Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back to the Grind

“You all have been so great…but I’m worried about how it’s going to be when I get back home; back to the real world.”

We hear this again and again from our patients who have come to The ColemanInstitute for an accelerated opiate, or alcohol or benzo detox. And it’s a very valid concern.  Years of prioritizing "How will I get my pills? (dope, beer, wine, xanax…)?" has contributed to habitual ways of thinking.  It is wise for a person who has chosen to become clean to recognize—with humility, optimism, and faith—that staying clean is a process.

Many patients leave our office, and I suspect, other treatment facilities in the beautiful pink cloud of early sobriety.  They are determined to change their lives; to be the parent, the child, the spouse, the friend they know they are capable of being.  And then an unexpected bill comes along.  Or a child gets in trouble.  Or the dishwasher breaks.  Or the boss yells at you.  And the thoughts are overwhelming any peaceful thoughts about recovery: “What the hell?  Why was I thinking I could stay sober?  I’ve never done it before…One drink (pill, toke, snort) won’t hurt, it’ll just take the edge off—I deserve it. I can’t believe he/she said that to me—as hard as I’ve been working, trying…”

Recognizing triggers, accepting the fact that the urge to use is made worse with resistance, having quick access to someone who’s been through the same experience, sharing the misery, lightening up with a laugh…all this and much more is what a person will find in a 12 Step Program. If they want to.

Because 12 Step Programs are based on attraction, rather than promotion, no one will ever be pressured in any way.  There is no evidence that any other approach is more successful.
At The Coleman Institute, we safely and comfortably help detox our patients, and provide naltrexone in the form of a pellet, inserted under the skin.  For opiate users, this provides  8-10 weeks of blocking the receptors; for alcohol it cuts down on the urge and pleasure of drinking.  It has been the springboard for people to begin their program of recovery without the physical urges and cravings.

Call us if you’re ready to start taking the first steps. You have no idea the freedom that’s waiting for you.

Joan R. Shepherd, NP

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