THE LAND OF OZ – Treatment
Primary addiction treatment is essential for those who have become “powerless and unmanageable” in their life due to their use of alcohol or drugs. Clinically that means that they have lost tolerance for the substance and need more to get the same effect, “catch the same buzz”. Symptoms of withdrawal may be present physically or psychologically.
Treatment provides a safe atmosphere for a time while professionals have a chance to stabilize the physical body with rest, nutrients, vitamins and perhaps medication. These same professionals begin to educate about the addictive process and the biochemistry involved. In the absence of using the drug of choice, emotions begin to reawaken. Instead of seeing everything in black and white, the addict has awakened to life in Technicolor and realizes, ‘I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto’!.
This is the beginning of starting to “see the light”. With the direction of the treatment facility staff and hearing the stories of other patients – and realizing it is the same story as their own, the addict realizes two life altering and very valuable facts.
First, they are not alone! Everyone at treatment has, basically, the same story! Sure, the names and some of the particulars of the events are different but, for the most part, everyone has had the same experience. As a result, there is no shame to be had for ‘not being able to stop’!
Secondly, they woke up and didn’t need to use their DOC (Drug Of Choice) or ‘behavior of choice’ and they didn’t die because they couldn’t use! Yes, at this point the addict may wonder how they’ll make it through the next big holiday without a drink but, they realize that they were able to go a day without and are, often begrudgingly, alive to tell about it!
As the fog continues to lift the addict begins to see the wreckage of their addictive behavior and the norms of moral and ethical behavior return. Restoration of appropriate passions, priorities and ‘right living’ ensue and the addict realizes that the ‘good life’ is no longer so far out of reach. Yes, there is typically quite a bit of mess to clean up but it’s no longer something one needs to be anesthetized to ‘handle’.
Overall, the goal of treatment is to stabilize the person and set them on their path which some describe as ‘the greatest adventure you will ever know’!
Hope is restored. Forgiveness begins. Freedom from the bondage of alcoholism or addiction is found.