Addiction Doesn’t Happen In A Bubble

Addiction doesn’t happen in a bubble. Why should your recovery?

If you’re considering a substance abuse recovery program, you probably realize that there are a multitude of programs, facility types and sizes, and both residential and outpatient. It can be completely overwhelming to begin to wade through the choices, compare one center to the next, and more often than not, when you call the facility you find yourself on the other end of a sales pitch with a very aggressive sales person who may have never even set foot inside the place they’re selling!

While some of the differences may seem obvious, there are a few things that get overlooked if you don’t have experience in choosing a recovery center. With so much at stake, you should have all the information you want in order to select the one that is right for you.

First, residential treatment facilities are exactly that—residences. While there are certainly facilities which are as amazing as they claim with private rooms and bathrooms, they are often a hospital or dorm-like environment with shared showers, bathrooms, and laundry facilities. Clients are allowed a small room and may share with a roommate (or two!), and there are no locks on the doors. Staff members may pop in at any time of the day or night to check your room, check to ensure you are in bed or asleep, do head counts, and make sure you are keeping your room clean and within the rules of the facility. Meal choices can be limited, as most facilities cook one meal on site for the entire group regardless of preferences. The treatment portion of the program is just a few steps away from where you sleep, eat, and do laundry, so many clients confess to feeling a bit claustrophobic from being confined to such a small area for weeks or even months at a time. Such close quarters can often breed negativity and drama among clients as well, and since there’s no place to escape from people who may not be serious about their treatment, it often puts a heavy burden on those who wish to pay attention and get the most out of their time in recovery. Some recovery centers claim that their facility allows for a “true to life” social component, but there’s no other time in your life when you will ever need the support of your true family and friends around you than when you are in recovery. Treating an addiction is a tremendous time of introspection, honesty, and growth, and being stuck in the “rehab bubble” with people who are often not serious, or worse, toxic, can be a huge liability for your own personal progress. There are even discussion groups for rehab graduates to allow them time to discuss “life outside the bubble” because it can be such a jarring experience to leave a residential center and return home—one many find so harsh it leads to immediate relapse.

An IOP, or intensive outpatient program, on the other hand, is exactly true to life because you are still living your every day life while recovering. Most IOP programs offer flexible scheduling, offering morning and evening choices to fit any lifestyle. Outpatient programs offer effective treatment programs without having to leave your family, your friends, your life, and at significantly less expense. Researchers for the National Institute of Health have shown through multiple studies that IOP programs are equally as effective as residential programs, and report substantial reductions in alcohol and drug use. You get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed, be surrounded by your family and friends who love you and know where you are coming from. You don’t have to give up your phone or connection to the outside world, so you can continue to conduct your business needs and still be there to tuck your children into bed at night or watch their football games. This is hugely beneficial because you aren’t left wondering whether the things you are learning in recovery will actually work at home, at work, or with your spouse…you can go home just a few hours later and discuss them with your family, share what you have learned, and allow them to be a part of your process. We know that addiction doesn’t happen in a bubble, so why should your recovery?

If you’d like to hear more about the mindfulness-based, non 12 step IOP program offered at Centered Recovery and see if it is the right fit for you, give Reed a call at 800-556-2966.