and their families through strained relationships and financial problems. Unpleasant feelings can worsen the disorder, such as:

  • Stress

  • Depression

  • Loneliness

  • Fear

  • Anxiety

Compulsive gamblers continue to gamble though they know the odds are against them, and they can’t afford to lose. These individuals may or may not plan to gamble, but it generally fulfills an immediate, conscious need; however, they often feel anguished and a loss of control over their lives from their actions.

Problematic Gambling

According to an article published in the Scientific American, four in five Americans say they have gambled at least once in their lives. With the exception of Hawaii and Utah, every state in the country offers some form of legalized gambling. And today you do not even need to leave your house to gamble—all you need is an Internet connection or a phone. Various surveys have determined that around two million people in the U.S. are addicted to gambling, and for as many as 20 million citizens the habit seriously interferes with work and social life.

Studies have shown that individuals who anticipate winning while gambling appear to react much like a person reacting to euphoria-inducing drugs. During one study subjects who were gambling had blood flow to the brain change in ways similar to that seen in other experiments during an infusion of cocaine in subjects addicted to that drug and to low doses of morphine in drug-free individuals.

The changes varied in accordance with the amount of money involved and a broadly distributed set of brain regions were involved in anticipating a win. The more money involved, the more excited the person became.

Signs of a Gambling Addiction

With gambling, the odds are never in your favor whether it is poker, blackjack, lottery tickets or entering a raffle; gambling is a successful industry because the house always wins.

Common signs of gambling addiction include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Feeling the need to be secretive about gambling

  • Having trouble controlling gambling habits

  • Gambling when you cannot afford to

  • Your friends and family express concern about your gambling

  • Anxiety about quitting or stopping

  • Strong emotional reaction to gambling or about stopping such as:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Self-harm

  • Suicidal thoughts

Other addictions frequently co-occur with gambling addiction as they serve as coping mechanisms for individuals stressed out by their activity. Many gamblers turn to drugs, alcohol, sexual addiction, and other behaviors to alleviate the anxiety brought on by the gambling lifestyle.

Even if a person never experiences a financial loss because of gambling, they may struggle with a substance addiction for the rest of life due to self-medicating to deal with the stress brought on by the lifestyle. Also, relationships are often permanently damaged as a result of gambling.

How To Get Help For Gambling Addiction

Just as alcoholics and drug addicts develop a tolerance to alcohol and drugs, the gambler will need to gamble more and more to achieve the same effect. The continuous search for that “high” ultimately develops into an addiction.

At The Meadows, we utilize cutting-edge therapies and other techniques to help clients change unhealthy gambling behaviors. Problem gamblers learn how to control their urges, deal with uncomfortable emotions and resolve underlying issues that brought about the addiction through individualized gambling addiction treatment.

To learn more about our program or to seek help for yourself or a loved one, please call 866-331-3102 or visit our website today. All communication is kept strictly confidential.

Content Source Gambling Addiction Treatment In Arizona


Welcome Home: Preventing Relapse after Inpatient Treatment

Addiction TreatmentI once heard a client’s family member refer to their loved one’s inpatient addiction treatment as a sort of summer camp.

The family member made this pronouncement with what sounded like envy; they wished they too could have some “time away.”

The thought intrigued me as a therapist. Soon after that session, I presented the idea of inpatient mental health treatment as “summer camp” to the group I was leading, and within moments I was dodging hypothetical tomatoes being thrown my direction.

Over the years, having spent more time in inpatient treatment as a therapist, I can tell you that there are many reasons why the notion that inpatient treatment is like summer camp doesn’t fly with those in recovery. One of the biggest distinctions, however, is in the returning home. Returning home from summer camp, and returning home from treatment are two entirely different things.

As a kid, you go to summer camp to experience new things and meet new friends with the knowledge that you will return home to your parents and your usual mundane surroundings within a few weeks. Nothing at home is likely to change. That is what often makes the idea of being away so appealing.

Your new friend’s primary interest is in coaxing you into the lake after lunch so that they have a swim partner. In fact, at summer camp you may not even think of home very often. Your mind typically stays on the burnt marshmallows, and the weird lanyard thing you work on at night before bed that you plan to present your parents as a token of your love and gratitude.

None of this sounds like inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

What Going Home Means After Inpatient Treatment

You probably will make friends during your inpatient addiction treatment. However, unlike summer camp, the friends you do make will be made by sharing your innermost, and most painful personal failures and struggles—struggles that you thought could be kept secret forever.

When you do think of home, you may feel a sense of loss or confusion. Your thoughts might range from “Where is home?” to “Will I ever really be home again?”

After inpatient addiction treatment, home is a place where you carefully put on your life vest of newly acquired coping skills to keep from drowning in the old habits and patterns of behavior that your brain so strongly associates with drinking or using.

Building a New and Better ‘Home’

The home you return to after inpatient or residential addiction treatment must be built on the foundation of a solid relapse prevention plan. Before you leave treatment, you should have a plan in place for…

  • Managing cravings and triggers.

  • Preventing a momentary slip from turning into a full-fledged return to substance abuse.

  • Relying on a strong diversified support system that can include family, friends, and mental health professionals.

Relapse prevention” is a term that frequently gets thrown around during an inpatient treatment stay. While in treatment, each patient begins to identify what their own relapse prevention plan will be. However, no one can possibly identify every potential trigger beforehand. It is critical that patients talk about and even practice their plans before leaving treatment. But, practice is never exactly the same as real-life experience.

That’s why, in addition to having a relapse prevention plan, you should also get familiar with the stages of relapse, so that you can identify who the best people to reach out to would be if you, unfortunately, found yourself in one of these stages. If you are prepared, you will find that slipping into one of these stages doesn’t mean the end of your recovery. Rather, an expected slip can be an opportunity to apply one of your newly-acquired coping skills and pull yourself back into a manageable place.

The three, progressive stages of relapse are:

1. Emotional

During this stage, you may start reacting to the same triggers that lead to your drug or alcohol misuse with feelings of anxiety, anger, isolation, mood swings, and changes in eating or sleeping habits. The most important thing you can do at this stage is to reach out to your support system. Contact your sponsor, therapist, or visit your support group, or attend your 12-step meetings.

2. Mental

In this stage, you start to fantasize and rationalize. You might start to dream about using again. Then, you will start to come up with reasons why using again would be “no big deal.” Once you’ve reached this stage, it’s absolutely critical that you talk to your sponsor or addiction counselor.

3. Physical

This is the stage where you give in and reach for the substance or process that you have worked so hard to quit using. This is why it’s so critical to recognize when you’re in stage one or two of a relapse and get help before you go down this dangerous path.

Knowing—but not anticipating—that relapse is often part of a successful recovery will help you to maintain and restore hope if you find yourself struggling through any these stages.

Maintaining your primary focus on the better life that lies ahead through recovery keeps us taking that “next best step,” “one day at a time.” As you continue on your journey “home” remember that awareness plus action is change. This change can be applied no matter where you are on your journey. If you find yourself slipping, take action, reach out, and push forward towards your new home sweet home in recovery.

Ease the Transition Home in an Outpatient Program

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is often recommended when an individual requires a “step down” from one level of treatment to the next before they are ready to return home and apply their recovery skills to everyday life.

At The Meadows Outpatient Center, we teach time-tested recovery skills and help remove the blocks that produce a life full of joy, gratitude, and acceptance. These skills promote loving, healthy relationships free from active addiction in an ongoing, permanent and successful recovery.

We are a comprehensive outpatient program that offers 18-20 hours of services and treatment per week—more than twice the amount of services provided in a typical IOP. We are also in-network with both Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our program and help you determine if The Meadows Outpatient Treatment Center is the right place for you. Give us a call at 866-562-9559.

Content Source Welcome Home: Preventing Relapse after Inpatient Treatment