It is easy to think of treatment for a substance use disorder as one dimensional. You go into treatment, you get off of drugs or alcohol, you participate in some therapy, and you return to your daily life hoping that you will be able to maintain your sobriety.
That is not, of course, an inaccurate description of treatment. But it is an incomplete description.
At The Aviary Recovery Center, we are committed to what is known as a “whole-health emphasis.” That means that our approach to treatment is not limited to a narrow lane. Instead, we work with you in an array of areas—areas that will both support your long-term sobriety and improve your overall quality of life.
Let’s take a closer look at what sorts of things are included in a whole-health approach to treatment.
Whole Health Includes Skill Building
Many people who have been struggling with a substance use disorder need help learning or strengthening a range of life skills that can help them meet the challenges of everyday life without turning to drugs or alcohol. Like any skill—playing a musical instrument, learning a sport, using complicated spreadsheet software—life skills can be developed with steady work, attention, and patience.
Life skills include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Problem-solving and creative thinking
- Assertiveness and resilience
- Self-awareness and awareness of others
- Eagerness to learn
- Communication skills
Communication skills are central to so many aspects of life. Good communication skills allow us to listen intently and unselfishly, speak or write clearly about our own feelings, manage conflict and work toward resolutions, negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes, and to refuse clearly, calmly, and decisively when the situation calls for it (if, for example, a peer group wants to engage in an activity that may threaten your sobriety).
A Whole-Health Approach Includes Knowledge & Insight
We noted self-awareness and awareness of others among our list of life skills. A whole-health approach expands on this notion of awareness by encouraging individuals to work on their understanding of their own behaviors and the behaviors of others. This process involves developing an insightful, empathic approach to interactions with others as well as kindness toward oneself.
Meanwhile, it is also important to develop a nuanced understanding of addiction and the brain.
Addiction is a disease with no cure, but it can be managed—and effective management often includes a good understanding of how the brain responds to habits, temptations, and the like.
Whole Health Includes Healthy Practices in a Range of Areas
Certainly giving up drugs or alcohol has immediate health benefits. But sobriety is only one kind of health. A whole-health philosophy focuses on other aspects of your overall health including:
- Nutritional balance
- Emotional health
- Physical wellness
- Psychiatric health
All of these areas work together in ways that definitely support your sobriety. In fact, you can think of these areas as interlocking pieces in the overall puzzle of good health. Good health and practices in each area supports good health and practices in each of the other areas as well.
A Whole-Health Approach Includes Relapse Prevention
As we have noted, there is no cure for substance use disorders. That means relapse is a continual risk. A whole-health approach recognizes this reality while also providing strategies and resources for fending off a relapse.
That said, relapse is a reality for many, so it is important to internalize the idea that a relapse is not the end of the recovery story. Instead, it is an opportunity to acquire additional skills, grapple with how to avoid or minimize the situations that may have led to the relapse, and to restart the recovery journey with renewed hope and confidence.
Whole Health Includes the Development of a Strong Support System
One of the keys to maintaining sobriety over the long term is building a strong system of support. This support system may include family members, friends committed to helping you protect your sobriety, your AA group and sponsor, and more. The important thing is to surround yourself with those who will always have your back when things get difficult—and who will not ever purposely put you in a position that threatens your sobriety.
The Aviary Is Committed to You—the Whole You
No person is solely defined by a substance use disorder. At The Aviary Recovery Center, we will personalize a course of treatment for you that will help you get—and stay—sober. And we will not neglect other aspects of your life that are central not only to your sobriety but to who you are as a person and the ways in which you interact with the world around you.
All of this means that there are no half measures at The Aviary Recovery Center. When you are ready to take on your substance use disorder, we are ready to help in a comprehensive, compassionate, evidence-based way that will help you reclaim and rebuild your life.