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…
At Stepworks Recovery Centers, we realize there is more than one way to approach addiction treatment. The steps on your personal recovery journey might look very different than someone else’s. We strive to offer a variety of programs that allow us to provide individualized treatment tailored to your exact needs. You might be a good candidate for our intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and sober living housing.
IOP Addiction Treatment and Sober Living can help you thrive as you to start rebuilding your personal life and mending your important family ties.
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.
If addiction is a brain disease, then researchers should be able to determine what kinds of medications for this disease work—and how they work, too. That’s the idea underlying a new study that’s being put together by Dr. Nora Volkow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA for short. She wants to take a closer look at the current medications being used to treat addiction and find out just what kinds of effects they have on the brains of people struggling with addiction. This first-of-its-kind study will compare brain scan images before, during, and after treatment with standard MAT medications for addiction.
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!
Most physicians study medicine because they genuinely want to help people. Too often, science and technology distract us from this first calling. I like addiction medicine because it is the quintessential practice of family medicine. We treat not only physical disease but also the family, emotional and psychological consequences that are caused by the disease. There is no better feeling than helping an addict rediscover themselves. No one ever said “I want to be an addict when I grow up.” Within every addict is a son, daughter, mother, father, spouse that has the same hopes and dreams for their life as I do for mine. I have the profound honor to help lead them out of the darkness.
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.