27 Nov Treatment and Recovery – Therapeutic Advantages of Getting Away
The intrinsic benefits of a vacation getaway are well recognized, but what about taking that concept a bit further? If a vacation can bring about a renewed purpose and sense of well-being, why not apply the same principles to treatment and recovery? Why not, indeed? In fact, addiction treatment facilities in resort-like settings or geographically desirable locations are becoming increasingly popular – and they’re not only for the super wealthy.
Let’s take a look at some of the most readily-apparent benefits to treatment and recovery in a location other than home.
Vacation with Benefits
Think of this type of treatment and recovery as a vacation – with benefits. Not only does the facility’s physical location bring a certain element of exclusivity or appeal, but the amenities, services, isolated atmosphere, and full-suite of treatment modalities provides the individual choosing this style of rehab with perhaps the best chance of success in overcoming addiction.
Many of these locations are considered luxury addiction treatment facilities, akin, in many respects, to five-star resorts. Every conceivable first-class amenity and service is offered, from high-thread count sheets to designer furniture, personal trainers, therapeutic massage, life coaches, personal chefs and gourmet foods. The settings are spectacular as well, including isolated mountaintop retreats to secluded beach locations or suites and accommodations with ocean views.
To help ensure mind-body-spirit balance, there are plenty of recreational activities available, including, but not limited to, tennis, golf, water sports, boating, hiking, overnight excursions (in some locations), along with yoga, meditation, equine-assisted therapy, arts therapy and other enriching treatment modalities.
Why do people go on a vacation in the first place? Overwhelmingly, they go to relax. In fact, this is the same reason many clients choose an addiction treatment facility in a far-away location. They want – and need – to be able to relax. The best of these treatment facilities do everything they can to ensure that their clients don’t have to worry about the things they left back home – bills, deadlines, family pressures, whatever.
Sure, these things will be there once the client returns, but with the new skills and coping mechanisms they’ve learned during treatment, they’ll be more relaxed and better able to return to their home environment.
Another benefit to going away for treatment is that clients are free of distractions. There’s no other reason to be there except to concentrate on getting treatment to overcome addiction. They don’t have to satisfy the demands of their boss, take the kids to and from school and extracurricular activities, attend to bill-paying, household chores and errands, or other routine tasks.
While the client is in residence at treatment, they’re blessedly removed from distractions that could undermine their progress. You certainly can’t argue with focus. If you’re able to focus on learning at hand, you are more likely to absorb and incorporate it.
Refreshing New Environment
People always gravitate to something new. Witness the popularity of new resort locations. Even before they open, reviewers tout the location, exclusivity, services and luxury. These places become destinations of choice and vacationers flock to them to see for themselves. For treatment facilities in these types of environments, the same principle applies. Everything is all-new to the clients. In the best circumstances, they haven’t been to the city or location before, so it is truly all new.
There’s a sense of excitement and wonder about taking in the new surroundings, going there with the express intention of overcoming addiction – in as painless a manner as possible. In fact, the allure of these treatment facilities is that they are not dreary, Spartan or hospital-like institutions. It’s not bedlam they’re entering, but more like a vacation paradise – with some hard work thrown in, to be sure. Nevertheless, these treatment getaways offer a refreshing new perspective to the right type of client.
Removal of Temptation
Okay, one point that isn’t similar to a resort vacation is the fact that there’s no alcohol or drugs around – period. Ditto no gambling, no opportunities for one-night stands, eating disorders or any other addictive temptations. The treatment facility itself, including the surroundings, staff, amenities and services have all been carefully created, arranged, hired and maintained in the express attempt to remove as many temptations as humanly possible.
If you don’t see it or have access to it, you’re better able to devote your attention to what you’re there for to begin with – healing.
No one has to know all about you – or where you came from. Another benefit of getting away for addiction treatment is that you probably don’t know anyone else there. And, due to the confidentiality of treatment, no one on the outside is going to know you’re there either.
Many addiction treatment programs incorporate 12-step group meetings into the personalized treatment plan. These are, by their very nature, anonymous. It isn’t about your name, but about your experiences and learning from what works with others that may just be applicable in your situation.
Freedom to Explore Healthy New Lifestyle
While clients are away at addiction treatment and recovery, they’re free to explore a healthy new lifestyle, one that will hopefully sustain them on their return home. Undoubtedly, there are old habits that need to be eliminated, and newer, healthier alternatives put in their place. Learning how to make appropriate choices, how to combat stress and overcome triggers to addiction is part of this new lifestyle. But they’re not the only ones.
Clients need to learn that it’s important to take care of their physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs. It’s important to exercise regularly, to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals, to take time to nurture and enrich spirituality, find purpose and have fun. And, when they’re in an environment where these are part of the everyday routine, it’s much easier to for clients to fully immerse themselves in the process of healing.
Treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), experiential therapy, psychotherapy, personal and group counseling sessions, in combination with other activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation session, acupuncture treatments, massage therapy and various recreational activities help clients to embrace and explore their healthy new lifestyle.
Time to Heal
It’s often said that one week isn’t enough to truly relax in a vacation. Two weeks is a minimum, while longer is even better. With addiction treatment, depending on the type of addiction, how long the person has been addicted, whether there are multiple addictions or co-occurring disorders, physical and psychological state, family history, time of last use and other factors, typical stays can range from several weeks to 90 days or longer.
There are also intensive workshops and retreats for aftercare, for family treatment, and other purposes that may be weekend in length, 10 days to 2 weeks, or regularly scheduled days/times.
What’s important is that getting away for the addiction treatment and recovery affords the individual with the opportunity and the time to heal. How long it takes varies from one person to the next. It isn’t the length of time that matters, but the end result.
Develop New Friendships
During treatment and recovery, whether in group counseling sessions, educational discussions or recreational activities or 12-step group meetings, clients meet many new people. In the best-case scenario, they form close bonds with some of these individuals, even friendships that may last for years following treatment.
There is no substitute for friendship with individuals who have been where you are, have gone through the same (or worse) situations and somehow have come out on top. They’ve created and refined the best coping strategies and techniques, or have learned from their mistakes. Many have found support and strength just listening to others relate their stories (anonymously, of course). Some admire and seek to emulate a sponsor – especially when they return home and continue to participate in 12-step meetings.
Practicing newly learned coping skills and techniques and interacting with new friends is also beneficial for the client’s return home. They will need to develop new friendships with people who do not drink, use drugs, gamble, overeat, and so on, and this time during treatment gives them an excellent opportunity to start.
When clients spend the money to go into luxury drug treatment at a specialized facility, they’re assured of a personalized treatment plan and individual attention. World-class clinical staff help clients uncover the root causes for their addiction, deal with issues, learn about stressors and triggers and how to apply more effective coping mechanisms to deal with them, and form the framework for a life of sobriety.
The specific types of treatment modalities vary depending on the philosophy of the addiction treatment facility. Most utilize a multi-disciplinary approach, combining clinical and holistic treatment methods that best help the client to restore relationships, make new goals and discover a new life purpose, while renewing (or achieving) a mind-body-spirit balance.
Daily individual attention and a treatment plan based on each client’s needs sets the stage for long-term sobriety. This is true whether the addiction treatment facility is in the client’s home city or state or several states away. The advantage of getting away for treatment and recovery, however, is that the location can create the perfect setting and environment in which to concentrate on overall healing.
Of course, no matter where clients receive treatment for addiction, there comes a time when treatment is completed and it’s time to return home. That doesn’t mean the end of the road in terms of addiction help, however, even if the treatment facility is far away.
Many treatment facilities have extensive aftercare or continuing care programs for their clients. This may consist of weekend seminars or retreats, family therapy, or referral to counselors and/or groups in the client’s home city.
A Future with Promise
Going into treatment for addiction is the first phase in a process of lifelong recovery. Clients who can and do go away to get such treatment often report that it saved their life. After the chemically-induced fog clears away (once alcohol or drugs leave the body), clients get to work on the healing phase. Through individual and group counseling, education, various therapies and recreational activities, clients become more confident in their abilities to live a clean and sober life. They learn that life can be enjoyable, that it has much promise – without drugs or alcohol.
Whether their immediate plans are to rebuild damaged relationships and/or forge new ones, clients learn much about themselves and their capabilities. They also realize that they can achieve a long-held dream, get or complete a degree, learn a new skill or trade, find enjoyment in new hobbies or activities. One of the most fulfilling aspects of getting away for treatment and recovery is coming home with a new tool set of skills, a new strategy and a new life plan. In essence, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what’s possible. In fact, anything a client realistically wants to achieve is a goal worth working towards. Now stable, more emotionally confident and self-assured, the client can embrace his or her new life of sobriety.
Find relief in recovery. Life gets better with addiction treatment.
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