Levels of Care in Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Just as addiction is nuanced and different for just about everyone, so too, are the levels of care for different people. When it comes to dual diagnosis treatment, there are several steps that are taken to ensure each client gets the absolute best treatment that can be provided. When we design a particular treatment plan, our goal is to ensure that each client gets the treatment that will help them conquer addiction and learn to live healthily with any additional mental illness issues.

At Thrive Treatment℠, we offer several levels of care, depending on the specific needs of the dual diagnosis client.

Our most comprehensive treatment plan is the partial hospitalization program. This plan is perfect for those that are new to sobriety or prone to repeat relapses. Our entire team circles the client with care, and there’s a comprehensive assessment, daily group meetings, individual psychotherapy sessions two times a week, and a complete psychiatric evaluation as well as checkups. For those with a dual diagnosis, this is the perfect program to get the care and attention they need in an environment that fosters growth.

Another treatment plan we offer at Thrive Treatment℠ is our intensive outpatient treatment program. This program works for those that are more stable in their lives but may need some support in managing the demands of career, family, and home life. After transitioning out of the partial hospitalization program, many of our dual diagnosis treatment clients find that the intensive outpatient treatment program is perfect for helping them sustain healthy, productive, and happy sober lives.

Other programs, like the outpatient drug treatment program, offer less intensive levels of care that focus more on providing family and community for those that have already completed our other programs and simply want to stay in touch with mentors and colleagues that have assisted them throughout their recovery journey. After completing a dual diagnosis treatment program, many of our clients want to stay connected to the Thrive family, and they can do that through this program, or through other avenues like our alumni and aftercare support programs.

No matter which level of care is right for you, at Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California, we offer solutions to help all of our clients maximize life after conquering addiction. An addiction of the past can be a stepping stone for future growth and accomplishment. Our goal is to help you see that. Call Thrive Treatment℠ at (888) 975-8474 to get started with us today.

Separating Behaviors From Thoughts

Separating Behaviors From Thoughts

Ever wondered why we do the things we do? If so, you aren’t alone. Answering the question of why we do what we do has been the unending goal of psychologists, scientists, philosophers, and humans as a whole for centuries. Some say everything we do is to satisfy basic human needs. Others say this can’t be the case, because there’s no clear definition of what exactly constitutes a human need. Then there’s the question of– as is the case with addiction recovery clients in dual diagnosis treatment plans– how our thoughts actually translate to actions. When we have a mental illness, what thoughts are ours, and what thoughts stem from the dysregulation or dysfunction of the illness– and who or what decides which thoughts are translated into which actions?

Dr. Miki Kashtan of PsychologyToday has an interesting theory that works really well here. She says “When we instantly translate feelings into actions, we sidestep any understanding of what we truly want. Because of the strength with which our feelings “command” action, we don’t have the opportunity to use feelings as what I believe they are designed for, which is to be sources of information.”

Oftentimes, we act impulsively and immediately translate our feelings into actions. Sometimes, we do this so quickly that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. When we put feet to our thoughts instantaneously, as Kashtan suggests, we forego our ability to understand our feelings and comprehend what they really mean.

In treatment, we learn how to separate our addictive behaviors from the thoughts that cause them. This helps us dive down to the root of the issues that may have led to our addiction in the first place. One of the modalities used to do this is referred to as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

According to its technical definition, “Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving.” In a nutshell, it’s a form of therapy that focuses on helping us assess the thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes that cause us to behave the way we do. By changing our thoughts and attitudes, we can also change the behavior tied to them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a buzz term in many circles, but it’s not so much the modality that makes the difference, as the process behind it. When we’re able to take a hard look at the driving forces behind why we do what we do, we gain more control over ourselves, and our reactions to stressors as well as other outside influences. Even when we’re not in the most ideal situations or we can’t control what’s around us, we’re always able to control our responses to our situations. Even though we may have negative thoughts about what’s going on in our lives, CBT helps us make sure those negative thoughts don’t encourage us to do something rash or regrettable. The skill sets we develop through cognitive behavioral therapy help us create balance between our thoughts, our feelings, and the way we react to life.

Why is it important to separate behaviors from thoughts?

When we separate our behaviors from our thoughts, we gain more understanding as to why we react the way we react to life. When we’re addicted, there never seems to be rhyme or reason behind why we’re acting the way we’re acting- both under the influence of drugs and in between moments of intoxication.

How does CBT tie into dual diagnosis treatment?

For those of us going through dual diagnosis treatment, CBT can be even more helpful. In fact, the concept of cognitive behavioral therapy was first created by psychiatrist Aaron Beck upon realizing that his patients seemed to talk to themselves. His theory– that we all have these “automatic thoughts” that pop up in our heads and influence our behaviors– corresponds with the idea of treating multiple illnesses holistically, as is the case with dual diagnosis treatment. Whether dual diagnosis treatment or any other form of treatment, the process of separating our thoughts from our behaviors in order to better understand them is a process that can only be good for us. As we grow throughout our recovery journey, we’ll find that the strategies we learn to separate thoughts and behaviors can be used anytime, anywhere, and in any situation.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient treatment facility that helps our clients learn how to assess their thoughts in order to change their behaviors. Through modalities that build confidence and independence, we also help our clients conquer the self-defeating thoughts that keep us down. With over thirty years of combined experience, we have what it takes to help you defeat addiction for good. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

Choosing Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Men

Choosing Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Men

To choose a dual diagnosis treatment plan is to look at two things first: the community which the facility offers, and the lifestyle that’s promoted at the facility. The way we learn to live and the peers and colleagues we meet in the addiction treatment facility are two of the biggest factors in just how effective our treatment process will be. We’re likely always going to be around our peers, and the addiction recovery community will be our first line of support even after we graduate from treatment. The community fostered at a dual diagnosis treatment facility has to be one that welcomes a young man and makes him feel safe, valued, and comfortable. As for the lifestyle supported by the treatment center, young men with a dual diagnosis will no doubt need structure, attention, and patience. Overcoming the powerful stronghold of addiction is no easy task, and learning to effectively cope with another mental illness at the same time requires a lot of dedication and commitment from both the client and the staff members they work with.

When we choose lifestyle and community over simply examining clinical qualities, we’re setting our young men up to prosper even after they leave the treatment facility. While clinically-focused programs are important and helpful, it’s the way a young man learns to live his life, coupled with the people he comes to trust and regard as friends, mentors, and confidants that will help him long after he graduates and starts living life on his own.

The accolades of the clinical program are secondary when it comes to finding a dual diagnosis treatment plan that will work. At the end of the day, it’s not just clinical testing and treatments that will make the difference in a young man’s life. It’s the way he learned to live.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient addiction treatment center that provides dual diagnosis treatment options for clients that need guidance on how to deal with more than one mental illness. We focus on holistic treatment that’s less about doping our clients up or inhibiting their independence, and more about helping them foster a lifestyle that will make them better, stronger, more confident men. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to see how we can help you today.

Men’s, Women’s or Co-Ed? Pros and Cons

Men’s, Women’s or Co-Ed? Pros and Cons

The debate between whether gender-specific treatment programs or co-ed treatment programs are the right way to go is one debate that doesn’t have a clear winner. Simply put, because addiction is such a personal and complex mental illness, different people fare better depending on their particular circumstances. Although there may not be a specific right or wrong here, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both gender-specific and co-ed treatment programs to find out which one is right for our own personal needs. There are many benefits of rehab facilities in Santa Monica– and reaping those benefits starts with choosing the right facility.

What are the benefits of rehab facilities in Santa Monica?

Rehab facilities like Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California, take pride in providing personalized treatment options for every person that walks through our doors. As an outpatient treatment facility, many of our treatment options are ideal for students or employees who want to stay on track for graduation or have to financially support their families. We provide holistic recovery options that help treat the underlying causes of addiction, and we provide those options in a way that allow our clients to continue with their lives in the process.

Some of the benefits that rehab facilities here in Santa Monica provide include things like individual and group therapy, alcohol and drug education, 12-step work, relapse prevention, life and re-socialization skills, and referrals to sober living homes. We wholeheartedly believe that addiction can be defeated, and we devote all of the time and resources we need to in order to help our clients take the right steps towards recovery. At Thrive Treatment℠, our goal is to teach our clients how to uphold the nuts and bolts of life like accountability, values, life skills, boundaries, trust and responsibility and learn how to manage both sobriety and the anxiety that can come along with living life sober. Santa Monica’s rehab facilities don’t just help men and women recover from addiction and mental illness– they help men and women become stronger, more confident, and more independent than they’ve ever been before.

Does it matter what type of treatment facility I choose?

It certainly matters what type of treatment facility we choose, because while the goal of all facilities is to help us conquer addiction, the way they go about that can be very different. For those of us that are looking for focus and limited distractions, for instance, a gender-specific treatment facility might be the way to go, if we think the opposite sex will distract us. Alternatively, if we’re looking for a way to get sober in an environment indicative of Santa Monica and pretty much everywhere else, it may make more sense for us to choose a co-ed facility. The choice is up to us, but whichever choice we make will certainly play a large role in our recovery process.

What’s the argument between different facility types?

Proponents of the gender-specific mode of treatment indicate that men and women have different needs in treatment. If we take a concept like a dual-diagnosis treatment program, for instance, we can see where men and women might need different medications to take for specific illnesses, different ways to cope, and different resources to feel comfortable. The argument here is that the co-ed treatment program doesn’t have the capacity to adequately address many underlying issues of addiction that both genders don’t share. For instance, according to one report, “74% of addicted women have been victims of sexual abuse, 52% have been victims of physical abuse, and 72% have been victims of emotional abuse.” Unless the numbers are the exact same for men, proponents of gender-specific treatment indicate that there’s no way treatment can do both genders justice simultaneously.

On the other side of the spectrum, proponents of co-ed treatment indicate that being in the same environment with the opposite sex is just what individuals need in order to learn how to interact with their peers in a “healthy, modernized way.” Additionally, proponents say that sharing the same space also helps breed a mutual respect between the two genders, and that by realizing that they share many of the same issues and maladies, both genders are able to form bonds with each other that may not have been formed otherwise. Addiction is not gender-specific, and neither is life, they argue– so it’s fitting that treatment shouldn’t be either. Finally, in the case for a concept like dual-diagnosis treatment, those that support the co-ed treatment process indicate that while medicines and dosages may differ according to gender, treatment methodologies can be adapted to work for just about anyone, regardless of whether they’re male or female.

Whether choosing a gender-specific or a co-ed treatment facility, what’s most important is finding a facility that is able to cater to our specific needs. After all, no matter the debate between dual diagnosis treatment plans or best socialization techniques, at the end of the day, what’s most important is conquering addiction for good.

Thrive Treatment℠  is an outpatient treatment facility located in Santa Monica, California. We help our clients defeat addiction by helping them uncover its underlying causes and learn sustainable methods to get rid of them. Through a series of modalities like art therapy, yoga, meditation, and group outings, our clients learn to conquer the self defeating behaviors that keep them down, and build the confidence and independence they need to become pillars of their communities. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

Why Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Matters

Why Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Matters

Self medication is a real issue for millions of Americans. When it comes to dual diagnosis issues, of a substance use and mental health disorder, many people turn to self medication as a means of coping on their own, most often through more substance use. This couldn’t be more dangerous. Not only can self medication increase the complications of addiction– it can also make an additional mental illness much more severe.

In addiction recovery, dual diagnosis treatment is defined as a recovery method that “blends the most successful aspects of mental health care and substance abuse treatment.” Dual diagnosis treatment provides holistic care for clients who are battling addiction and another mental illness– sometimes an illness that was a direct result of or contributing factor of addiction. Oftentimes, a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, and more was present long before addiction, but went undiagnosed or untreated, inspiring a deep need to cope with unmanageable feelings.

The relatively new entry of dual diagnosis treatment in the addiction recovery space speaks to its importance. Previously, if a client came to an addiction recovery center with other mental illnesses, there was little that could be done to help with the additional mental illness. Even if the best treatment plan was put in place for the individual, whether or not they recovered wasn’t a sure bet. It depended on the severity of and complications surrounding the additional mental illness. Would the client be able to cope in a normal group setting? Would the rules and regulations of the addiction treatment center be feasible for him or her? The answers were often up in the air. Likewise, if a patient were to report to a mental health facility and was also addicted, many times they’d be sent away and told to treat their addiction before seeking help for another mental illness.

By combining the best practices from the medical and counseling worlds, dual diagnosis treatment offers a solution to this conundrum. Moreover, quality dual diagnosis treatment options, like the ones in place at Thrive Treatment℠, work wonders not just in treating addiction or another mental illness with medicine, but in really diving deep to untangle what’s going on below the surface.

Dual diagnosis treatment matters because addiction is much more than simply craving a substance. As The Big Book says, addiction is spiritual, mental, and physical. In the same vein, treatment has to be more than simply stopping cravings. It’s got to be able to get to the root of the issue.

Thrive Treatment℠ is a premier outpatient addiction treatment center in Santa Monica, California. We offer advanced dual diagnosis treatment options for clients dealing with more than one mental illness. By combining state of the art research with quality counseling and brilliant medical practitioners, we make addiction a thing of the past. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to see how we can help you today.

Is Treatment a Full Time Job?

With partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs, treatment doesn’t have to be a full time job. Treatment itself, however, is not any less intensive or demanding, nor does it produce any less of a result when it comes to changing a life. Even with an outpatient model, it’s important that clients stay as dedicated and devoted to treatment as they would be if they were in a traditional inpatient environment.

What makes the outpatient treatment experience so special is that it allows our clients to grow and progress along their recovery paths without being isolated from the rest of the world. Balancing treatment, recovery, and the responsibilities of every day living is much more indicative of real life. Addiction doesn’t often take place in an environment that’s cut off from the rest of the world, and, likewise, addiction treatment shouldn’t either.

Our partial hospitalization program provides a full scope of treatment– including psychotherapy sessions twice a week, daily group sessions, a physical by our in-house physician, weekly multi-family therapy, and more– and it’s perfect for dual diagnosis clients that need the attention and care that we provide.

Our intensive outpatient program offers much of the same, and even introduces concepts like “purpose, passion, and promise” that help clients work on long-term career goals, discover passions, and deliver on promises.

Treatment can be comprehensive, holistic, and demanding without being a full time job. One of the benefits of rehab here in Santa Monica is that there are options when it comes to choosing the treatment plan that’s right for you. We provide a thorough way to get the treatment you need while still staying true to your obligations. Whether a dual diagnosis client, recently relapsed, or another valued client, our team at Thrive Treatment℠ has what it takes to help you learn to live your best, sober life.

Treatment doesn’t have to  be a full time job, and with options like a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program, you can get the same quality addiction treatment while still maintaining your obligations. Here at Thrive Treatment℠, we believe addiction treatment should work for you, no matter where you are. Call Thrive Treatment℠ at (888) 975-8474 to get started with us today.

Individualized Care: Why Your Program Should be Your Program

Individualized Care: Why Your Program Should be Your Program

There’s not one of us on this earth that’s exactly like another. Even identical twins– though they may share the exact same chemical makeup and physical characteristics as each other– have drastically different personalities, thoughts, and opinions. As human beings, we’re all unique– with unique talents, skills, and issues to deal with. Our different experiences are what makes us who we are.

When it comes to addiction treatment, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all programs simply don’t work because they don’t cater to our own unique needs. That’s why here at Thrive Treatment℠, our programs are tailored to the individual. We believe that individualized treatment plans allow our clients to recover in a way that’s best for them spiritually, mentally, and physically.

What is individualized care?

Addiction isn’t a blanket illness– it’s as individualized as the people who go through it. Care for addiction treatment should be equally as individualized. There are many types of individualized care plans, but the goal of all of them is always the same– breaking down the classical treatment process and restructuring it to get the best results to meet each client’s individual needs.

One of the more common forms of individualized care is dual diagnosis treatment. As the name suggests, dual diagnosis treatment is the process of treating both addiction and another mental illness simultaneously. Oftentimes, a person that’s been battling the mental illness of addiction for some time will have other issues that have either stemmed from the addiction itself, or been one of the contributing factors to the addiction. A dual diagnosis treatment program doesn’t necessarily isolate each illness and deal with them separately, but instead finds a way to treat all of the illnesses holistically. Dual diagnosis treatments may include working with medical professionals as well as counselors and therapists, and introducing a regimen of counseling and medications to help us conquer our illnesses as efficiently as possible.

Another way treatment facilities personalize care is by offering different treatment options that cater to various treatment needs. Here at Thrive Treatment℠, for instance, we offer a number of options, including a partial hospitalization program, an intensive outpatient program, and more. When you enter a treatment facility, the intake process usually involves our therapists, nurses, and counselors helping you and your loved ones figure out which plan is right for you.

Why is individualized care so important?

Whether we’ve been through addiction or not, we’ve all dealt with situations, thoughts, and ideas that we weren’t sure how to handle. We go through life on a daily basis and don’t know what to expect out of it. We don’t always have control over what happens to us, nor the impact it may have on our lives. If we can accept that we are often unsure of what we’ll encounter even on a daily basis in our own lives, then we, too, should be able to see just why treatment needs to be personal enough to mean something to us, and to work the way it should. Life is complicated, and unpredictable, and it’s through individualized care that we learn to prepare ourselves for the unique experiences we may face after we graduate.

The Big Book suggests that addiction is broken down into three parts: the spiritual, the mental, and the physical. An individualized treatment plan helps us get to the bottom of each of those three parts to resolve their underlying causes.

If we take another look at the dual diagnosis treatment plan, we can see just how this works. When a client is given more than one diagnosis, a plan is set in place to address the physical components of the diagnosis. This means health care professionals and therapists will work together to ensure the proper medications are prescribed, the proper nutrition is given, and that the client gets the right amount of exercise and sleep. Next, the mental component is addressed, including making any additional provisions for the client– things like additional one-on-one therapy sessions, if needed. Finally, the spiritual side is addressed– in the form of helping the client build a support system, making them feel comfortable expressing their opinions throughout the treatment process, and developing methods to help them boost their confidence and embrace the treatment journey. As well, clients are directed toward developing a spiritual manner of living which works best for who they are, whether that is through religion, meditation, developing new spiritual beliefs, and discovering a relationship with a higher power.

This one particular treatment plan will be repeated and altered in-depth for every other person with a dual diagnosis. Other plans are conducted just as thoroughly for every single additional client that walks through the door.

Individualized care is so important because addiction is a fiercely personal mental disease. In fact, it’s one of the only diseases that displays itself differently in just about everyone fighting it. Just as addiction is personal, the way we fight it must be as well. Every person is unique, and needs unique assistance to make treatment work for them. Here at Thrive Treatment℠, whether it’s dual diagnosis treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, or another form of treatment, we take the time to make sure our clients are truly getting the specific help they need.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient treatment facility that specializes in individualized plans designed to help our clients get the most out of treatment. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution to treatment. Everyone is unique, and they deserve a unique team that will help them get to the bottom of what’s caused their addiction in order to fix it. We are that team. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

Believing in Ourselves

Believing in Ourselves

There are a lot of folks that say that seeing is believing. That’s true, to an extent. There’s plenty of things we want to see to believe. Even more that we have to see to believe. Cops usually have to see a crime scene to know it happened. We have to see a storm coming to decide to evacuate. We have to see a million dollars before we believe it’s ours.

However, when it comes to addiction treatment, it’s important to remember that just because we may not always see physical progress, doesn’t mean that there’s not a wonderful transformation going on inside. Not only is treatment largely a mental process (remember, The Big Book tells us that we’re combatting a “mental obsession and a physical allergy”), but what are our eyes are trained to see as “progress”  may not really be what we should be looking for at all. Think about it: for many of us, this may be our first time going through treatment. How can we really know what to count as progress? To us, simply not craving a substance any more may be suitable progress. However, if we still have untouched issues that contributed to our substance abuse laying right underneath the surface, how can we truly judge “where we are” in the process? Even for those of us that have gone through addiction treatment before– every experience is so nuanced and individual that it’s almost impossible to “predict” exactly where we should be simply by looking for physical signs! Recovery is lifelong for a reason!

Ok, so what exactly am I believing in?

Here’s a kicker: belief in treatment doesn’t actually mean believing in treatment itself.

Funny to hear, right? Actually, Step Two of The Twelve Step program says as much. In treatment we aren’t demanded to believe anything about the process. Every step and skill taught is merely a suggestion, and we have the total right to take it or leave it. So when we refer to “belief” in treatment, we mean believing in ourselves. We mean taking what we learn, the strategies we develop, and the tools we forge through treatment, and believing that they can actually work in our own situations– then actually using them. Remember, even the most incredible, progressive of treatment programs can’t help us recover without our say-so.

Here at Thrive Treatment℠, we know just how important believing that we can make a change in our lives is to helping us actually do that. That’s why our programs focus on building life skills, fostering a sense of community, and learning how to process and discard the self-defeating stories and behaviors that keep us stuck. We get it– it’s not always easy to believe in ourselves right away in treatment. For many of us, our addiction can sap away belief in even what we thought we knew about ourselves. Addiction may have forced us into the deepest, darkest corners of our lives, and created a person that we didn’t recognize. Regaining who we are takes time, as does beginning to believe in ourselves again. Through community, we grow and learn with others that are also struggling with the same things we are. We organically build camaraderie with our peers, and eventually forge a family that helps us believe again– both in our ability to recover, and in our ability to conquer anything else that life throws at us.

What does The Big Book say about believing in ourselves?

It’s ironic, really. When The Big Book was originally published in 1939 by Alcoholics Anonymous founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob Smith, both men seemed like they would have had every right to negate the importance of believing in ourselves. Smith had been an alcoholic since his undergraduate years at Dartmouth, and by the time he teamed up with Bill W. and began what we now know as AA, he’d been to dozens and dozens of rehab centers over the span of some thirty years, to no avail. He was a certified physician, and all of his belief in practice and medicine could not seem to curb his drinking. Bill W. was a stoic drinker as well, and was threatened more than once with being locked up due to wet brain. He drank so often that doctors routinely advised him that he was at risk of killing himself with every additional drink he took.

Yet both men made sure to highlight the importance of belief early and often in the book that would become the metaphorical addiction bible for addicts. In fact, they stressed two forms of belief– belief in God, and belief in ourselves. Even though they had every reason not to believe based on their own experiences, they knew that in order to combat a spiritual, mental, and physical ailment, they had to believe in something: “Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.”

Believing in ourselves gives us great power in addiction treatment. It allows us to see progress where we wouldn’t otherwise look, sunny skies when everything seems gray, and a future, that, a few months ago, we may never have imagined!

Thrive Treatment℠ is an outpatient addiction treatment center in sunny Santa Monica, California. We invest ourselves into our clients and their families, and we provide care that is transformative and long-lasting. We all have a purpose, and addiction simply isn’t help. We help our clients discover that purpose. Get started today by calling (888) 975-8474.

Leaving Self-Destructive Behaviors in the Past

Leaving Self-Destructive Behaviors in the Past

On page 137 of the Big Book, the author provides a shockingly detailed description of one man’s demise after two weeks of binge drinking: “After two weeks of drinking, he had placed his toe on the trigger of a loaded shotgun– the barrel was in his mouth.” It’s a graphic depiction, but it shows a situation that many addicts can be driven to. Even if it’s not physical, we can sometimes feel like a loaded gun is sitting right in our mouths, ready to go off. The agony and stress of our addiction can be that intense.

Self-destructive tendencies are innate in all of us. Just like we have the capacity to make decisions and exhibit behaviors that will do us good, we have the same capacity to do the opposite. Whether we’re addicts, have been addicted in the past, or have never touched a substance before makes absolutely no difference. We’re all capable of the same thing.

With that said, addicts do tend to have a higher propensity to display self-destructive behaviors during their addiction. After all, the very nature of substance abuse is nothing if not destructive. Self-destruction is, unfortunately, just one of the many results of the crazy mind warp that our addiction locks us in. As The Big Book says, “Yet no alcoholic [or addict], soberly analyzing his destructive behavior, whether the destruction fell on the dining-room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim “soundness of mind” for himself.”

While we can’t blame ourselves for an addiction we have no control over, it’s important that we learn to use treatment as a way to not only get over addiction, mend our spiritual maladies, and make amends with those we’ve hurt–  but also as a means of leaving our destructive behaviors in the past.

What Are Self-Destructive Behaviors?

Self-destructive behaviors usually stem from patterns of withholding or not completely expressing our feelings and emotions. If we really get down to the nuts and bolts of it, many of the primary causes of substance abuse stem from the same sort of patterns. Self-destructive behaviors aren’t necessarily always physical, but they do all do the same thing– placate our problems, instead of solving them. Many self-destructive behaviors even make our problems much worse. When addicted, our addiction is obviously the biggest thing we think of as destructive, but there are a number of additional factors that are just as destructive.

Telling ourselves that we can’t be helped, or that it’s too late for us is self-destructive. Rationalizing our addiction is self-destructive. Convincing ourselves that our addiction doesn’t need treatment, and/or that we can handle it on our own is also self-destructive (if we could handle addiction on our own, we would have done so long ago.) On the other end of the spectrum, there are also seemingly pleasurable things we do that are also self-destructive, though we may not think so. These are usually the behaviors that are immediately gratifying, but simply placate the deeper issue. If a trigger of ours is a spouse, for instance, and we simply cuss them out and tell them they’re no good before, say, hitting them, we’ve only added additional stress to a situation that was already toxic, even if it feels good in the moment. Self-destructive behaviors can be expressed in many, many different ways.

How Can Treatment Help Me Leave My Self Destructive Behaviors in the Past?

At treatment centers like Thrive Treatment℠, we focus on getting to the root of issues that cause us to use substances. For some of us, it’s past abuses, or traumatic experiences. For others, it’s an unhealthy living environment or trouble with expressing emotions. Still others can attribute substance use to being too stressed or too overworked. Finding the “why” behind our addictions is two-fold, however. By identifying what it is that causes us to use or drink, we often open up a path that allows us to see where our self-destructive behavior started, and why. You’d be quite surprised by how often the “where” and “why” of our substance use correlates with the “where” and “why” of other destructive behaviors.

Through treatment, we also learn new ways to deal with the issues that caused our substance use and destructive behaviors, and we’re able to do so in an environment that allows us to make mistakes and learn more about ourselves in the process.

In essence, treatment allows us to work through the kinks in our spirits, minds, and bodies in order to deal with the emotions that cause our self-destruction in healthier ways. The way we look at it, even though it is sometimes difficult to understand why we exhibit certain self-destructive behaviors, being able to work out the necessary strategies to funnel those behaviors into more positive alternatives is very effective in helping us eliminate them altogether, and that’s what treatment allows us to do so effectively.

Finally, treatment helps us leave destructive behaviors in the past by providing us with the outlets we need to express ourselves without judgment or repercussion. Treatment is a community. When the first treatment groups were founded in the 1930s, community was the largest part of what made them so effective, even before all of the guidelines of treatment, governance and procedures as we know them now were fleshed out. The community spirit treatment fosters provides us with a platform to reel in destructive behaviors for good!

Thrive Treatment Can Help With Self-Destructive Behaviors

Thrive Treatment℠ is an intensive outpatient addiction treatment center located in Santa Monica, California. With over thirty years of clinical experience and thousands of success stories, we know the strategies and methods to help you end your addiction for good. Get started today by calling (888) 975-8474!

Why Treatment Only Does As Much As You Let It

Why Treatment Only Does As Much As You Let It

Imagine you just won a million dollars. Maybe you struck it big in the lottery, or maybe the company you work for just got bought out and that was your cut. Maybe you sold some stocks. Anyway, you have a million extra dollars to your name now. What if, instead of spending it or investing it, though, you just let it sit there, and never claimed it? What if it wasn’t for any particular reason, and you didn’t have an ulterior motive for doing it? What if you just didn’t claim it?

Addiction treatment is a lot like that million dollars. It has the potential to change our lives, but it can’t do anything for us unless we take the steps to claim it. That doesn’t mean just deciding to get treatment either, or, in the case of outpatient treatment programs, merely deciding to show up. It means making a conscious effort to learn and grow through through therapy and activities, doing everything we can to practice implementing what we learn, and adjusting our attitude to one of positivity and action.

Are you saying treatment can only do so much for me?

Yes, and no! As The Big Book says, collaborative treatment is one of the only foolproof ways to get rid of our addiction for good, but the effectiveness of treatment stems entirely from how much effort we are willing to put into it. Recovery itself is a lifelong process, and initial treatment itself is a very small part of it. Still, simply attending treatment often isn’t enough, and, even if we do manage to beat our addiction while minimally participating, we run the risk of not fully fixing the problems that caused our substance use in the first place. Effort is paramount to any successful treatment, and The Big Book says as much: “Without a willing and persistent effort…, there can be little sobriety or contentment for us.”

So, how do we make the most out of treatment, and truly take advantage of all of the many benefits it has to offer? Besides effort, attitude is huge.

Effort and attitude

Let’s be honest. Before entering treatment, we often have very little, if any, reason to think about effort or attitude. We know that attitude and effort are both two very important ways of getting past our addiction and into a treatment center, but we balk because addiction, is, in fact, still in control of our mind. It typically takes a number of people– including family members, friends, and loved ones– to get us to take the plunge into addiction treatment. It’s normal to push what we know is right and necessary to the side when we’re dealing with an illness that literally changes the way we think.

Once in treatment, however, our mindset should start to shift, because, as The Big Book describes, “to get over drinking [or other addictions] will require a transformation of thought and attitude.”

We must realize that treatment, for all it’s worth, merely provides a platform for us to make our own discoveries about ourselves, and to uncover the spiritual maladies that drove us to continued substance use in the first place. Our therapists, peers, and mentors can help us with the strategies we need to do this, but it’s up to us to make the effort. Think about it: even the best physician in the world can’t help us if he or she doesn’t know what our problem is. In order to get the care we need, we have to first explain what’s going on to them, or, at the very least, open ourselves up for a diagnosis. Treatment is the same way! In order to get what we need out of it, our attitudes must reflect that we’re willing to put in the work that’s required!

How do I change my attitude, and put in the effort?

Just like with anything, an attitude change starts with the heart. As The Big Book states, “…it is an attitude which can only be changed by a deep and honest search of our motives and actions.” We have to ask ourselves: “Why are we here, in treatment? What do we hope to get out of it?” We all have a reason for addiction treatment, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that reason in order to keep going. No doubt, by going to treatment, we’ve made some sacrifices, committed ourselves to some significant life changes, and devoted ourselves to getting better. Remembering the steps we took to get to this point, and keeping them at the forefront of our minds whenever we’re feeling discouraged or not up to the challenge can make all the difference in adopting the right attitude! As for putting in the effort, having the right attitude helps take care of that. Once we’ve come to terms with the fact that the only people that can conquer our addiction is ourselves (and that treatment, like anything else, takes work), we’re inclined to put in the work we need to in order to see the results we want. Attitude, effort, and the effectiveness of our recovery are all inextricably intertwined!

Thrive Treatment℠ is an outpatient addiction treatment center located in sunny Santa Monica, California. We’re here to help our clients make the most out of treatment and the rest of their lives by providing them with community, instruction, and support. Call us today at (888) 975-8474 to see what we can do for you!