Friday, June 12, 2009

“The Truth Will Set You Free But It Will Make You Mad First!”

ChrisThe first time I heard these words I laughed out loud. Then I immediately thought, “Wow, someone has a bad attitude about Truth!” Yet, as I have thought more about it, there is a level of “truth” in the above statement. More on that later, but now time for an introduction…

Hi, my name is Chris Newcomb. I am the Aftercare Counselor/Coordinator at The Coleman Institute. I came on board in mid-March 2009. Since my arrival, I am having a wonderful time learning the ropes of the detoxification process as well as extending a hand of service to those who are suffering from the disease of addiction.

When a new patient arrives on our campus, my job is to sit down and have a conversation with the patient about their drug and/or alcohol history. We talk about things like money spent using, time spent using, possible reasons why the patient uses (i.e., pain management, recreation, both) and why they have come to the Coleman Institute. That last part may seem obvious but, believe it or not, many patients who come to us really just want to feel better. We want them to feel better; however, many of our patients do not immediately make the connection that healing from addiction is a life-long journey. In other words, it is a marathon, not a sprint!

This brings us back to our initial discussion about the truth making us mad before setting us free. A key component of addiction is the tricky little problem known as “denial.” Denial keeps so many people from the drug- and/or alcohol-free lifestyle they deserve. Denial is an inability to accept reality as it is. My job is to offer the truth to patients: that ongoing, self-care is of the utmost importance in order to experience long-term sobriety.

It is important to note that The Coleman Institute is a total abstinence-based program, that is, we encourage our patients to live a totally drug- and/or alcohol-free life. In order for patients to achieve such a lifestyle, I present them with an individualized treatment plan that gives them both short-term and long-term goals. This plan includes key components such as In-Patient Treatment (30-90 days), I.O.P. (Intensive Out-Patient), Individual and/or Group Therapy, 12-Step Meetings, Psychiatric Services (i.e., for depression and anxiety) and a few others. The plan helps the patient learn how to care for themselves one day at a time for the rest of their lives, if they chose to work the plan. Many of our patients do take the challenge and we see amazing results. For the ones that do not initially choose to embrace the plan, we keep in contact with them and keep encouraging them to embrace life and health.

Addiction is no joke, as they say. We have seen the destruction it causes for the addict and many of their relationships. That is I why I am personally committed to providing the best Aftercare Program to help our patients successfully “trudge the road to Happy Destiny.”

For Recovery,
Chris Newcomb – Aftercare Counselor / Coordinator

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