September is National Recovery Month, initiated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, applauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible”. -SAMSHA
Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
During September, AKUA Mind and Body will be promoting a series of written content that will highlight the perils of recovery to spread awareness about the successes, lessons, and hardships that come with recovery. This series will include the following:
- Stages of Recovery
- Common Roadblocks in Recovery
- Therapist’s corner: Questions About Addiction Recovery
- Things Not to Say to A Loved One In Recovery
- The Importance of Connection in Recovery
Addiction is not a one-person affair. Millions of loved ones become caught in its insidious web of deception, denial, and danger. Families challenged by addiction are wounded and weary. They experience negative feelings and emotions, which block the road to recovery. A major roadblock is the stigma of addiction. It fuels shame, which feeds on secrets, silence, and judgment.
Shame: Often, individuals, will hide their addiction because they are ashamed of their thoughts and behaviors and do not want others to find out the truth. Mothers will hide their addiction from their children. Wives will hide their addiction from their husbands. Often, telling the truth and asking for help becomes so much of a burden to the individual struggling with addiction that they would rather live in secret and experience this underlying shame. Being honest and admitting your addiction is the only way to release this internal shame.
Stigma: Many individuals are nervous about opening up about their addiction, whether it is an alcohol use disorder or opioid use disorder, because they may be looked down upon by society. Although the individual may not feel wrong about their addiction, in other words, they do not experience shame, they may be nervous about how others will view them because of the stigma. These individuals may be worried about their reputation. Will their friends and family view them differently if they find out about their addiction? Will they be able to go back to work after treatment?
Fear: Many individuals are hesitant to enter recovery because of fear, in particular, fear of the unknown. Recovery is a new way of life, and for many, giving up an old life full of addiction can be daunting. Many individuals fear the physical discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, while others are afraid of going through life without an easy way to numb their emotional pain. Overcoming fear is a day-by-day process in recovery, and it requires the help of a compassionate, knowledgeable treatment team.
Loneliness: The lack of a support system is one of the biggest roadblocks to recovery. Entering recovery means leaving behind friends that you once abused drugs with, which can potentially mean that you may experience loneliness. Humans are social creatures, and most of us fear being alone. Leaving your addiction behind, many initially require you to leave old friends behind as well. However, when in recovery, you will meet new friends and form healthy relationships with individuals who can be your support system. This is one of the primary roles of your therapy team. They are there for you to talk to you and support you throughout your journey to recovery.
Untreated mental health disorders: Oftentimes, individuals who have a substance use disorder will often have an underlying mental health disorder that goes undiagnosed. They may enter recovery treatment but cannot get into a healthy place and may continue to relapse. The underlying mental health disorder must be diagnosed and treated to be successful in their addiction recovery. It is essential to seek out a treatment center that specializes in co-occurring disorders.
Akua Mind & Body treatment
Akua Mind & Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. Akua makes your recovery a priority. Akua Mind & Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder.
Akua Mind & Body offers detoxification, intensive treatment programs, and virtual outpatient treatment programs. AKUA Mind and Body uses a blend of holistic approaches combined with evidence-based treatment to help individuals who have been affected by substance use and mental health disorders to recognize their underlying triggers and develop healthy coping skills. Regardless of where you are in your recovery process, Akua Mind & Body can help.