There are many misperceptions surrounding drug addiction and the treatment methods used to help those afflicted. Faulty thinking and misjudgments further contribute to the harmful stigma those who are suffering from the disease face.
Blog: News & Views from the Field
The New England Recovery Center™ (NERC), a subsidiary of New England’s leading addiction treatment provider, Spectrum Health Systems, provides medically monitored detoxification and inpatient addiction treatment in beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities, specifically geared towards individuals with private insurance.
To enable is to give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something, usually out of love or to be helpful. While an enabler means well with their actions in most cases, when it comes to substance abuse, being an enabler can prolong a loved one’s addiction and allow them to push recovery further away. Most enablers don’t realize their actions could be hurting someone they love who is struggling with addiction, rather, they may feel that their actions are out of love, concern and protection.
Dr. John Renner, a Spectrum Health Systems' board member and associate chief of psychiatry for the VA Boston Healthcare System, sits down for a Q&A
Veterans returning home from combat are at an increased risk for substance abuse. Many turn to substance misuse (drinking, drugs, or smoking) as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 1 in 10 returning soldiers seen in the Veteran’s Administration (VA) have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.
One rewarding aspect of the work we do at Spectrum Health Systems is being able to see the positive impact that treatment can have on an individual’s life. We recently received an anonymous letter from a former client who sought help for a heroin addiction through our Residential Program (RP) in Westborough, Massachusetts. This client fought through the tough times and challenged himself/herself to pursue their dream of becoming an attorney. We couldn’t be more pleased to hear of this incredible accomplishment, as it gives hope to so many struggling with addiction disorders by showing that treatment and recovery can open many doors, and dreams never thought possible, can be attained.
Over the past few weeks, our vice president of business development – Donna Pellegrino – has shone a light on a powerful tool on the road to recovery: fitness. Working out and pursuing fitness goals creates a new outlet for stress relief and allows individuals in recovery to put their sometimes dangerous free time to healthy use. Some studies have already begun to identify fitness as a reputable lifestyle change activity and relapse prevention strategy. This is because exercise and physical activity can actually help return dopamine levels to pre-abuse heights.
Those who have escaped personal experience with active addiction may associate the word relapse with weakness, failure or giving up. This could not be further from the truth.
Addiction can happen to anyone. A next door neighbor, best friend’s son, cousin, or even mom and dad. Addiction knows no boundaries; it sees no race, gender, geography or economic status. Becoming addicted doesn’t always start with wandering down a dark alley with someone offering drugs. It’s as easy as going to the hospital for knee surgery, and without ever intending to, developing a dependency for pain killers that’s so powerful, no matter how hard an individual tries, is nearly impossible to stop without help.
Spectrum has joined with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) in an important experiment with the potential of impacting prison systems throughout the country by reframing the mission and function of prisons. A powerful combination of circumstance has aligned in Virginia where Spectrum Health Systems operates a 1,080 bed Therapeutic Community treatment program at Indian Creek Correctional Center (ICCC) -- a mission specific institution and one of the few and largest treatment dedicated prisons in the country. The VADOC is committed to reform and has shown strong interest in re-envisioning ICCC into a robust “Launchpad” that maximizes inmates’ opportunities for success. The VADOC has evolved a strong network of community agencies that are dedicated to support successful inmate reentry providing a well-suited environment for the new prison “prototype.”
There are many misperceptions in our society about people experiencing an alcohol or drug problem. They're called addicts, even failures. They are weak, lazy and have no self-control. They are homeless. They are worthless. They can’t be trusted. Would you be able to admit to yourself or to others that you are experiencing a problem, knowing this is how you would be judged?