Treatment Programs

Trauma creates Drama, Drama inhibits Recovery

Trauma creates drama. It is unavoidable. In so many addicts when we peel back all the layers and finally get to the answer to the question “why” it is often related to trauma. The answer to the question “why” must always be found in order for recovery to occur but the answer is often a difficult one because that answer can cause so much pain. The trauma comes is all forms. Everything form family dynamics to sexual abuse to legal problems to psychiatric disorders. And so it is almost inevitable that unveiling that trauma will bring with it lots of drama.

Treatment success comes with keeping that drama to a minimum and not letting it interfere with the work that must really be done. In my time as a treating physician to those with a diagnosis of addiction I can absolutely tell you that the clients with the least amount of drama have the highest success rates. Two patients with the same circumstances surrounding their trauma may have completely levels of drama in their lives. I wish I could tell you what predisposes one patient to higher levels of drama than another but I cannot. It is occasionally a personality disorder. It is occasionally a psychiatric disorder. It is occasionally those “helicopter” parents–the ones who hover and coddle too much.

Today in the treatment center was a perfect example of how drama gets in the way of recovery. A patient who was doing so well for her first couple of weeks in the program let her drama disrupt not only her own program but the program of all those around her. The power of the mind is incredible and psychosomatic symptoms are over powering but it is really all just drama. Drama is more prevalent in the pessimistic personality–but how do you make a person optimistic?

I continue to look for the answers to the questions regarding the cure for drama. In the meantime keep the drama to a minimum and you will speed your recovery process.

What defines a good treatment program?

Is it location? Is it the size of the program? Is it the experience of the therapists and administrators. Is it the ability to deal with the disease of addiction. Does the type of drug matter–oxy, heroin, hydrocodone, alcohol, etc…. Is group vs. individual therapy; or a combination of both? Is about Holistic vs. Traditional? Does Dual diagnosis matter?

The reality it is all the above. Plus one very important ingredient. You must be committed to your choice and comfortable with the notion that you will do whatever it takes to move past the disease of addiction and to the road where a new life begins. One without drugs. One where the person you will become will be unrecognizable from the person you are leaving behind.

What makes a good program is this. It starts with a program where the administrators care right from the first phone call. It begins and end with with individual attention on day one. Secondly size matters. Smaller more intimate programs are more likely to give you individual attention and design a program that most closely fits your needs. To that end, while group therapy is important, All groups pale in comparison to individual therapy. Small programs are more like to give you the individual attention you need to achieve the results you are looking for. In the midst of that individual therapy Dual Diagnosis is critical. Eighty percent of all bipolar patient have in some time abused something. Seventy percent of all chronic substance users are bipolar. One thing is clear. If the proper dual diagnosis is not made–you will not get better. Therefore any program you attend must have a physician available at all times to make the right diagnosis and help you with your recovery. As for Holistic vs. traditional; I believe in Holistic. You must not forget about your body and your soul as you heal you mind. Programs that address you in your entirety are more likely to be successful than those who do not.

So how do you define a good program? How does your family define it? Their needs must be addressed as well so you can all heal together

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