By Ginny Gray, LCSW
A large part of my practice is working with clients and family members struggling with alcoholism, addiction, and the accompanying issues of mood disorders and trauma.
For those who are struggling with these areas, please be aware that the tendency is to suffer in silence and in isolation. This is where the problem or disease breeds. It often takes time to achieve long lasting solutions to this problem, but there is hope, help, and treatment to deal with it. The first step is honesty with oneself, the second is courage to seek guidance, and the third is to have faith that things can and do change for the better. It is extremely important that not only the addict or alcoholic seeks treatment but close family members and children should also get their own help. As the disease progresses, families also retreat and become isolated. They often live in fear, anger, and shame. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out for help. In doing so, I believe you will also find hope.
Here is information about the various kinds of treatment for individuals and families dealing with addiction.
- Treatment comes in many forms: Inpatient rehab lasting anywhere from 28 to more than 90 days. A good rehab will view aftercare as vital, will take an active part in helping an individual plan specific next safe steps once they complete in-patient treatment. The hard work begins when someone leaves in-patient. This time is when the user is most likely to relapse. Often best practices suggest a step down approach to returning to the real world.
- For some, following treatment, there are phased down treatment facilities that help patients re-enter society and they can last a year or more.
- As one needs less care there are sober living homes and intensive outpatient care.
- Finally there are peer-to-peer support groups such as 12 Step Meetings like AA, Life Ring, and Smart Recovery, many which meet at diverse times in the day and can also be found online. (Greenwich AA meetings link)
The treatment of addiction is often a life long battle, which needs to be attended to on a daily basis especially in the early years.
Finally individuals suffering with addiction have an extremely high comorbid diagnosis for anxiety, depression, and trauma. All these need to be assessed for and treated or the underlying issues very often lead to relapse.
Thus good comprehensive treatment should include:
- Psychiatric evaluation and psychotherapy must be considered as part of one’s on going treatment.
Integral to long-term sobriety is developing a healthy lifestyle. This includes:
- Good nutrition
- A strong spiritual life
- Stress reducing and centering activities such as yoga, meditation,
There are other practices that have proven to be helpful to many. These and others are highlighted below and will be presented in our upcoming panel presentation.
Lastly if you are wondering if you are living with or are an alcoholic or addict please click here for assessment questions: there is one for family members, one for addicts, and one for alcoholics.
I hope these resources are helpful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out at any time.
Ginny Gray, LCSW
Certified Recovery Coach