Addiction Treatment: What We Do and Why We Do It

It’s a solo show today as Rob discusses treatment and the crucial healing elements that must be in place when working with addicts. He talks about his experience running the Seeking Integrity treatment center for over 25 years, and how groups can model the closeness and connection that addicts may miss in their upbringing. He also discusses the role of integrity, and how addiction is not an excuse for bad behavior but rather an indicator that one is struggling with issues and trying to work on them.   TAKEAWAYS: [1:58] Often times someone will say they are entering themselves in a treatment center for one reason, but first we have to really understand why they are coming in. While being a better person is certainly an appropriate goal, it’s really about having integrity and living in a way that doesn’t harm yourself or someone else. Integrity is so important to healing, that is why Rob named his treatment center Seeking Integrity.  [4:05] Addicts are usually unable to get their needs met in healthy and positive ways, and this leads to them living a separate and compartmentalized life, and getting what they want through manipulative behavior. Healing will begin as they start to take care of their own emotional needs and the needs of others instead of slipping into behavior that allows them to disappear into fantasy.  [8:33] Many addicts did not have a model for healthy families or intimacy from their own family while growing up. Understanding that this would cause trauma is called Trauma Informed Treatment. Therapists will understand they have a deep and enduring problem with intimacy and closeness and perhaps are using drugs as an escape.  [11:26] Trauma is not an excuse, it is an opportunity to honor and acknowledge triggers and emotional touch points that keep us disconnected and separated from true intimacy and connection.  [14:33] One of the most important elements of healing is relationships. Groups and programs can give addicts the kind of family experience they never had growing up, and for the first time ever they can learn to depend on other people.  [25:02] If treatment is done right, the clients will get a deep sense that people can be there for them and still give them support.  [29:08] Integrity comes from integration and bringing separate parts together into a whole. Recovery is about not having anything to hide.    RESOURCES:  Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101  Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men  Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency  Seeking Integrity   QUOTES: “The primary problem is not sexual addiction or drug use — that’s the symptom.” “Groups bring isolated people together in a place to talk about painful topics and get support — that’s almost like a healthy family.” “If you put me in the right environment with the right support — I will get better.” “You don’t recover alone.” “Being an addict is not an excuse, it’s a responsibility.” “In order to receive love you have to live a life of integrity.”

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