Recovery is possible, you don't have to do it alone. New Hope Recovery Center is always happy to hear from alumni. Although the majority of the work towards recovery is done by our clients, we are grateful to know that we had a part in helping a client find their road to recovery. We are so proud of you!!!!!

Hi New Hope,

Things are going great, I really couldn't be happier. 

The 2nd August will mark my 10 month anniversary and while the program keeps me going there is no doubt in my mind that New Hope started me down the road I find myself on today. 

The gratitude I have for your program and staff is difficult to put into words. 

Please pass on my thanks to everyone. 

JB

If you are looking into drug and alcohol rehab for yourself or someone else, it may be confusing to hear terms like inpatient rehab (or residential), outpatient rehab (or IOP) and partial hospitalization (or PHP).

What Are The Differences Between Inpatient Rehab, Outpatient Rehab And Partial Hospitalization?

Inpatient Rehab or Residential Treatment These programs involve completely removing the addict from the environment and the individuals that enabled or reinforced their addiction.  With inpatient rehab, the recovering addict can focus intensely on their addictive behavior instead of their drug or alcohol use.  Residential Treatment, sometimes known as an In-Patient Program, is often 28 days or longer, depending on the severity of the addiction. Inpatient rehab removes the addicted person from the current triggers in their environment and social circles.  The addiction rehab facility provides a safe place to temporarily live while dealing with addiction and any underlying issues the addict is facing.

Most inpatient rehab programs have restrictions on visitation, the use of electronics and cell phones and leaving the treatment facility.  These programs are staffed 24 hours a day. They combine a sober living environment with intensive group counseling and individual drug counseling.

Outpatient Rehab or IOP (Intensive Outpatient) – IOP involves attending treatment for a portion of the day while living in a location other than the treatment center.  The living environment needs to be safe and sober for the best possible outcome.  Generally, recovering addicts are allowed to leave the treatment center before and after treatment.  IOP is best for those who have a safe and sober environment to live, who are able to focus on treatment and who are able to handle the temptations and triggers that may arise when not at the rehab center.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP) - Partial Hospitalization involves full day treatment with living arrangements in a sober living facility or in a safe home environment.  It has fewer restrictions than inpatient rehab, but allows for more intensive treatment than IOP.

Similarities Between Inpatient Rehab, Outpatient Rehab and Partial Hospitalization – The goal of Addiction Rehab programs is to help the addict recover from drug/alcohol addiction by addressing the addiction and underlying issues that contribute to the addiction. Although drug rehab and alcohol rehab treatment options are somewhat unique, top quality addiction treatment programs contain certain core areas. Here are several aspects that the best drug and alcohol addiction programs have in common:

Group Therapy - Group therapy teaches the value of reaching out and relying on others, including other people in recovery who have similar experiences and challenges. Group therapy provides a sense of belonging.  There are other recovering people who believe in you and will identify and understand what you are going through. Group therapy also gives a chance to receive and offer feedback to specific issues that are being addressed in treatment.  This allows for a deeper understanding of your situation.

Individual Therapy/Drug Counseling - Individual therapy involves private meetings between you and your counselor.  It allows you to work through specific issues which you may have difficulty addressing in a group setting. It also allows you the benefit of direct confidential input from your counselor.  While group sessions are designed to teach you to receive support from, and lend support to, others, individual session allows you to work privately with a counselor.

Self Discovery - One of the most important benefits of the best addiction rehab programs is the amount of time and the tools provided to learn about yourself.  Learning includes discovery of your limitations, boundaries, assets, liabilities, strengths, weaknesses, losses in life and what is gained from ending addiction.

Family Involvement - Family programming is an essential part of any treatment program. Addiction is truly a family disease and impacts your family and friends.   Also, there are behaviors in the family dynamics that are wrapped up in the disease of addiction. Ideally these are addressed with the family members while the addict is being helped.  The success of any addiction rehab program depends on including family members and close friends.  Research suggests that including family and friends in the education and participation in the addiction treatment process improves the outcome.

In the family program, your family members and friends will learn about the disease of addiction and learn to identify strengths and resources to help themselves and to encourage you in your recovery. Some addiction treatment programs require family members and friends to attend Al-Anon meetings.

Which Is The Best Addiction Treatment?  The answer depends on your situation.  Some people are self-motivated and able to integrate addiction treatment into their current living environment and daily life.  The home environment is safe and sober and the person is able to resist temptations and triggers met during the normal day.  For these people IOP/Intensive Outpatient may be a good option.  Some people need a new environment, closer guidance and monitored surroundings in order to achieve sobriety.  For these people, inpatient rehab is likely the best option.  When inpatient rehab is completed, a transition to Intensive Outpatient is generally recommended.  The goals is to help transition the person back into their life with as many tools and supports as possible.

New Hope Recovery Center offers Partial Hospitalization Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Rehab in Chicago.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

LGBT addictionWe previously discussed the first step in the process of coming out, self acceptance.  Once someone accepts that they are in fact LGBTQ, they are then faced with a situation that no other group of people faces…how, when, where and to whom do they disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity?  Most people in our society have a default setting which assumes the people around them are straight.  This is an example of heterosexism and it is the reason an LGBTQ person constantly questions whether and when they should come out to those around them.  Most people have numerous groups of people to come out to.  There are friends to consider, co-workers, fellow students, family members, relatives, friends, and acquaintances and within each group there are subgroups.  This can be overwhelming and stressful to think about.  As we discussed previously, the stress an LGBTQ person faces around coming out can lead to heavy use of alcohol or drugs and addiction.

A person’s identity as LGBTQ begins to form before the decision is made to come out or not.  The more developed someone is in their LGBTQ identity, the more likely they are to disclose themselves to others.  Simply stated, the more comfortable someone is with their authentic self, the easier it is for them to come out to others.

Once someone accepts themselves as LGBTQ, remaining in the closet forces them to live a double life, hiding who they truly are and how they feel from other people.  This secrecy is exhausting, stressful and lonely.  A life of concealment keeps one from truly connecting to others, because no one knows the real you.

Stress and Risks of Coming Out

Feelings of shame often keep the LGBTQ person from sharing their true selves. They often hear that they are bad, or evil or unworthy.  Fortunately, things are changing.  Over 53% of Americans support marriage equality.  But reading and hearing the daily news show that the acceptance is far from universal.

People may withhold the decision to come out to others because of the risk of rejection, fear of physical harm, discrimination, harassment, and a desire to protect loved ones from the stress of coming out.  It is not a coincidence that many of the LGBTQ clients struggling with addiction also struggle with some aspect of coming out.  Either they came out and faced one of the risks listed above, or they are frozen in fear that one of those risks might result if they were to tell others.  It is very common to hear about people struggling with addiction who have compartmentalized their life in an effort to hide certain aspects about themselves from others because of shame.

Some project their own anxiety and shame onto their loved ones as a justification for not coming out to those loved ones.   For example, my fear during my closeted years was always that others could not adjust to my uniqueness but really it was me who never gave myself a chance.  As a result I developed a false self to live up to the perceived expectations of my family and society so I would not hurt myself or let others down.  Yes there is a lot of risk associated with the very brave decision to come out but the other side has unlimited potential.  Giving yourself the opportunity to be your unique, honest, and authentic self is one of the most empowering experiences you can do in your life.  Coming out does not guarantee it but it provides the opportunity and there are people who are willing to help you reach that place of authenticity.

The Coming Out Process Never Ends

There is a myth about the coming out experience: that it is this milestone event and then after that the individual is in the clear.  However, this is not the case and the decision to come out is a lifelong, almost daily process that LGBTQ individuals are faced with.  Social contexts and an individual’s environment are constantly evolving and therefore decision whether or not to disclose one’s identity to others is constantly being made.

Even once one comes out to some people in a certain group, there is the stress of wondering who else in the group has been told.  For example, coming out to close coworkers can lead one to wondering who those coworkers have told.  There becomes an uneasy wondering of “do they know”.  Because a person’s sexuality is only part of who they are, it would seem forced and strange to start every conversation with “By the way, I am gay”.

Pride Month is a time to raise awareness of the issues those in the LGBT community have and reach out to others who feel alone.  Holding onto shame is a lonely place.  Healing occurs from hearing other people’s experiences. New Hope Recovery Center offers the New Hope With Pride Program for those struggling with any aspect of addiction and LGBTQ-related stressors.  For more information please visit our website New Hope Recovery Center, call us at 888-707-4673, or email us at info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

LGBT AddictionDid you know there is an increased risk for substance abuse and addiction for those LGBTQ individuals who are dealing with any stage of the coming out process?

What is Coming Out?

Many people don’t understand what is involved in coming out (disclosing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity).  Most envision it to be like walking through one doorway, a single time.  But it is far from that simple.  Maybe for a few celebrities who can come out in a national publication, it only involves one disclosure or interaction, but for most LGBTQ individuals, coming out is a life-long process repeated again and again. This process can be filled with stress and anxiety as the LGBTQ person contemplates who it is safe to come out to and when.

The decision to come out is one of the defining moments in an LGBTQ person’s life.  Let’s look at what is involved in coming out, how an LGBTQ individual may feel or think during the process and why LGBTQ individuals are susceptible to risks of addiction and substance abuse.

Understanding Oneself Requires Understanding Our Culture

For many LGBTQ people, based on the world they see around them, they only know one way in which it is ok to live, and that is heterosexual.  The dream they have heard since infancy is to fall in love with the opposite sex, get married, have children, and live happily ever after.   But LGBTQ people grow up feeling different.  They know they don’t quite fit in, something seems off and they sense it is them.  They often feel less than others.  They believe, and are often told by those who are close to them, that being straight is how their lives are supposed to be.

Many LGBTQ individuals feel as if they should be like everyone else.  Not fitting in, struggling to fit in and even trying to understand how they think and feel can lead to feelings of deep shame.   Many spend years hiding and denying they are LGBTQ from everyone, including themselves.  Being LGBTQ can be so foreign to them that they don’t have a way to understand who they are.

Our society is very much oriented toward heterosexuality, it is a given.  So young LGBTQ often don’t have a concept of anything other than heterosexuality.  Fortunately TV, movies, books and public discussion about LGBT rights are changing this.  But it is a slow change.  And growing up feeling and thinking differently from everyone else can be lonely.  It can also be tragic.  Suicide among Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual teens is 4 times higher than non-LGBT teens. Bullying (9 out of 10 LGBT teens report being bullied in the past year at school because of sexual orientation), gay-bashing, discrimination (it is legal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in 29 states), violent anti-gay hate crimes (including murder) are still happening around the country.  Is it any wonder LGBTQ individuals struggle with accepting their sexuality or their true gender?

Why Come Out?

For someone who is questioning their sexuality or gender identity, the first person they have to be honest with is themselves.  Not being your true self leaves you susceptible to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide.

So, the first step in coming out is to come out to oneself internally, accepting one’s own sexuality or gender.  Although this may seem to be an easy thing, it is usually not. There are many pressures on LGBTQ individuals to not fully accept themselves as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.  Bullying, fear of being harmed or killed, fear of being disowned by family and friends and fear of discrimination are all real possibilities for many.  It can often seem easier to deny a part of themselves instead of facing these consequences.  However, denying one’s true self leads to an incredible amount of stress, anxiety and additional fear.  If we are not ourselves, we cannot form real relationships because we know the relationship is not based on our real selves.

The benefits to truly being oneself outweigh all the real and imagined risks of being LGBTQ.  However, when someone is struggling with self-acceptance, the potential risks and consequences of coming out can seem enormous.  For those struggling with sexuality or gender identity, it can be helpful to read what others have experienced.  There are a number of great books on the subject of coming out, including the classic “Coming Out: An Act of Love” by Rob Eichberg.

And one final reason to come out: It Gets Better.  It really does.  Truly being oneself is worth the risks.  Thanks to Dan Savage and Terry Miller for creating the “It Gets Better” videos and book.  They have brought real awareness to the issue of coming out and bullying and have provided inspiration to millions.

It is important to realize that the period of coming out prior to full self-acceptance can be very lonely and very stressful.  Many LGBT individuals turn to drugs or alcohol to ease the pain and suffering they are experiencing.  To help these individuals with their addiction, most find it best to seek an addiction treatment program that understands and caters to the unique needs of LGBTQ persons.  New Hope Recovery Center’s “New Hope With Pride”, is such a program.  You can reach us at 888-707-4673 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.

 

You may also be interested in reading: Addiction Recovery and Self Esteem

spirituality and addiction recoveryMany people enter addiction treatment rehab or walk through the doors of a 12-step room and struggle with the concept of spirituality.  For those beginning the journey of addiction recovery who do not identify as religious, or who did previously but have now rejected religion, or who have felt harmed by religion, the idea of spirituality or a higher power can be challenging.

For those who practice religion and identify God as their Higher Power, spirituality likely already makes sense.  They can fit spirituality into the framework of their current religion.  For someone who has never practiced, no longer practices or who feels harmed by religion, it can be difficult to grasp how spirituality can exist without the presence of religion. But spirituality and religion are very different.

The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion

It is helpful to separate spirituality and religion.  We often unconsciously link the two.  But spirituality does not need to be defined through the lens of religion.  Religion can be thought of as a set of beliefs, rituals and practices regarding belief in God or gods to be worshipped.  Spirituality is a personal search for meaning in life, for connection with all things and for the experience of a power beyond oneself.  Some find it helpful to think of religion as rules or practices agreed to by a number of people, whereas spirituality is completely related to one’s individual experience and connections.  Spirituality is recognizing a power greater than ourselves which is grounded in love and compassion.  It is a power that gives us perspective, meaning, and a purpose to our lives.  It is a desire to connect with more than ourselves, to connect with everything.

So, Why Is Spirituality Important In Recovery From Addiction?

Spirituality is important in addiction recovery because addiction takes away our ability to be spiritual.  It disconnects us from our spirituality and from powers, people and things outside ourselves.  To fully recover from our addiction we must reconnect to our spirituality, our search for purpose in our life and connections beyond ourselves.

How Does Addiction Take Away Our Spirituality?

First, alcoholism or drug addiction takes away our ability to choose because EVERYTHING becomes centered on using.  Our entire focus is on the drug of addiction…how to get it, when to get it, who to get it from, where to get it, when to use it, actually using it, and recovering from using it.  The sole focus in life revolves around the addiction.  We tend to only value people and things based on our addiction.  An important element of spirituality is choosing for ourselves: deciding on our beliefs, exploring our purpose and meaning and honestly connecting with people and powers beyond ourselves.  Addiction keeps us from choosing anything but the object(s) of our addiction.

Second, addiction takes away our ability to grow and change.   Although the life of an addict can seem random, chaotic and uncertain, it is actually very predictable and extremely routine.  Because the addict focuses exclusively on their addiction, their life ceases to have any growth or change: it is solely about getting the drug, using the drug and recovering from the drug, repeated over and over.  Life become robotic, the addict is no longer themselves.  Not being able to be our true selves’ stops us from growing.  Spirituality is about growing, changing and evolving.

Third, addiction takes away our ability to have any real relationships because our sole focus and connection is wired to be exclusively with the addiction.  Addiction causes us to be dishonest, we say and do things based on the drug. Because we are no longer ourselves, we cannot form honest relationships with others (or ourselves).  We cannot connect to anything beyond ourselves and our drug.  Our world soon shrinks to become just us and our addiction, everything and everyone else just becomes a means to using.  Addiction eventually results in a loss of all real relationships and connections. An important element of spirituality is connecting to more than ourselves, ultimately with everything.

Finally, addiction takes away our ability to experience surprise, wonder and awe.  If there is one experience that can immediately let us know we are connecting with our spirituality, it is experiencing awe and wonder.  Many expect wonder and awe to come only in the form of extraordinary events with loud fanfare.  But actually wonder and awe come mainly during ordinary events and things.  They come when we take the time to recognize the incredible beauty and wonder in everyday objects and happenings.  The beauty and complexity of a sunflower, the wonderful fragrance of a rose, seeing the night sky filled with stars, and watching the sun slowly set are often sources of wonder.  Any moment can be an opportunity for awe and wonder:  a moment to feel connected to more than ourselves, to feel that there is a power or powers beyond ourselves, to appreciate things and people for their own beauty.

If we view spirituality from this perspective we can see how recovery and sobriety gives us our spirituality back. Spirituality is individually defined, it is however one chooses to assign meaning, value, and purpose to their life.  Therefore, someone who walks into a 12-step room does not have to be deterred by the spirituality of the program because they can choose anything greater than themselves as their Higher Power, such as their own sobriety.

Practicing Spirituality

Being spiritual is a practice that restores all of the things addiction takes away from us.  Addiction is a predictable disease with a predictable outcome.  Practicing spirituality involves getting comfortable with the uncertain.  It can be practiced and strengthened by taking the time to celebrate what we are grateful for, what we trust in, what inspires us, and how we exercise faith.  Being spiritual requires us to be mindful of the ordinary moments that make a simple life extraordinary and to be vulnerable to change, to risk having honest relationships and to grow.  It’s these ordinary moments and brave bouts of vulnerability that allow us to connect with others with love and compassion.

New Hope Recovery Center focuses on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of our clients and their families as they journey toward recovery.  We understand the importance of spirituality in addiction recovery and guide each client to discover and experience their own spirituality.  If you would like more information about New Hope Recovery Center, please contact us at 888-707-4673 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center