I’m clean & sober, now what?
I’m clean & sober, now what?
I guess that’s the million dollar thought running through the minds of a generation that has become engulfed in the opioid epidemic.
25.3 million people in the United States of America live in recovery from substance abuse; recovery being a term loosely used to describe returning to a normal state of mind.
What about the people that drink after a period of time away from opiates? What about replacing one substance with another? Mental health issues? Gambling?
Myself, like a majority of the population in recovery believe that recovery means no longer using any type of mind or mood altering substances.
When the topic was first thought about, I thought this would be a great read for the roughly 18 million people entering into recovery under the age of 30. The reality though; it’s probably more for the families, the loved ones & the friends that held true in their support.
The typical timeline is as follows for a mid 20’s person succumbing to their disease & willing to get help: Detoxification of the narcotics and/or alcohol which typically takes 5-7 days. From there, most will enter into an inpatient treatment center. For most states, the insurance term is PHP, or a partial hospitalization program. This typically lasts 30-45 days. From there, clients are referred to an intensive outpatient program & sober living which will last 6-9 months.
Adding up the time, a person looking to truly change their lives can be under clinical care for up to a year. If that is the case, their ‘what’ is already being established. The top tier programs are going to help them with legal trouble, education & building a foundation to recreate their lives in a healthy fashion.
The families though; they ship their loved ones off to get help & on day one are left to begin their trek to rehabilitation from what active addiction did to them.
A great program will offer family therapy, Skype sessions & direct them in the way of Al-Anon.
Is that enough though? Is a few therapy sessions & a meeting once a week really enough to cope with the devastation that was left behind?
The answer is no & the reality is that it’s not up for debate. As active addicts we destroy the lives of those closest to us.
When great programs bring in someone to change their life, the process has just begun for that person & their family. The biggest misconception is that people believe once an addict/alcoholic is shipped off to treatment that the family can now breathe. That could not be further from the truth. In most cases, the loved ones & families remain in survival mode significantly longer than the addict themselves. From not knowing how to cope with an addict to supporting them in the proper way, the rehabilitation back to happiness is a long process.
Admissions Coordinators, who are the first point of contact will help to get everyone situated. They will give families information needed to make sure the process gets off on the right foot. Outreach specialists will keep the family connected to the treatment center & advocate for the patient along the way in order to find them the correct fit for aftercare. The clinical staff puts it all together to ensure a patient is getting the help they need. Everyone involved will work around the clock to keep all parties on the same page so a plan of action can be determined moving forward.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘now what?’
The answer is now we put a plan in place to never revisit active addiction.