Category: Getting Help/Types of Treatment

How Does Inpatient Treatment Differ From Outpatient Treatment?

There are two main types of treatment programs for addicts: inpatient drug rehab and outpatient drug rehab. The goal for both treatment methods remains helping the individual overcome addiction, but each methodology works better for different people.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Addiction TreatmentOutpatient drug rehab offers a lot less structure for the recovering party. People are personally accountable for attending their counseling sessions and balancing their work and personal lives with treatment sessions. Because the patient remains in the outside world, it is a lot easier for them to gain access to drugs and remain close to triggers that can lead to relapse. It is a much more difficult path to sustained recovery than inpatient treatment plans.

Inpatient drug rehab offers structure to every patient. Every day is planned out and it’s easier to develop personalized plans for recovery. Professional staff is available in times of need for addicts during inpatient treatment whereas the feelings of isolation can be a lot more common for those who choose to go the outpatient route.

It’s pretty much imperative that those in crisis situations choose to go the route of inpatient treatment. When drug usage caused by addiction reaches a truly dangerous level, 24/7 monitoring becomes a necessity. Those who have been hospitalized as a result of their drug use or have chosen to try outpatient programs and failed should also turn to a proper inpatient treatment program.

The decision to enter an inpatient drug rehab program is a major one. Addicts will often need the encouragement and support of their loved ones. There are usually apprehensions due to how much time it will take and whether or not it will truly be worth it in the long run. The simple fact is that you can’t understate the importance of health. The duration of a patient’s stay can’t be determined on day one. The best care plan could take anywhere from 4 weeks to 90 days. It has to be determined based on the severity of the problem and the best recovery plan possible for the individual. The individual planning is another perk of inpatient programs.

We take our role in the recovery process seriously. We believe ever person has the potential to change their lives for the better. Call our experts at (866) 308-2090 to see how an individualized treatment program can start you or your loved one on their road to recovery.




5 Ways Vocational Programs Enhance Sobriety

Recovering with Job Training Stay Sober Longer

“I will always hire recovering addicts because in my experience they are more loyal, harder working and more compassionate than my other employees. Everyone has issues, but with recovering addicts I know what those issues are and it’s easy to tell when they are dealing with them in a healthy manner.”

-Matt S.
Business Owner in South Florida

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That is what the owner of my company told me during my first review. I had never had a career before, never worked for anyone other than my parents up to that point, never written a resume, gone on an interview or had my own desk. Yet, there I was getting a raise, a bonus and being told that I was not only good at my job, but great. I had just achieved 1 year of sobriety and everything seemed to be going my way. My recovery program from drugs and alcohol had a lot to do with it. However, the long road of professional reform was paved by the vocational program I attended while in drug rehab. Here I learned all the tools I needed to forge a new career for myself. One I could be proud of, one that would teach me the life skills I need to survive and one that would provide tangible results that I could look at and say, “For once I am doing well.” The career based accomplishment also went a long way to increasing my level of and commitment to sobriety. There were actually a lot of aspects of my rehab’s vocational program that enhanced my sobriety, but here are the 5 ways vocational and life skills training benefited me the most.

#5 Vocational Training Provides Skills for The Future.

Many addicts and alcoholics come into rehab with little to no experience working in the real world. They’ve never been on an interview, never worked on the clock and have never written a resume. I was one of these people. In order to survive in the post drug world I needed to learn a lot of things that my non-addicted brothers and sisters have known since birth. For example I had an interview at 11 a.m. and showed up to my vocational program group at 8 a.m. and didn’t shave the night before. I thought the ladies would dig the beard. My vocational instructor made me get up and walk the 2 miles back to my room to shave. It was a wake up call.

I didn’t even think about shaving for the interview or about ironing my pants and shirt, I was a mess. She told me I have to dress for the job I want, not the job I have, which was no job at all I pointed out to which she said, “Exactly.” In vocational group I also learned how to write a resume. This was particularly difficult since at the time I saw myself with no real assets to offer and very, very limited job experience. In group, they showed me what my strengths were and taught me how to highlight those on paper. I had such a negative view of myself for so long, this resume building experience wasn’t just a resume building exercise – it was a positive character building exercise and I began to like what I saw. After the resume we went on to interview skills. My vocational program therapist pointed out that I need to look the employer in the eyes and taught me how to answer difficult questions like, did I have any felony’s and why I was suddenly in Florida. These skills not only landed me the job of my dreams but also became the tools I would use to pave a better future for myself. I wish all treatment centers had a plan for vocational therapy.

#4 Vocational Training Increases Self Esteem

treatment vocational programs

Like I said, my view of who I was as a person was shot. It wasn’t until I was taught true vocational and life skills and began working that I started to see a rise in my self esteem. To people not inflicted with the disease of addiction it seems, easy or normal to wake up each morning, take a shower, make a lunch go to work, eat the lunch, return home and repeat. For many addicts and alcoholics this is next to impossible. Some weeks I wouldn’t even shower. Normal people take for granted the fact that they can wake up whenever they want and decide not to get high on Tuesday at 2:15pm. In my addiction I could not, so when I got the call from an employer that they wanted to hire me I thought they had the wrong number. The idea that someone wanted to hire me to do a job boggled my mind and shot my self-esteem through the roof. What it also did was provide irrefutable proof that sobriety was working in my life. The boosts of self-esteem I got from working a real sober job made me feel good, it made me feel alive, I gave me everything that drugs used to provide without the horrible side effects.

Through vocational training and on the job training I also learned all the parts of myself that were good and useful and all the parts that I could be proud of. If I had simply gone to a career center or checked out I would not have gained all the personal insights and self-esteem steroids that the vocational program gave me. In addition to increased self worth it also provided something I had desired for years – stability.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

#3 A Sense of Stability is Essential to Long-Term Sobriety

I used to wake up everyday not knowing where my next meal would come from, not knowing where I would get the rent money and not knowing who I was. Today I know. Since the day we are born we are on a constant search for stability. It’s why babies are less fussy when swaddled. Many addicts and alcoholics use drugs to find that stability for their emotions and to gain a peer group. By snorting cocaine or shooting heroin we can guarantee the feelings our bodies are will experience. That is type of behavior is known as unstable stability.

What does offer long-term stability is purpose, drive and ambition. This was given to me through my career and that was provided by job training and life skills taught to me in treatment. Alcoholics and addicts are impulsive people who crave structure and stability. I found these things when I got a job and was leaving the house each morning with a duty, a specific purpose for being alive other than getting high. Putting in an honest day’s work and seeing a pay check at the end of the week was another indication that I was on the right path and that my plan for sobriety was working and working well. I had places to be each day, tasks to complete and goals to accomplish. I had never had those things or accomplished anything in my life, once I did another, natural high was provided and I continued to chase recovery. What came next would take my spirits and level of sobriety to new levels.

#2 Self Sufficiency

vocational programs

At age 28 my therapist at my IOP treatment center asked the group, “Who here wants to live in their parents basement for the rest of their life?” I was the only one who raised his hand. That is where my life had gone to. I didn’t think I would ever be able to live on my own. I thought it would be best to just live in my parent’s basement… forever.

After learning the life skills needed to sustain life I became self-sufficient and realized that I could do anything. Essentially, I had learned how to grow up. I was taught how to pay bills and how to budget and how to work smarter not harder. Being self sufficient, is to this day the greatest gift that sobriety has given me. I now have all the needed skills and tools to go out a become anything. Never have I had that feeling that can only be described as hope.

#1 Hope

I was dead on the side of the road in about 7 years ago and now I have been working in the advertising industry for 7 years, own my own home, have a wife, a baby girl and two cars. In just 7 years this dead drunk has accomplished things that he never thought possible and just and 50% of the reason is because two incredible people in my vocational program taught me the weapons I needed to live. Now I get to tell this story so that the next person who thinks the mountain is to high to climb can get up off the street and walk tall hopefully filled with hope.

The Power and Importance of an Alumni Recovery Program

Alumni Recovery Programs Provide Strength in Numbers

Alumni Program

Have you ever heard of an alumni recovery program? Is it helpful to go to an inpatient drug rehab that offers alumni support? What types of support can an alumni program offer? These are important questions to answer, but first, it helps to understand why alumni programs work.

“If so and so jumped off a bridge would you?” How many times did you hear this phrase growing up? Odds are that your family asked you this more than a handful of times. The answer is typically “no” – but that’s not the truth.

Sometimes, people are more inclined to do something when everybody else is doing it, or at least when it seems like everybody else is doing it. This can help explain why some people begin using drugs or drinking alcohol in the first place. But, this ideology can also help the other way around, when it comes to recovery.

When people see recovering addicts working a program to get and remain clean, they may be inclined to embrace recovery as well, especially when they notice a positive change n attitude of the person in recovery.

It’s not unusual to want what someone in recovery has, especially when you’re struggling with addiction and looking for a way out – which other people in recovery seem to have experience with. Helping and supporting others in their recovery is critical, especially because these same people that offer the support were once requesting it as well.

That’s why one of the single most important aspects of a great treatment center is having a thriving and active alumni recovery program. This is typically where alumni from the facility have the opportunity to connect with each other and support one another as they continue on their journey toward recovery.

Importance of Alumni Recovery Programs and Meetings

Here are just a few reasons that can help explain why alumni recovery programs and meetings are vital for recovery.

Recovery Is Encouraged at Alumni Recovery Programs

When alumni of treatment centers gather together through alumni programs and meetings, they give themselves the opportunity to connect with others who have been in their shoes. They get to meet people who are newer to recovery than they are as well as people who have greater lengths of clean time than they have. These programs and meetings allow for you to be surrounded by recovery at all different stages. It ultimately promotes just how much recovery does work and how it brings people from all walks of life together.

There’s always going to be newcomers, whether they are in Intensive Outpatient Programs or haven’t been involved in any related group since completing treatment and are just “coming back.” The reality is that some people do continue to work a program after completing treatment and some do not, which can result in a drug relapse. That’s why it is critical for them to have the opportunity to reconnect with others through an alumni program or meeting, where they can get the encouragement to get back in the program and receive the help they need.

Treatment Center Alumni Provide Unconditional Support

Providing unconditional support is beautiful, but it can be difficult to understand if you haven’t given or received it. There are many loved ones of addicts who have been stolen from, lied to, and manipulated – but they continue to be there for their addicted loved one. An addict may not even realize this is unconditional support until they get into the rooms of a 12 Step Fellowship, like AA or NA, and experience it – but from strangers.

People in 12 Step groups and alumni recovery programs understand where addiction can bring a person. They offer support to the newcomer and to anyone who is struggling because that is what was so freely given to them. It is unconditional because they don’t expect anything in return.

Addicts have a bond with one another that is incredibly strong. Each person’s story may be different, but the feelings are identical. All you have to do is say, “I’m an addict” and instantly you’re connected because addicts understand the pain of addiction. They know where you’re coming from and would do anything for you simply because they understand.

Alumni Programs Help Build the Recovery Community

Recovery Program

Delray Beach, Florida and St. Paul, Minnesota are said to be the recovery capitals of the world. More people are sober in these two cities than anywhere else on the planet.

Both have a high concentration of treatment centers and as patients complete their treatment, they stay in the cities surrounding the drug rehabs. They get involved in recovery events as well as offer support to individuals who are in newly in recovery from addiction.

As a result, cities become filled with recovering alcoholics and drug addicts living in recovery and supporting each other while doing so. Recovering alcoholics in these cities don’t have to look far for someone to talk to or for someone to help them out of a tough situation.

Alumni recovery programs help bring people in recovery together and as a result, the recovery community grows.

Suggestions Are Offered at Alumni Programs and Meetings

Stay out of a relationship for 1 year. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. Get a plant before you get in a relationship. Get a sponsor. Share at meetings. The meeting after the meeting is just as important as the meeting. Never say no to AA. Keep coming back. It works if you work it. Men with men women with women. This meeting helped me a lot. So and so would be a great sponsor. Talk to him over there – he went through this last year. Put your keys under your bed and pray when you pick them up in the morning. Live close to your meetings, you’ll always drive farther to work cause they pay you. Keep it simple.

We’ve all heard these and similar suggestions. Alumni programs and recovery meetings offer suggestions like these because they are helpful and support recovery.

Alumni from drug treatment centers can offer many suggestions and help you as you embark on the road to recovery. Living in sobriety isn’t always easy, but when you have support, suggestions, positive reinforcement, and a great environment to receive each of these, it does get better and you can recover.

Alumni recovery programs and meetings play a critical role in helping patients from treatment centers maintain their sobriety, and can even be a great way for them to get back into recovery if they have relapsed. Choosing an inpatient rehab center that offers alumni support programs and meetings can be a great idea because of the benefits these services provide.

Ready to come in? Call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090.

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Sober Without a Family Addiction Program

My 5 Siblings Give The 5 Reasons You Need a Family Addiction Program

If someone try’s to tell you that addiction is not a family disease, they’ve never known anyone who was addicted to drugs or alcohol. From my 15 plus years of experience living in and working in the field of addiction I can attest first-hand how the disease infects the entire family. It changes the way each member of the family think, acts, feels and in many cases causes family members physical harm. During my addiction I witnessed the effects that my alcoholism and drug dependency had on my 5 brothers and sisters and on my parents. In my past drug rehabs one or two of the members of my family attended a “so called” family weekend. It didn’t help much, but when each member of my family took part in a family addiction program – everything changed. I got better and they got better.

So, I thought it was fitting to have them tell you the 5 reasons you can’t stay sober without a family addiction program. I called my 5 brothers and sisters and asked them to write a little about why they felt the family program they attended helped so much. This is the real deal ladies and gentlemen. Not some pre-fabricated, generic addiction jargon written for the purpose of getting you on a website. These are actual testimonials from family members who have suffered though addiction and witnessed recovery. If you wanted to survive an atomic blast, you talk to a person who survived Hiroshima – my family survived my atomic bomb of addiction, and here they are.

At Our Family Program I Wanted My Bother To Know We Support Him

#5 Family Support: Teddy.

I’m Teddy, I’m 29 years-old and I live in Boston. With a name like Teddy I bet you were expecting someone younger huh? I was pretty young when my bother was using drugs. I remember he would come in my room in the middle of the night and not know where he was. For a 12-year old it was very scary. At age 22 we all went down to be part of the family addiction program and my reason for being there was simple. I wanted to support my brother. I had learned early on that addiction was a disease and thought to my self, if my brother had cancer I would be by his side and this wasn’t different.

Now, a person was cancer doesn’t steal your first communion money and pee on your CD player, but still he needed our support. I always looked up to my brother I told him that while we were in family group. It seemed to help, at the time his self esteem was shot and I knew if I could get the words out without crying maybe it would help remind him of the great brother he used to be. So yeah, the number 5 reason why you can’t stay sober with out a family addiction program is because we’re family – we need each other’s support to survive… everything.

Learning To Detach With Love Saved My Relationship With My Brother

#4 Learning To Detach With Love: Molly

My name is Molly, I’m 20 and I live in Maryland. Since I was born my brother had been in and out of rehabs and I was sick of it. I was only 13 at the time when we went to the family addiction program and when I got there I realized I needed help too. Even though I had never done drugs or alcohol, I needed help – with my anger. I knew he had a disease but I was just so mad at him. He was a great brother somewhere deep inside and I just wanted that to come out! At our family addiction program I finally heard something that made sense to me. The idea of detaching with love.

I learned that detaching with love is really the difference between helping and enabling. I had never given brother like a single penny so I thought that I wasn’t enabling. Turns out I was. Every time he called my crying and complaining about his life I listened and supported him, duh like any sister would—turns out that was enabling because he should be talking to his AA sponsor or support group. Detaching with love would have been me saying “I love you but if you are not following a program of recovery I can’t talk to you right now.” Once I learned that thinks started to get better. My older brother started to actually act like an older brother and it seemed like maybe my resistance to speak with him unless he was taking care of himself helped. Detaching with love may not have saved my brother but it definitely saved me.

Family Drug Therapy Says The Family Is Sick Too

#3 Family Members Need Help Also: Meaghan

My name is Meaghan I am 34 and pregnant, so if this is short it’s because I had to go eat something or I fell asleep. Oh my god, that family addiction program we went to for my brother was brutal at first. I was like, he has a problem not me, uh why am I here? Then then started saying, “@The family is the patient and the patient is the family. That hit home. As my brothers addiction got worse and worse so did our family. I got incredibly angry, so did my Mom and the family just fell apart. Even one of my brothers started to develop a drinking problem and he had never shown signs before. I couldn’t believe it but during our family drug therapy I could plainly see that, uh yeah… addiction is contagious.

After I got back on the plane to Pittsburgh I started going to Alanon meetings and seeing a therapist and not once did we talk about my brother. I needed to change my own thinking and my own behavior. Just because my brother was sick it didn’t me it gave me license to act out with weed or treat others like crap. In my opinion a family who is not in a recovery is a family that will never recover. If my brother got sober but no one else got help, he wouldn’t be able to stay sober. Today I can honestly say that yeah, were all doing great! Hope this helped, gotta pee, what else is new!

Family Members Relapse Too!

#2 A Family Member Can Relapse: Daniel

Thanks Meaghan,
My name is Daniel I’m 23 and what I’m gonna talk about is a family relapse. It looks a lot different from a relapse on drugs or alcohol. When my brother relapsed he crashed his car and almost died, when my Mom relapsed, she set in motion my brother crashing his car. See, we learned in the family drug program that a relapse for us would be doing anything that made it easier for my brother to get high or anything that took him away from recovery. This showed up on a day that will forever live on in our family’s story. The day my mom bought my brother new underwear.

On St. Patrick’s Day my mom gave my brother shamrock boxer shorts while he was in rehab. The staff made him give them back saying it was a relapse for my Mom. She couldn’t see why and neither could I. They explained that those $4.99 underpants were $4.99 he could now spend on drugs or alcohol and that they sent a message that my brother could still rely on us for financial support. This made sense. In the past my brother would spend his money any way he wanted and never worried about the consequences because someone would always bail him out. These boxer shorts were a sign that he could count on them to pull him back up. If any of us gave him money or bailed him out of a tough situation we were denying him his bottom and we relapsed and we put him closer to death. He’s been sober no for 6 ½ years and that is proof none of us have relapsed. Thanks and have a great day.

Family Addiction Programs Tell Us What To Look For

#1 Know What Relapse Signs To Look For: Annie

Hi my name is Annie and I am just 8 years old. My brover asked me to talks a bit bout fings we were told to wook for when I was dust a wittle girl. I member my mom sayin’ “if ya see you brover wit my purse pease tell me.” I member finking, boys don’t wear purses? Oh and also she said nots to give him da moneys. I had lots of monies in my piggy bank and I wanted him to have some cuz he needed it, but Mom said dat could make him sick and he’d go back to da doctors for a month. I den one time saw him wearin’ da same clothes a lot so I told mom cuz I just fink that was weird and she said I did a good job. Hope dis was what ya were lookin for. I love my brover and am so happy he is not sick any more.


A Recovering Alcoholics Guide to Selecting the Best Drug and Alcohol Rehab

6 Years of Sobriety, 10 drug and alcohol rehabs… I know What to Look For

When I got drunk for the first time at age 16 I had no idea that I would eventually become the go-to expert on rehabs. Did I go to school for addiction counseling studies? Kind of. I mean, that’s not what my degree is in but I can promise you that when I was in school addiction was the subject I put most of my time in to. You see, I’ve been to 10 different treatment centers in 4 different states. No, not as a visitor – as a patient. When you spend that amount of time in institutions trying to figure out why you can’t stop stealing money out of your mom’s purse to get high, you gain a lot of perspective. You learn the ins and outs or the rehab’s treatment protocols and I had 9 other drug and alcohol rehabs to compare them to. I was a walking, talking, real-life “Yelp” constantly in search for the best drug and alcohol rehab. In addition to living in treatment centers, some for as long as 6 months, I have also visited over 30 rehabs on speaking engagements since getting sober.

Shouldn’t I ask A Doctor What Makes a Great Treatment Center?

To many it might feel more comforting to ask a doctor or a therapist what to look for in a substance abuse center. I totally get that, but I disagree. Many times, the doctors and staff are not addicts or alcoholics. They read a lot about it, have done a great job helping so many of us find recovery, but they will never, ever know what it is like be addicted.

If you want to know what makes the Bronx Zoo so great you would ask the Zoo keeper. He’s going to tell you all about the humane practices at the zoo and about how much time the monkeys spend in the sunshine. But if you really want the truth, if you really want to know everything that goes on in the zoo, you must ask the monkeys. Today, I am the monkey.

The Best Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Will Have These 10 Things

#10 A Staff Filled with Addicts and Alcoholics

My eight-year-old sister was born without her right hand. Not a big deal, but she always felt so different from the other kids. One day she was trying to figure out how to serve a tennis ball at her tennis class. Lots of the kids tried to help, the instructor had a bunch of ideas too, but nothing seemed to work and my sister didn’t seem to pay much attention to their ideas. “Day have boaf hands how da heck can dey know how to swerve whiff just one?” She’s eight so those are not typos, it’s how she talks. Cute huh? Well it’s not as cute as the 12-year-old boy who showed up the following week of tennis camp, he had one arm and showed my sister what to do. She listened, she learned and she served.

That is why you need to make sure that the drug and alcohol center you are going to or sending someone to is jam-packed full of alcoholics and addicts. We need to be speaking to the recovering alcoholics who have been to the same places in hell and found their way out. One alcoholic helping another is and always will be the foundation of recovery. “Do you have recovering alcoholics on staff?” That would be the first question I would ask. I’ve been to a few places who didn’t have any recovering drug addicts working for them and it didn’t work, for me atleast.

License and Registration Please – Now You Get to Ask for It!

#9 Licensed and JCAHO Accredited

This should go without saying but it is so important, it needs to be said. You must ask the rehab in question if they are licensed by the state they are in and if they are JCAHO accredited. Any decent and credible drug rehab will be JCAHO accredited. JCAHO stands for The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and is known throughout the US and the gold standard in accreditation for many healthcare fields including substance abuse. As an independent, non-profit organization that certifies and accredits over to 20,000 healthcare institutions JCAHO will have its name on any rehab worth of sending the person you love. Yes, all 10 of mine had the JCAHO stamp of approval.

#8 Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When I went to my first rehab in 2002, the idea of dual diagnosis had been around for 10 years. This was good for me because I had a bunch of other stuff wrong in my head other than addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is the practice of treating co-occurring mental health disorders as part of a curriculum and not as seperate disorders. This is an essential component for any drug and alcohol rehab center that claims to be the best. We now know that there is not a hard line between psychiatric health and addiction, they are one in the same. Patients with bi-polar disorder and an addiction for crack should be treated for both simultaneously. The previous method of treatment required the addict to be clean and sober for months before treatment for the additional disorder would begin, an almost impossible task. Dual-Diagnosis is now common practice but not in all substance abuse treatment centers. If they don’t have dual-diagnosis treatment DO NOT GO THERE, even if you don’t think your loved one has any other co-occurring disorders. When my depression and anxiety was finally treated along with my addiction recovery truly began for me.

Rehab Romances, The Main Reason I Went To 10 Rehabs

#7 Gender Specific Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Once the drugs and the alcohol left my body I ran straight for the other thing that made me feel great, girls. At the first 9 treatments, I went to I had 9 rehab romances, 9 new girlfriends in rehab. All day long I thought about them, impressing them, finding ways to sneak out and make out with them. I never focused on me and what I needed to do to recover. Until the last rehab when I was told I would be kicked out on the street if I even spoke to one female patient. Nothing scared me more than being homeless, so I complied. What I found was that I could focus on myself and focus on the things inside of me that needed to be changed without worrying how It would make me look in front of Sally. It also helped me create better friendships and bonds with the men at my rehab, the friends I would rely upon when treatment concluded.

#6 Aftercare Treatment Program

When my family was considering a rehab for my second stint I told them, “It has to have something for me to do after treatment is over.” See, the first time I went right back to my old stomping grounds and, well, I got stomped. An aftercare program offers therapy in both the group and individual settings on a less frequent basis while still providing a high level of substance abuse care. Many believe that after 28 days, the journey is over. This couldn’t be more untrue. I was at my best when I followed the recommendations of the treatment staff and was held accountable by the team involved in my aftercare. I have found involvement in an aftercare program to be the difference between making it to one year of sobriety and not.

The Patient Is the Family and The Family Is the Patient

#5 Family Addiction Program

I can tell you that the biggest reason I went to 10 rehabs instead of 11 is because of a family program. My parents, brothers and sisters needed to understand all the ways they are helping me stay sober and all the ways they were helping me get high. These are not easy to understand and vary based on the individual. Family must be involved in the treatment process if recovery is going to be possible. It might seem like a good idea to make sure your son’s car has gas in it so he can get to a meeting after he leaves treatment, right? WRONG! If he wants to stay sober he needs to get his own gas. If you keep doing everything for him he has no incentive to do anything himself. Trust me I learned this the hard way. I rode a bike, took the bus and ate expired burritos from Walgreens for a year, I never wanted to go back to that, so I never picked up drugs again. The family program took my parents enabling away and in turn I stayed sober. No family program? No Go!

#4 Alumni Recovery Program

“Hi, my name is Jimmy I went to treatment her 3 years ago and this past May I celebrated 3 years sober.” Nothing is more powerful than that. Alumni programs are awesome because they put current patients hand in hand with former patients who have their lives back on track and who used to sit in the same seat as the person with one day sober. The amount of hope supplied by an active alumni program cannot be overstated. Besides hope alumni take patients and bring them into their sober circle of friends and even jobs. I never felt more alone than when I was drinking, I never felt more alive than the first time my alumni buddy picked me up and took me to the movies with 10 other sober people.

“Everyone Has Issues, At Least I Know What Yours Are” – My Boss

#3 Vocational ProgramsF

I had never had a job outside of the family business. The reason was that any other place would have fired me for sleeping in the dressing rooms and using painkillers at the register. I never went on an interview or wrote a resume. A vocational program takes care of all those things and helps the addicts and alcoholics re-integrate into society. Yes, an addict is not a great person to hire. But a recovering alcoholic or drug addict is many times the most productive, kindest and hardest working person on the staff. People in recovery live their life by a certain set of principles that are sought after by employers. My boss loved that I was in recovery because it gave him insight into my issues and created an open dialogue in the office. Now, you should not rush into an interview and say I’m an addict thinking that will get you hired. There is a certain way to do that, and a solid vocational program will show you how to do it.

#2 Reputable Halfway Houses in The Area

You got out of rehab, now what? I moved in with my rehab girlfriend then relapsed, I moved in with my parents then relapsed, this last time I went to a halfway house and have not used since. Areas that have a high population of reputable halfway houses or sober homes usually have one of the best drug and alcohol rehabs close by. People in recovery need other people in recovery to stay sober and they need to learn how to live again. Sober homes are great places to hold the addicts accountable and help them learn how to do all the things “Normal” people do. Many cities do not have these resources available so make sure the treatment center you choose to go to has an adequate network of sober homes available before you check in.

#1 People Who Love Their Jobs

Ask the admissions person if they love their job, if they do there is a good chance you have nothing to worry about.

Is 30 Days of Inpatient Treatment Enough?

28–30 Days of Inpatient Treatment: Just Right or Too Little?

For many years now the standard length of stay for substance abuse Inpatient treatment has been 30 days. With the rise of the heroin epidemic many are wondering, Is 30 Days of Inpatient Treatment Enough? The answer to this question is not simple, but I’m not going to tell you something convoluted like, “Well the answer is yes and no!” Answers like that don’t help anyone. The answer is…

No, 30 days is usually not enough, but the truth is 30 Days of inpatient treatment was rarely enough and few who went through 30 days in rehab ever stayed sober with only 30 days of treatment under their belts. The real question on your mind is most likely what amount of time does it take to help me or my family member recover from their addiction. That question we will answer here today once and for all, but first we need to understand where the 28 to 30-day model originated.

Who Decided 30 Days of Inpatient Treatment was Enough?

Many people believe the 30-day model for treatment was invented by our friends at the insurance companies, but this is not true. In 1970, the first addiction treatment center for the United States Air Force was established. Back then men and women who were removed from duty for a period of 30 days or less did NOT have to be reassigned. This allowed the fighting and flying men and women of the armed forces to receive inpatient treatment for chemical dependency and then return to their units. After seeing success under this model, other treatment centers started to follow suit and soon the insurance companies made the 28 to 30-day model the industry standard. No one ever checked to make sure that this number was sufficient to spawn adequate recovery, the number just seemed to fit so the model was duplicated until it was used so much that everyone just assumed somebody checked the number. Well, it turns out that almost 30 years later someone did check the data and it’s not good.

Substance Abuse Data Proves 30 Days Is NOT Enough

The National Institute on Drug Abuse published a report in 1999 that stated that anyone attending inpatient substance abuse therapy for a period of under 90 days has a far greater chance of relapse. The study also reports that 90 days is not the gold standard and staying in rehab for 90 does not guarantee recovery by any means. *One study of narcotic users showed that 35% of patients who attended 90 days of inpatient treatment stayed off drugs for a period of one year or more. Addicts who received 30 days of inpatient treatment only reached 1 year of sobriety at a rate of 17%. Another study of children under that age of 18 showed a significant increase in relapse rates for patients who attended less than 90 days of treatment.

90 Days Equals 90% Success Rate for Airline Pilots and Doctors

One of the more ^convincing arguments for an increase from the 30-day model comes from the substance abuse care administered to medical professionals and Airline pilots. For many years now Doctors and Airline Pilots have been required to complete a 90-day drug rehabilitation program before they could be considered for reinstatement to their profession. When we look at how this 90-day rehab requirement imposed by airlines on their chemically dependent pilots affects the success rate of recovery lasting for a period of 1 year or more the results are staggering. 90% of airline pilots who are required by their employer to go to treatment stay sober for a year or more. This success rate far exceeds that of the general population by more than 80%. This drastic increase in success is partly based on the consequences that could potentially end their career as well as the fact they are doing 90-days of treatment. Once this data began to shine a dim light upon 30 days of inpatient treatment, the substance abuse industry took notice and began to offer longer stays.

Treatment Centers Now Offer a Variety of Program Lengths

Today, more than 46 years after 30 days of inpatient treatment became the unproven duration for recovery, many substance abuse providers have begun to offer much longer programs for inpatient therapy. Yes, 90 days has become the go to number for many of the big, long established drug rehabs across the United States, but many have even enacted longer terms of treatment. One Minnesota based provider of treatment services devoted an entire unit of their facility for treatment lasting a period of one year. This facility has seen success for many of its patients partly because of the increased duration of treatment but also because the center allows for its clients staying for one year to gradually assimilate back into society and then process their cravings and temptations at the rehab when they return.

Another successful substance abuse brand in Florida employs a highly-individualized approach to treatment length with substance abuse counseling ranging from 90 days to 2 years. Here again the success rate is also based on the length of stay and the fact that the addicts and alcoholics are weaned back into society over an extended period, limiting the shock of being thrust back into the world too soon (the main drawback of 30 day inpatient programs). The reintegration under supervision policy used by these treatment facilities is a major factor in helping their clients find long term recovery for their drug and alcohol problems, but it is nothing new, it is what has been suggested for many years. Here we find the answer to your question.

It’s the Number of Days of Aftercare That Really Matters

30 days of inpatient treatment was never enough. 90 days of inpatient treatment is better but what really matters is the number of days the addict or alcoholic is involved in an aftercare program. No one who has found 5, 10 or even 50 years of recovery from addiction has done so without participating in a program of recovery for a long period of time. Inpatient treatment regardless of the length of stay can only be successful if followed by a rigorous and enthusiastic aftercare program. This is nothing new, this is the way it has always been.

All treatment providers suggest that their clients struggling with substance abuse take part in a long series of step down programs that culminate with attendance in 12-step programs lasting for the duration of one’s recovery. So, no, 30 days is not enough, the number of days required is not the question you should be asking. The real question is, if my loved one follows all recommended aftercare recommendations will they stay sober? That answer is Yes! Yes! Yes! The first step is going from inpatient to intensive outpatient.

Attend and IOP After Inpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs for men and & IOP for women provide the opportunity to receive treatment for chemical dependency without having to leave work, school, or other responsibilities, thus affording then the ability to slowly enter back into their lives under the care of treatment professionals. This step-down form of treatment is the second phase in the journey to long-term recovery – a very, very important phase that has always been suggested by reputable facilities.

Men and women involved in this form of treatment still receive one-on-one therapy with a treatment professional as well as attend group therapy 4-5 times a week. They live and work in their community and may be exposed to the triggers and temptations that life offers but then return to their IOP group to process, learn and grow from these experiences. After an extended period and after the treatment team feels another step down is appropriate for the patient, they enter the Outpatient (OP) phase of recovery.

After Intensive Outpatient Comes, Outpatient

Traditionally, outpatient programs consist of one private session with a chemical dependency therapist and one group session every week. This step in the recovery process is ideal for women and men who no longer need inpatient treatment and have successfully completed IOP. With Outpatient services clients still receive private and group therapy but are also introduced to life skills training and long-term relapse prevention. Most importantly, the addicts and alcoholics at this phase are prepared to and get more involved with the aftercare that they will be encouraged to participate in for their lifetime, a 12-step program.

90 Meetings in 90 Days Bridges the Treatment Gap

Most successful recovering drug addicts and alcoholics attend 90 12 step meetings in 90 days upon completing the final stage of their treatment centers aftercare program. This is referred to as a 90-in-90. Here they take all of the information they have been learning throughout the treatment process and apply it to their life and their meetings. The 12-step model has proven to be successful since the 1940’s and is supported and recommended as the primary source of permanent recovery by all successful and trusted chemical dependency treatment providers. In programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) recovering alcoholics and addicts find a sense of community, support and embark on a path of recovery that they can retain for a lifetime.

So, no, once again 30 days of inpatient treatment is hardly enough. It rarely has been. There has never been a magic number. If one wants to stay sober they need to stay involved in some program of recovery for a lifetime. At 45 years sober that may be one AA meeting a week or month. At 7 months sober, that may look like 4 meeting a week and OP treatment. At 6 years of recovery, maybe you’re looking at 4 AA meetings a week. However, every person is different, and there is a saying that “when we don’t feel like going to a meeting, is usually when we need one most.”

There is not set number because there always needs to be some form of recovery prevalent in the life of the recovering alcoholic or drug addict. Addiction is not curable in 30, 60,90 or 365 days. It must be treated in some way each, and every day.

But, if you’re still looking for a number I guess the number is one…

One Day at A Time.

How To Help An Employee Who Is Addicted To Drugs

If You Work With Someone Addicted To Drugs, Here’s What To Do

If you believe someone you work with is addicted to drugs, you may be conflicted or confused about what to do next or if you should do anything at all. Yes, you should do something but it is important that you know what to do before you go about talking to the person addicted to drugs. Many have approached addicted people in the wrong way and have created a worse situation or damaged the relationship indefinitely. When done the right way and through the proper channels the relationship between co-workers and the person addicted to drugs can actually reach a higher plane.

Before Suggesting A Rehab For Drugs Make Sure They Are Addicted

Many times the person you think needs to go to rehab for drugs is simply going through a rough time or is mentally handicapped or deficient. Keeping this in mind, it is essential that you know what the signs and symptoms of drug abuse are.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
> Irritability, depression, and/or mood swings.
> Repeated complaints of headaches, anxiety, insomnia and/or nausea.
> Blackouts and/or memory loss.
> Using of drugs to relax, cheer up, sleep, deal with problems, or to ‘just feel ok’.
> Using alone, in the mornings, and/or in secret.
> Trembling hands, vomiting blood and/or chronic diarrhea.
> Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance.
> Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs.
> Unexplained injuries or accidents.
> Spending less time on activities that used to be important, drop in attendance.
> A family history of addiction.
> Using drugs for longer than intended, despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t.
> Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences.

Approach The Drug Addicted Employee With Compassion

It is important that once you are sure that the employee in question is addicted to drugs that you speak to them in a safe and confidential place. It is best to have an HR representative and the addicted individuals direct supervisor involved in the meeting. Try to avoid having more than two people involved. This could cause the addict to feel threatened or ganged up on. Speak to them from a place of compassion. They are more likely to take your advice about going to a rehab for drugs if they feel you are coming to them from a place of concern.

Tell the addicted employee that you have noticed that they seem to not be themselves lately. Tell them that you are concerned about their health and well-being and that you are here to listen and here to help. If they admit that they have a problem and are addicted to drugs, the time to suggest a rehab for drugs is now. Once an addict has admitted defeat there is a short window of opportunity to act before they begin to feel vulnerable and attempt to return to using. In the past many employers have found success by informing the employee in question that if they do not accept help and go to a rehab for drugs they will lose their job.

Unfortunately, most of the time it is the negative consequences of the addicts actions that provide the necessary inspiration to get help.

Detaching With Love: A Mother’s Best Weapon Against Drug Abuse

What Is Detaching with Love and How Will It End My Childs Drug Abuse?

Detachment with love is an essential and vital tool used by the family members of an individual suffering from drug abuse. Detaching with love is a tool that can actually be applied to anyone whose behaviors have become detrimental to the physical or mental health of a loved one. The origins of detachment with love can be traced back to the Al-Anon program, the 12-step help group for family and friends of an alcoholic or individual engaging in drug abuse.

At its core detaching with love is eliminating all forms of enabling, without cutting off all ties to the person you love. To those new to the world of drug abuse and recovery, enabling may seem to be a purely financial gesture but it is far more than that and ending the enabling at all levels may force the addict to have his or her needs met through peers in recovery and at drug addiction help centers.

The 3 Forms of Enabling

There are three form of enabling behaviors that could prevent the addict you care from seeking help. It is important to look at each form of enabling so that as a parent, guardian, or friend you know what exact behaviors to cease. Once you have stopped enabling you can truly detach with love.

1. Passive Enabling (Providing Comfort)
This includes any action or absence of action that makes the addicts life easier to deal with.

Examples include:

  • Allowing the addict to stay in your home if they are using
  • Tolerating destructive behaviors
  • Denying, rationalizing and or minimizing on their behalf
  • Avoiding confronting harmful behavior
  • Not calling the police when they have committed a crime

2. Active Enabling (Removing Consequences)
Consequences are in most cases the only thing that brings the person suffering from drug abuse to seek drug addiction help. Active enabling removes these consequences and makes it much more difficult for the addict to find recovery.

Examples include:

  • Accepting their financial responsibilities
  • Blaming yourself or others for there behavior
  • Taking the the negative consequences on yourself sparing the loved one
  • Giving the addict free rent, money food or clothes

3. Encouragement Enabling (Encouraging Addictive Behaviors and Drug Abuse)
This is any thing that makes it possible for the person engaging in drug abuse to continue using, thus preventing them from finding drug addiction help.

Examples include:

  • Giving money to support the addicts drug abuse
  • Using with the person engaged in drug abuse
  • Putting yourself in jeopardy by allowing drug activities in the home
  • Providing transportation for the addict to the bar or to meet drug dealers

Addicts Move Closer to Recovery When You Detach with Love

Now that you know all the forms of enabling, the hardest part is quitting those behaviors. This does not mean that you must have no contact with the person you love, it just means that you will not be participating in any behaviors that could promote further use. If they need money, they’ll need to get a job. If the addict needs a place to stay, they need to find one. A few nights on the street or eating at a soup kitchen will show them that these are the results of their addiction and something needs to change. If you comfort them and provide all the things they should be acquiring on their own, then they have no incentive to stop abusing drugs. Detaching with love can be very difficult and you do not have to figure out this whole concept on your own. We have family programs available and welcome your call.

It can be difficult for parents of addicts and loved ones of addicts to understand when they are engaging in enabling behaviors. If you have any questions or are trying to get help for a loved one who is suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, you can call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090. 

How Long Should an Opiate Addict Use Suboxone?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a drug that was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of chronic opioid abuse. The active ingredients in Suboxone are buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist. It binds with the opioid receptors located in the brain, resulting in a decrease in pain. Buprenorphine is not considered a full opioid, but it does act like one. It causes activity at the opiate receptor cites, but will not produce an intense euphoric state or disorientation. Buprenorphine halts withdrawal symptoms and reduces the craving for opiate based drugs such as heroin. The other ingredient in Suboxone is naloxone, another opioid antagonist that will fill opioid receptor and prevent other drugs from activating them. Subutex only contains buprenorphine. While both have been proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, both can be abused to get high. In fact. A recent NY times article highlighted a story of a woman who became addicted to Suboxone.

Can Opiate Addicts Safely Use Suboxone or Subutex Forever?

No. Suboxone or Subutex should only be used with an exit plan clearly spelled out before the drug is prescribed. The exit plan must be created by both a licensed chemical dependency therapist and a psychiatrist or medical doctor. Due to its high potential for abuse and mild euphoric sensations, Suboxone and/or Subutex should be used for a period of 7 to 30 days, never longer. Dr. Steven R. Scanlan, a board-certified psychiatrist by the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology and board-certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine says, “I have found that the optimal time to have someone on Suboxone is between 20 and 25 days, tapering down on the medication every few days.” Dr. Scanlon insists that Suboxone only be used in combination with chemical dependency counseling warns that although the drug is great in the short term it also cause for alarm since Suboxone is 25- 40 times more potent than morphine. Over an extended period of 45 days to multiple years Suboxone and Subutex will start to cause the same long term effects to found with long-term opiate abuse. Furthering the conclusion supported by this treatment center that Suboxone should never be used for more than 30 days and in almost all cases, much less than that.

What Suboxone and Subutex Do Not Do

These drugs while very good at getting the heroin addict back on their feet, free of withdrawal symptoms, it does not curb or stop the disease of addiction which is the root cause of the uses of the opiates. Without through and continued chemical dependency treatment from a valued and reputable drug rehab, permanent recovery is not possible. Subutex and Suboxone will not help restore broken family relationship or help return a child to their Mother. It will not teach the addicted individual the long-term tools needed to reduce craving or provide a peer base all committed to living sober. If you have been on Suboxone or Subutex for a period of time last over 30 days and wish to seek permanent recovery please call us today at 1-844-I-Can-Change.

Can You Cure A Drug Addict?

Addiction Is a Disease but Can a Drug Addict Be Cured?

The American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956, just as cancer and diabetes are considered an illness. Alcoholism and drug addiction share in common with cancer and diabetes that they are both as of now incurable, but treatable. We all know people in our own lives that have recovered from cancer and live with their diabetes. The same can be said for a drug addict. Mental healthcare providers and addiction rehab centers have made significant advances in treatment methods over the last 65 years, so much so that a drug addict in recovery today considers himself recovered.

Addiction Rehab Centers See Relapse Rates Equivalent to Other Diseases.

The treatment of a drug addict for substance abuse issues is best done at a *licensed dug and alcohol rehab center. Addiction rehab centers have seen a tremendous amount of success fighting the disease and have helped millions of men and women remain drug and alcohol free for periods of 50 or more years. This proves that while incurable a drug addict can be treated successfully. Many outside of the substance abuse treatment community feel that relapse is a sign that drug treatment does not work. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, relapse rates for other chronic illnesses are on par or greater than the relapse rates associated with that of a drug addict who received help from addiction rehab centers.

Comparison of relapse rates between a drug addict and other’s with a chronic illness:

  • Drug Addiction: 40-60%
  • Type 1 Diabetes: 30-50%
  • Hypertension: 50-70%
  • Asthma: 50-70%

A Drug Addict Does Not Have a Life Sentence

Treatments for a drug addict have been proven to increase quality of life to a point that actually far exceeds the life previously lived before the active addiction takes hold. Many inside the medical community attribute this to the spiritual programs of alcoholics anonymous or any other 12-step based program. Many addiction rehab centers also employ several medications that help to decrease cravings and fight depression. These 12-step programs and medications when combined with continued therapy at addiction rehab centers results in not a cure but a manageable illness that lies dormant and non-existent unless treatment stops.
Form of medication used by addiction rehab centers to treat a drug addict include:

  • Tobacco Addiction
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (available as a patch, inhaler, or gum)
  • Bupropion
  • Varenicline
  • Opioid Addiction
  • Suboxone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction
  • Naltrexone
  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate

While medication may be used to help treat a drug addict many therapists find that most of the addicts that seek help at addiction rehab centers recover without any medication. behavioral therapy and the introduction of a positive peer base and mentoring in a 12-step program produce the most genuine and longest last results.

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.