A hopeful woman looking at the sunset by the sea and thinking about alternatives to 12-step recovery.

Alternatives to 12-Step Recovery

There is no progress without innovation. While this perspective has driven a number of industrial and professional scenarios, the concept also holds true within the area of addiction recovery.

The 12-step approach has dominated the field of substance rehabilitation for decades. However, alternative therapeutic programs and interventions have begun to take root, proving to be increasingly beneficial and just as clinically appropriate for those addicts longing to engage in a more personalized clinical experience.

Imagine if people simply stopped evolving or building upon the accomplishments of others. We would not have any of the modern-day conveniences we hold so dear, such as air travel, smart phones, wireless internet, or any of the modern medical advances responsible for saving countless lives over the past decade.

The field of addiction recovery is no different, and the importance of advancement and evolving is essential in order to adequately address and treat the array of problematic behaviors and experiences facing today’s addicts.

Alternatives to 12-Step Recovery

While alternative treatment options to the 12-step recovery approach have gained steam over the past 10 to 15 years, the emergence of personalized clinical treatment within the practice of recovery has reinforced these alternative approaches and empowered treatment providers to continue evolving the clinical practice of addiction therapy.

The most well-known and established alternatives to 12-step recovery include:

  • SMART Recovery
    A nonprofit organization that cultivates self-empowerment over addiction and addictive behaviors, SMART Recovery is a self-help support group for individuals who wish to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol and/or other problem behaviors or activities.
  • Moderation Management
    MM is a program designed to target problem drinking early on and invites individuals who see alcohol becoming an issue in their lives to join. MM seeks to change risky drinking habits and problematic behaviors surrounding alcohol abuse by promoting a healthy lifestyle and more responsible habits, and not necessarily through complete abstinence.
  • Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS)
    As an alternative to 12-Step programs, SOS prides itself on being its own entity and not deriving from another secular or religious program. SOS continues to evolve with new research and does not subscribe to any one theory surrounding addiction.
  • Women for Sobriety
    Based on 13 acceptance statements that focus on positivity, responsibility for oneself, and emotional growth, the Women for Sobriety “New Life” Program helps women to positively change negative thought and behavior patterns in order to establish a healthier and happier life in recovery.

While the components of these alternative treatment options have their own intricacies and components, the concept is the same: individual empowerment.

The main theme of 12-step recovery centers around the a higher power and submitting to this entity; alternative treatment highlights the individual power within all of us and how that personal strength can be harnessed to achieve sustained sobriety and happiness.

Specific concepts, like:

  • Learning to manage the urges associated with addiction
  • Attaining balance within your life through improved personal decision patterns
  • Group meetings focused on personal sobriety and individual achievement
  • Reinforcing the importance of moderation within every aspect of life

These specific concepts drive home the notion of individual responsibility in relation to the recovery journey and the importance of achieving sobriety for yourself, as opposed to an outside influence or higher being. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with a traditional approach.

But the fact of the matter is that adhering to a strict set of rules and guidelines established over 60 years ago can prove both polarizing and ostracizing. By contrast, alternative treatment approaches implement personalized treatment planning in conjunction with holistic therapeutic interventions, including:

  • Mindfulness training
  • Improved nutritional concepts
  • Implemented physical activities
  • Cognitive restructuring

This holistic approach and individualized methodology are aimed at making you feel understood and in charge of the entire treatment process. Empowerment of this nature facilitates long-term success by establishing a foundation of personal achievement and growth through active participation and perpetual engagement spanning the entirety of the program.

Non-12-Step Recovery Groups: What You Need to Know

The primary thing to understand before beginning therapy with a Non-12-step recovery program is that your treatment plan and overall therapeutic experience will be individually tailored to your personal addiction issues.

You will be challenged to communicate openly and honestly with the treatment staff in order to understand the personal experiences that have impacted your addiction and what goals you hope to achieve during and after the treatment process.

Entering into the recovery process with an open mind and a willingness to remain honest with those guiding your journey is imperative to not only successfully completing the program but to attaining long-term sobriety and personal happiness.

Life-Changing Alternative to 12-Step Recovery: Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Offering an alternative to the traditional twelve step program, Ranch Creek Recovery offers a variety of
all-encompassing, holistic in-patient treatment services. You situation is unique; your treatment must be customized to fit your individual recovery needs.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recover, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

A mother talking to her daughter about her struggles with heroin.

How to Talk to a Loved One about Heroin Addiction

Over the last several years, the heroin epidemic has spread like wild fire.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 11.8 million Americans age 12 and older had abused opioids during the previous year. In 2016, it was reported that 626,000 Americans had a heroin use disorder.

What’s more alarming, however, is the number of heroin-related overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2010-2016, heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times. From 2015 to 2016, heroin overdose death rates increased by 19.5%, resulting in nearly 15,500 people dying in 2016.

For you, this isn’t distant news anymore. The heroin crisis has seeped into your life, taking root in your loved one and ruling their existence.

You have an idea of how it started: Way back when their prescription pain medication ran dry, you believe they turned to heroin – a more accessible, less expensive high. Or, perhaps your loved one’s story starts with curiosity and an honest intention of, “I’ll just try it once.”

But with the vicious cycle in full-swing, you know the odds are stacked against your loved one. You know that the longer the addiction continues, the greater the chance of the unspeakable happening. You want to connect with your loved one and talk with them about their heroin use. But how, you wonder, do you approach such a difficult and complex issue?

Start here. Use these seven tips to have a constructive conversation and help your loved one understand that they can release the shackles of heroin addiction.

1. Educate Yourself

When you’re on the outside looking in, heroin addiction can be near impossible to wrap your mind around – what it’s really like and what your loved one is feeling and going through. That’s why it’s imperative you do your own research about the drug and the addiction before you approach your loved one and request a sit-down talk. It can be helpful to:

  • Read stories about former addicts. In addition to the facts and stats you find, it would be beneficial to read stories and testimonials from recovered heroin addicts. This will help you understand the addiction from a different, personal perspective and provide depth to your growing knowledge of the disease.
  • Steer clear of opinions. Friends and family mean well and only want to help, but unsolicited opinions and advice can cloud your mind with incorrect information. Try to stick to the facts and focus on your mission of helping your loved one as best you can.
  • Contact a heroin recovery expert. If you feel stuck as you prepare for your talk, or you wish to draw insight from a heroin recovery expert, get in touch with an addiction and recovery center. Experts can lend invaluable advice for your conversation.
  • Research treatment options and facilities. Learn about the differences and benefits of in-state and out-of-state treatment facilities, assess the costs, and see if any treatment option is covered by your insurance.

2. Pick a Sober Time to Talk

The most effective conversation will flow from a clear mind (you) and a clean mind (your loved one). This may require some strategic planning on your part if your loved one uses at irregular times. It’s best to find a time when your loved one is not high, tired, stressed, and is of a calm, sound mind.

Try to have the conversation in a familiar, quiet room. This will help your loved one feel safe and support a focused, distraction-free talk.

3. Communicate Compassion & Support

Set the tone immediately by expressing your love and support for your loved one. As hard as it might be, try to remain composed, calm and in control of your emotions. The goal is to have your loved one react positively to your request to talk and favorably receive your thoughts and suggestions.

Without immediately calling out the heroin addiction, ease into the heart of the matter by disclosing your concern over your loved one’s transformed life. Let them know of the inconsistent, harmful behavior you’ve noticed and worry over their health and safety.

Once you’ve said your peace, let your loved one speak. If your loved one is willing to communicate, give them your full attention and do not interrupt. Your nonverbal communication will speak volumes and can help your loved one feel supported and not judged. Prepare for periods of silence, long pauses, denial and/or emotional moments.

4. Avoid Judgmental, Enabling Language

Your loved one is fighting a fierce fight, and deep down, they probably wish they could get clean. They probably feel guilty about what they’re putting you and your family through, but they’re stuck. Because of this raging internal conflict, addicts can quickly become defensive. Try to avoid judgmental comments and gestures.

Additionally, because your loved one is ruled by their addiction, their ability to follow through with promises and commitments is compromised. Do not try to bargain, bribe, or give incentives. Since heroin addiction must be met with professional recovery support, these actions will only set you and your loved one up for failure.

5. Gently Remind of the Consequences of Heroin Use

If you think it will help, inform your loved one of the stats you found during your research. As noted at the beginning of this article, heroin has been claiming lives at a dangerous rate. This insight could be a wake-up call for your loved one.

6. Emphasize All the People in their Corner

Your loved one is the only one addicted to heroin, but their choices, actions and behaviors have a severe ripple effect on your entire family and extended support system.

Call out specific times your loved one’s addiction had a negative affect on you and your family. From there, remind your loved one of everyone who loves them, supports them, and wants to see them recover and thrive.

7. Present Treatment Options

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs out there. Its more habit-forming than alcohol, crack, and other substances. This is why recovery from heroin addiction must be managed by medical and addiction professionals.

Present the viable treatment options you discovered during your research and ask your loved one if they would be willing to go to rehab. It’s okay if your loved one is not willing to go at first. Let the entire conversation sink in and follow up with your loved one in a few days to see how they’re doing and if they made any decisions.

Heroin Detox and Rehab at Ranch Creek Recovery

If your loved one is in the grips of heroin addiction, Ranch Creek Recovery can help. Learn more about our heroin addiction treatment program or contact us today to learn about our facility and holistic approach to addiction treatment.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

 

Resources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Opioid Misuse in the Past Year. Accessed March 29, 2018. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.htm#opioid.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heroin Overdose Data. March 29, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/heroin.html.

12 step alternative treatment

Holistic Approach is the Leading 12-Step Alternative Treatment

12-Step Programs Are Not a Good Fit For Everyone

Imagine trying to navigate the day in ill-fitting shoes.  No doubt feelings of annoyance and discomfort would accompany every single step, right?  Now imagine how disheartening it would be if you have been led to believe that this is your only option for shoes in which to walk through life.  In a similar way, an addict in recovery who mistakenly thinks there are no alternatives to a traditional 12-step program may bristle at the thought of participating in such a program that isn’t a good fit for them.

While Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step recovery program is immensely popular globally, there are many in the recovery community that are not in sync with its message.  Some may take offense to the core theme that declares the addict broken, powerless over the addiction, and dependent on God (or Higher Power) to put them back together via the steps.  Some may take exception to the underlying 12-step principle that one is an addict for life.  Others may simply not be comfortable sharing personal experiences in a group setting.  Whatever the reason for the dissonance, the constructive solution to this dilemma is to find a 12-step alternative.

Holistic Addiction Treatment Programs

Fortunately, over the past couple of decades there has been an emergence of non 12-step recovery programs that offer more choices for addicts in recovery.  Because 12-step alternatives are created in response to unmet needs in the recovery landscape, a variety of approaches within the non 12-step realm are now available.  One such 12-step alternative is the increasingly popular holistic approach to addiction treatment.

Holistic recovery simply implies that all aspects of the individual’s being—the mind, body and spirit—are addressed during and after treatment.  This approach places great emphasis on the addict in recovery getting in touch with their soul by engaging in therapeutic practices that enable self-discovery in tandem with psychotherapy sessions.  Examples of these activities might include:

  • Mindfulness training.  Teaching individuals to be cognizant of the present by centering themselves and learn to decrease impulsive behavior.
  • Relaxation techniques.  Deep breathing exercises send a message to the brain to calm down and relax, reducing stress and tensions.
  • Yoga.  Helps individual get in tune with their thoughts, to relax body and muscles, and improve sleep quality.
  • Meditation.  Leads to increased self-awareness and a decrease in negative emotional responses to life’s stressors.
  • Acupuncture.  May help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.  Also helps decrease anxiety and stress.
  • Massage.  Helps to reawaken the pleasure pathways lost to addiction, and promotes general healing and relaxation.
  • Art and music therapy.  Helps develop self-expression and focuses on the individual’s thoughts and emotions through the use of music or art media.
  • Equine therapy.  Caring for a horse, including grooming, feeding, and exercising the horse, helps cultivate a sense of purpose and compassion.
  • Garden therapy.  Promotes physical activity, relaxation, sensory stimulation, and social development through gardening activities.

Ranch Creek Recovery Offers Holistic 12-step Alternative

Offering an individualized treatment plan that aligns with a client’s personal belief systems and needs, Ranch Creek Recovery understands that not everyone will fit or adapt to the 12-step tradition.  With a holistic approach as a 12-step alternative, RCR can create a therapeutic environment that promotes the healing of all facets of the individual in recovery.

Ranch Creek Recovery provides high quality holistic care in a private, intimate setting located in the hills of Temecula, California.  This beautiful and serene hillside location promotes relaxation and introspection so conducive to recovery from addiction.  The highly trained staff will tailor a treatment plan to each client, with a mix of therapy and activities that will enhance recovery and healing.  For more information about the program, please call us today at (877) 997-8931.

families of addicts how to deal

Families of Addicts: How to Deal and Get Help

6 Tips to Help Family Members Cope with the Stresses of Addiction

The oft-used phrase, that addiction is a family disease, is absolutely true.  Drug and alcohol addictions do not develop in a vacuum.  Addicts are sons and daughters, they are husbands and wives, and they are sisters and brothers.  When a family member is drawn into drug or alcohol dependency, it isn’t only their world that is shattered—the damage reverberates through the entire family.

With the majority of the attention and energy swept up in the turbulence surrounding the addict, families of addicts simply don’t know how to deal with the fallout from the addiction that has impacted their world in every way.  As the family member’s addiction spins out of control, family members are left coping with anxiety over the financial impact, worry about their loved one not surviving the addiction, and the loss of trust as a result of being lied to, robbed by, or even threatened by the addict in the family.

Here are 6 tips suggested for the families of addicts how to deal with their disease:

  1. Get educated.  Before you can be of any help to the addicted family member, or yourself, you must learn all you can about the addict’s drug of choice.  Knowledge truly is power for the families of addicts, teaching them how to deal. Acquiring a clear understanding of the effects of the drug on the mind and body, the trajectory of the disease, and the treatment options is key to empowering the family and reducing fear of the unknown.  
  2. Find support.  As the stress and anxiety ratchet upward, family members may feel utterly alone with the challenges that accompany an addict in the family.  Seek out a local Al-anon group and listen to others share their own experiences with their addicted loved one.  Soon you will not feel so utterly alone, and you can benefit from the helpful materials available at the meetings.  Not a meeting kinda person?  Consider family therapy, with or without the addict present, where professional guidance can provide the tools family members will need to access while on this painful journey.
  3. Get exercise.  Getting regular daily exercise is an effective way to release stress and increase the “happy hormones,” the endorphins that elevate mood during exercise.  It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you choose, just so you do it regularly.  Studies show that cardio workouts, particularly, are excellent stress-reducers:  running, walking, hiking, dance cardio (Zumba, U-Jam), cycling, and swimming all improve overall fitness while reducing stress.
  4. Embrace your passions.  Being emotionally drained on a daily basis depletes not only your physical health, but trashes your spirit as well.  Make it a weekly priority to engage in a beloved hobby or passion to counterbalance the negative energy that addiction has brought into your home.  With so much energy and time demanded by the addicted family member, it is easy to lose yourself in the process.  Force some you-time into your schedule—be it reading, gardening, participating in a sport, taking a class, photography, playing a musical instrument, or going to the movies—and find a healthier mind-spirit balance amid the turmoil.
  5. See friends.  As your focus becomes centered more and more on your addicted loved one it is easy to become isolated.  Some family members might experience feelings of shame or guilt due to their loved one’s disease, and sense that they might be judged or shunned.  The path of least resistance, to hide at home, must be resisted!  Connect with trusted, loyal friends and relatives who won’t cast judgment, desiring instead to be a caring support source for you and your family.  Addiction touches most families in some way, and genuine friends will want to share their own stories and be there for you.
  6. Family sessions.  While your family member is in treatment, make every effort to participate in the family program offered there.  Family groups are a powerful place to uncover issues in the family dynamic that may have contributed either directly or indirectly with the substance abuse.  Even if there is no issue related at all, the family group work helps foster empathy among the family members, as well as providing tools to access in subsequent recovery.

Ranch Creek Recovery Offers Hope and Healing for Families and Addicts

Ranch Creek Recovery is an intimate, private drug and alcohol rehab located in the beautiful hills of Temecula, California.  The serene, natural setting is a perfect backdrop for the holistic treatment program that helps heal mind, body and spirit.  A core element of the program is family education and group work.  Believing that families of addicts need guidance in how to deal with the stresses and challenges associated with the disease of addiction, the certified counselors are there to provide this important direction.  For more information on our program, including the family component, please call us today at (877) 997-8931.

Alternative Approaches to Addiction: Top Trends in Holistic Therapy

Holistic medicine has been gaining popularity across the U.S. and worldwide in recent decades. Holistic options are used more frequently by people everyday to promote relaxation, treat medical problems, and counsel people with mental disorders. Increasingly, addition treatment centers are adopting holistic methodologies to treat drug and alcohol abuse. Some of the most popular therapies include equine therapy, acupuncture, and amino acid therapy. Take a look at this infographic from a San Diego addiction treatment facility to learn more about top trends in alternative addiction treatments. Please spread the word about these successful, cutting-edge treatment options by sharing this infographic with friends and loved ones.