“I asked her, ‘Don’t you want to see your rock out there? Don’t you want to join this group of solidarity?'” Big ones, small ones, a collection of brightly colored reminders inscribed with messages of hope—this is the Stepworks rock garden. As clients inch toward the finish line at Stepworks’ Crowne Pointe Drive facility, they get to take part in a unique experience. Each graduating client is invited to paint a rock of their own to leave behind in the facility’s special rock garden. While some choose to simply write their names, others leave inspirational quotes or positive reminders to those who are entering or still in the program.
Life after military service is a life that begins with extreme readjustment. As veterans return to their “normal” lives, they reintegrate into life with family, friends, and their community, while still processing all the trauma they have experienced in their time of service. This crossroads, the moment that the past life so well known to a soldier converges with “when I was in the service,” can leave service men and women with unique mental health challenges.
When you think of residential addiction treatment, dogs probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. At Stepworks, we are always looking at new ways to help our clients have the best possible treatment experience, setting them up for success once they leave our program. In the last few years we have seen the value of an unexpected element of our programming—man’s best friend. Friendly dogs are residential treatment comfort animals at some of our facilities. Why have comfort animals? Well, dogs are often attentive, comforting, and accepting animals. This can be a tremendous benefit to a client who has experienced trauma or is struggling with self-esteem from substance abuse issues.
It’s a warm September Saturday and there is a crowd gathered at Stepworks of Nicholasville. The crowd is loud and laughter fills the space. There is a vibe in the air that for the outsider could be mistaken as a party—but the insider knows this is a unique celebration.
At first sight, there is a glimpse of Aaron Smallwood, Facility Administrator. He is adorned in a football helmet and soaked from head to toe. It looks like he has engaged in a friendly game of water-balloon toss, but the reality is he sat patiently by as the women around him hurled water balloons at him like it was their job. One after another they giggle and throw shade at the man who has impacted them in profound ways.
“I’ve dropped truth bombs on you, now it’s your turn to drop water bombs on me. Give it all you got,” Aaron chuckles.
He welcomes them, the countless women who have walked through the doors of Stepworks and walked out into a new life: a life of sobriety and change…
We know that addiction is a family disease, because addiction affects the entire family. This disease can put all members of the family unit under a great deal of stress, disrupting routines, impacting finances, and even leading to experiences that put other family members in danger.
At Stepworks, we understand the value of family support for our clients. We see the importance of creating an environment where families can learn about addiction and make a positive impact on their loved one’s recovery. However, we also know that sometimes family members are hesitant to agree to family sessions because of past hurts, betrayals, or fears about what will be expected of them during a family session.
We hope that by telling you a little bit about what to expect from family sessions, we can show you the value of these sessions for your entire family.
It can be scary, this idea of leaving everything you know to come to a place completely focused on one thing—your recovery. It’s likely that you have doubts and questions before beginning the journey that is residential treatment, but we want you to know that Stepworks is committed to your recovery experience. If you have made the decision to go to residential treatment, you are already taking the first courageous step!
The value of addiction continuing care is often underemphasized among addiction professionals and treatment clients. There can be lots of focus on initial interventions and treatment levels, with continuing care/aftercare relegated to being an afterthought. But if we really think about what sort of disease addiction is, we should be able to see that continuing care can’t be left out of the treatment equation.
Opioid detox is an important early step in the process of recovering from an addiction to heroin or prescription pain medications. Detox, or detoxification, is the stage of treatment when you stop using addictive drugs and allow those toxins to dissipate so they’re no longer in your system. In an addiction treatment setting, detox can be a phase of treatment or a stand-alone treatment service, and it usually involves management of withdrawal symptoms.
In a recent Stepworks Connect blog post, “3 Big Benefits of Structure in Addiction Recovery,” we discussed the reasons why residential addiction treatment programs often have a lot of structure. Not everyone who is in need of help for addiction is prepared to radically change their daily habits, and structured living can sometimes be a barrier to seeking help from a treatment provider. Yet structure is key to making treatment effective and teaching the person in recovery how to organize their life around healthier habits. What we don’t mean is a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment that simply slots people into predetermined roles and activities. Getting good treatment for substance use is all about learning how to import structure into your own life, around your personal goals and responsibilities.
Many people who seek help for drug or alcohol dependency find out that addiction treatment improves family life in ways they never anticipated. Having a healthy family life is crucial to feeling confidant and supported in recovery, so the topic of family relationships is often a big component of recovery programs like Stepworks. Unfortunately, some people who are struggling with drug dependency aren’t aware of the ways in which addiction treatment could strengthen their family bonds.