What to do about Addiction?

In my last article “Know Thy Enemy“, I referenced a special “Time” edition about the science of addiction.  Why is one person susceptible to addiction and another not?  So here’s what we know.  Addiction is a combination of genetics, environment (the crowd you run with), availability of the chemical of choice, and complex social/emotional relationships that drive the use of chemicals to cope with life.  Is there any hope?  The great news is an emphatic “yes”, but the bad news is that it takes work!  Buckle up, let’s take a ride down the Road to Recovery.  

I was shocked the first time someone told me that prison was not always the worst thing.  I thought “Not for my daughter.” 

Kevin Dennis, CEO Field of Hope

Road to Recovery

Get in it for the long haul.  Life, and especially a full life, is worth it.  So here is the simple answer to overcoming addiction – there is no simple answer!  Sorry!  Instead, we’ll be covering some options on the road to recovery.

  • Alcohol Anonymous (AA)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Alcoholics Anonymous Logo

Alcoholics Anonymous

The longest-proven recovery technique is the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12-step program.  When the program really works as it was designed, it is successful for many people.

A basic piece of the AA program is the belief in a higher power.  Often God is the higher power accepted, and that connection with someone greater than ourselves can bring victory.  Successful AA recovery folks say that it may not be scientific, but it works.  That is a testament to the unseen power of our Creator God.  

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment

Another somewhat related treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which focuses on changing the behavior and thought processes.  New behaviors will change the brain’s way of thinking and set the stage for success.  Often CBT can be used along with the 12-step program but with less emphasis on trusting a higher power.  Now we are getting to a treatment plan with a high degree of success.

Substance abuse disorder needs to be treated but so does the mental health side of addiction.  They are “co-occurring” disorders.  Which came first – the chicken or the egg?  It doesn’t matter.  When a person realizes their need to treat the whole addiction behavior, they are on the path to recovery.  

Medical Assisted Treatment

MAT stands for Medical Assisted Treatment and is often used along with one of the other recovery techniques. This method brings controversy and concern among some treatment providers about using an “addictive drug to treat addiction.”

Methadone and Suboxone fall into those categories and must be tightly controlled if the patient has any chance of success in their recovery. Other medicines like the 30-day Vivitrol shot that prohibits an opiate high and relieves cravings, the Subucade shot that is a form of Suboxone but easier to control, and other medicines that relieve feelings of nervousness and anxiety are considered by many to be the best MAT medicines.

A father praying to help his family.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

A Tightrope Walk For Parents

A typical dilemma is for parents or other loved ones who are fighting their children’s or other family member’s addictions without the proper training and background to really help.  Helping an addict financially may enable them to continue their habit.

I discuss that in the book “God Can”, which describes the tightrope parents walk between accountability and help with their addicted children.  We want to keep them alive until they find recovery, but we also do not want to literally kill them with kindness.

I was shocked the first time someone told me that prison was not always the worst thing.  I thought “Not for my daughter.”  It turns out that some of those tough lessons from prison helped our daughter to turn around a 20-year addiction.  

Finding Help

Addicts need help to conquer their addiction, and loved ones need help in the battle as well.  Loved ones are often not familiar with the depth of addiction, environmental triggers, and other drivers that their loved ones may be engaged in.

If you are trying to convince someone to go to a rehabilitation facility, check it out first.  Ask for their success rate, the cost of treatment, and their method of treatment.

The Field of Hope is a faith-based rehabilitation center that offers Substance abuse disorder and mental health/trauma treatment.   We have a residential center for women and an outpatient for men and women.

A critical piece of recovery is helping clients get back on their feet with a vehicle, driver’s license, job, and medical treatment for many maladies that can accompany years of addiction.  FOH clients with Medicaid do not pay anything for all these services.  Other payment methods are also available.  There are other service providers available in our area as well, and the local ADAMH Board is the hub of all those providers who help pull Gallia-Jackson-Meigs services together.  

There is victory.  #inittowinit, #wherelifechangehappenseveryday

Organizations such as Field of Hope and Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board work to try to help those who are lost in addiction and unsure where to go or who to turn to. At Field of Hope, we understand that there can be many obstacles when rebuilding a new life in recovery. You will not do this alone. We provide services for drug, alcohol, and gambling addiction recovery and mental health care. Caring staff will walk alongside you to help you put the pieces together from start to finish. Call us today at (740) 245-3051

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *