Avoiding the Insanity of Standardized Treatment

Avoiding the Insanity of Standardized Treatment

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Most of us are aware of the contribution of Albert Einstein as he revolutionized the way we understand the world by expanding our perspective. What is little known about Einstein is his contribution to the realm of drug and alcohol addiction. He famously stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.” This has become a popular adage in 12-step based groups such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, and for good reason. Although this statement about insanity is an obvious one, if we really look at our human frailty and proclivity towards valuing comfort over progress, we can extrapolate meaning from his statement in the application of identifying maladaptive behaviors, in and outside of the realm of addiction. If we are able to apply some humility, we become capable of seeing how we enact our own “insanity” much more frequently than we would like to admit. That being said, the insanity phenomenon is not relegated to the mentally ill, drug addicts, and criminals. It occurs in more obvious and day to day scenarios that can be exemplified in the statement, “I want to lose weight and feel better, but I’m going to continue to eat poorly and not exercise.” While, of course, no one would state that for it would be an admission of their insanity, we choose to engage in this type of Einsteinian insanity routinely. Only when we acknowledge our tendency for engaging in these insane behaviors can we realistically make pragmatic changes to ameliorate them.

Now that we have talked a little bit about insanity in and outside of the addiction domain, we can turn our attention to approaches to addiction recovery that can become redundant, mindless, and insane. The first phase of most treatment programs is detoxification and without this crucial stage that frees the addicted individual from their physical bondage, we ought not expect any progress or healing to take place. It is imperative that the suffering addict’s physical dependency is relieved. This phase generally takes place in an inpatient hospital or clinic and is always done under the supervision of medical professionals. After detoxification is complete, however, the assumption within the Substance Use Disorder climate seems to be that there is a treatment prescription that ought to be followed in sequential order. While it can vary, it typically states that after detox is complete, the suffering addict should do 30 days of inpatient treatment. After inpatient treatment, and assuming the individual has insurance that will pay for these services, the next phase would be a “step down” to Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). During this phase, the recovering addict attends psychotherapy or drug and alcohol counseling related groups for anywhere from 3-6 months. During this time, they can also “step down” to outpatient care which is relatively similar to IOP but less involved and with less accountability. There is nothing inherently wrong with this sequentially structured treatment as it does provide support, accountability, and order. My concern is with the assumption that many people have whereby this is the only method of providing support and accountability for the addict in need.

There are tens of thousands of cases whereby the generally accepted method did not work. Again, it is important to stress that this does not lie entirely at the feet of the standardized treatment programs. The suffering addict is responsible for their recovery, and it ought not be misunderstood that relapse is the responsibility of treatment centers. It is, however, the duty of the addict, their families, and support systems to identify when a particular course of action is not effective, and if possible, to remedy this situation by looking at other options. To use an analogy, just in the same way that people have preferences for learning styles, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, not all addicts are hardwired for the same treatment approaches and programs. It is not wonder there are a plethora of cases where the addicted individual enters treatment 5, 10, 20, and even 30 plus times without experiencing different results. This does not account for individuals who do not have the capacity to be honest with themselves, nor does it account for those who want to continue using and therefore sabotage any attempts at treatment. The lack of information available for different types of approaches for those individuals who truly want to get sober and create a life that is worth living creates an environment where the ones who will most likely succeed are the ones who flourish best within the standardized structure. While it is impossible to expect families who are disillusioned and exhausted with the revolving door of standardized treatment programs to seek out a different method, it has become the job of Hired Power to make apparent that not only is there another way, but to prove the effectiveness of their services through the success stories of so many that have taken advantage of the value they provide to recovery from addiction.

Hired Power blends accountability, action, and personal responsibility with compassion, support, and understanding through their many experts and professionals that can be utilized for a myriad of services. The best part about what Hired Power provides is that it is genuinely individualized! While standardized treatment facilities like to tout their ability for individualized treatment, it becomes difficult and unrealistic with a center that can range from 6-60 people at one time. Hired Power services are constituted by a team of addiction professional that can, and do, implement treatment programs and modalities that are tailored to the specific needs of the individual. The next time you or your loved one needs support and guidance during a relapse, think about what they really need, and don’t fall victim to the potential insanity.  

Hired Power has the experience, expertise and supportive environment to help you achieve lasting recovery. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Call us today: (714) 559-3919.