Susan and David Hanna have built their lives around helping people overcome addiction. Susan, a registered nurse for nearly 20 years as well as a certified addictions registered nurse, was drawn to the field by the addictions of close friends and family.
“I’ve seen firsthand that people can get better and lead productive lives,” Susan says. “I’ve also experienced what happens when they don’t. It’s my personal mission to provide people with the necessary tools to get better if they choose to. And if they aren’t ready now, I’m available if and when they make that choice.”
“Hey man, come in from the cold. You’re welcome here.” These are Tip McKay’s words for anyone struggling with addiction.
It’s a cold Tip knows all too well. Many years ago, he was in the grip of addiction himself. Like many others, his recovery journey had ups and downs. He completed an intensive outpatient program but felt over-confident in his ability to stay sober. Knowing that he was at high risk of relapse, at his coin out ceremony his counselor said, “See you soon.”
And she did. About nine months later, he “crashed and burned” and called his former counselor to get back into treatment. When he showed up for stabilization at inpatient treatment, he weighed just 112 pounds and looked grey and lifeless. He completed another round of intensive outpatient treatment and over time, his counselor saw a marked difference in the way he looked, walked and talked. In fact, she saw his potential to one day become an addiction counselor.
Vicki serving ice cream to a client during an event.
Over 17 years ago, Vicki Piper made a decision that changed the rest of her life: She went to rehab. She met with a therapist; she worked the 12 Steps. Today, her recovery remains one of her top priorities as well as one of her most treasured accomplishments.
Finding the Answers Within
Vicki is finding the answers in her own life but she doesn’t pretend to have all the answers for her clients.
How The Right Step Can Turn an ‘Alcoholism Marriage’ into a Happy Union
Toby Rice Drews is the author of nine recovery books and is most notable for her million-selling series, “Getting Them Sober.” It is available from a variety of vendors, including peoplejam.com, a website devoted to offering items that help people improve their lives.
Drews, a former college professor of counseling and psychology, was reared in an alcoholic family, and her career has been dedicated to helping others who share the pain she endured. For more than 30 years she has written books on the subject, counseled family members, trained professionals, and presented seminars to community groups and associations.
How Both Subtraction and Addition Can Equal a Better Life
Here’s a math quiz, courtesy of Dr. Phil McGraw – who is MUCH better known without his last name: What does 3 plus 10 plus 7 plus 5 equal?
The answer, believe it or not, is you.
Indeed, Dr. Phil opines in his book, “Self Matters,” a person can trace who he or she has become to three types of external factors: 10 defining moments, seven critical choices, and five pivotal people.
It’s a simple formula, for sure. But how can a recovering alcohol or drug addict plug in the proper variables to make it work in a positive way? Learning to understand the terms is a good place to start.
Self-disclosure Can Be Good – and Good for You
Not long ago, Mehmet Oz – you probably know him as Dr. Oz – asked a great question in his blog: Have you ever noticed how good you feel after venting? It doesn’t matter to whom you vent – a friend, a therapist, even a stranger who was willing to listen. Revealing what you’re feeling actually makes you feel better.
Indeed, self-disclosure has an array of health benefits, not the least of which is that it activates the brain’s intrinsic “reward” pathway, which can improve a person’s mood and diminish his or her stress level. This pathway, which was the focus of a May 2012 study cited in Dr. Oz’s blog, produces feelings of reward, desire, and satisfaction.
Oh, and when it’s suppressed? That can lead to depression – and even to alcohol and drug addiction.
Everywhere they look—television, billboards, magazines, the Internet, and the radio—adolescents see messages about alcohol, sex, drugs. According to The Journal of Adolescent Health, “those brands with higher youth-to-adult viewership ratios were significantly more likely to have a higher percentage of occurrences with addiction.” That means the things adolescents see in their everyday lives may negatively affect their behavior. More than one third of American teenagers are turning to alcohol or drugs: 32 percent saying they drink, 19 percent saying they use drugs, and 15 percent saying they do both. That can leave a parent feeling hopeless and out of control. So what can parents do to help?
Become a careful observer of red flags
The first step to any recovery is to become a careful observer of adolescents’ behavior, particularly the small details that make up their lives: changes in friends, sleep patterns, grades, moods, judgement, personality. Be careful not to jump to conclusions because adolescents’ addiction chemically alters their brains, so they are not always ready to hear what parents have to say. Create a nurturing home environment so teens will still receive the love and support they need and feel their parents are trustworthy. This is the time to listen to them and make a sincere effort to hear what they are going through and how it got to this point.
Spirit Lodge is a luxury rehab center that provides holistic rehabilitation with spa and concierge services, an executive chef, acupuncture, recovery fitness programs, and more. Guests feel welcome and rested after the hard work of recovering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.
The Spirit Lodge alcohol rehab and drug rehab facility is scenic and woodsy, creating a sense of relaxation. The tranquility and sense of comfort experienced within the addiction treatment environment allows each guest to focus solely on recovery from chemical dependency and encourages him or her to build a strong foundation for recovery and positive change. When a guest first walks through the door, he or she is greeted by a concierge prepared to organize a variety of activities from airport transportation and family week to amenity services and specialized menu.
Addiction is a disease, and every victim “treats” it in a different way: with opiates, with cocaine, with alcohol. Each “treatment” ravages victims’ minds and bodies until they are able to get clean and sober through a program like The Right Step’s. However, alcohol addiction does differ from other substances in several key ways, and it’s important to recognize both the similarities and differences.
How Alcohol is Different From Other Drugs
Many drugs are illegal to use in any situation, and most require at least a doctor’s prescription. Alcohol, by contrast, is a relatively uncontrolled substance: once you reach 21 years of age you can purchase it freely. As such, it’s everywhere, and our culture glorifies and, sometimes, even rewards drinking in certain circumstances, such as parties, clubs, and sporting events.
The decision to end an addiction is a life-changing one and, the easier that process is, the sooner patients will be able to move forward with the process of healing. The Right Step offers both inpatient and outpatient medically supervised detoxification programs. Our experienced staff specializes in the detoxification of alcohol, benzodiazepine, opiates, prescription medication, and the complexities of poly-substance dependence.
The basic process for our medically supervised detox programs is:
Patients are evaluated by our chemical dependency professionals who determine the patients’ needs, such as whether they require inpatient care or whether they can stay at home and go through our outpatient program. Our staff also discovers if a patient suffers from additional co-morbidities such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, chronic pain issues, or other risk factors so that we may treat all simultaneously for the best outcomes.