What makes my opinion of addiction relapse treatment prevention any more meaningful than those on workers at rehab centres? I have been there. I am an alcohol abuser. I've been sober since July 10th, 1985.
That anniversary means more to me than my tangible birthday. And I'm proud of my 25+ years of sobriety, but each time I like to think of that achievement, each time I tell vodka you are just a part of my past, a part of me feels sad. Miserable for the pals that went through rehabilitation with me and are now not here to share mutual joy and incredible relief for getting that demon of a monkey off our backs.
Yes, even today those stinking thoughts still struck me out of the blue, and though I reject such thoughts, they're an involuntary occurrence that makes me think “where the hell did that thought come from?” After 25+ years of sobriety, they still happen, albeit less often, and I now know those thoughts will always crop up. It is simply the way that it is.
When I went thru rehabilitation, 12 of us were going to graduate inside days of one another. We felt a standard bond, a camaraderie that we all wished to have continue past our stay at the rehab. Within months, literally, ten of those graduates stopped conversing with Debra and me. 2 had died, 8 reverted to their old methods. Straight after, Debra vanished, having kept her return to alcohol a secret. I was the sole remaining sober graduate. What made me the fortunate graduate? What caused me to succeed when all my beloved rehab companions failed?
It was not the rehabilitation center! My advisor related I’d receive a follow-up call in 6 months, again at my one year anniversary, then again after two years. She never called, nobody from that center called. It made me feel like they did not care. They appeared only to be engaged with in-house patients because this is where the money is. Heck, at least with a follow-up phone call I could have been a statistic. And a positive statistic at that!
So what did I do differently than my companions after we were back in society, making an attempt to build a new life? I was the only one who utilized a light and sound instrument. An InnerQuest IQ-III actually. Bless the late Rob Robinson for having his products for sale! I resolutely believe having a light and sound mind machine at my fast disposal to be used when those ‘bad thoughts ‘ started infiltrating my mind, my thought processes, and my mental and emotional disposition made all of the difference in the world. I was the only one to utilize a mind machine out of our graduating class of twelve, and I am the only one still sober, still alive. I do not care how administrators or specialists feel about that statement, because I know it, forcefully believe it as the one variable that helped me maintain my sobriety whereas my friends, who did not have light and sound mind machines at their disposal- failed.
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It is time to put as much stress on staying clean/sober after graduation as it is for getting clean/sober while being an in-house patient. Light/sound mind machine technology has the sessions that can help to control addictive behaviors, to help put down the base for a positive psychological and emotional approach, and for giving the ex-addict fast access for conquering that stinking thinking thought pattern that strikes at any point, anywhere. Put stronger emphasis on relapse prevention and you'll see less failure rates among rehab graduates, which in its turn improves the trustworthiness of rehabilitational programs.
Think about it: I was the only one to use light and sound after graduating and I'm the only one still sober. I used binaural beats for brainwave entrainment.
So you are likely asserting that's only one example. Phooey! I went thru it, have you? What of all of the others I've met since my graduation who also experience addictive behaviors? Be it for sex addiction, cocaine, downers, meth, you name it. They've all taken to using light and sound mind machines because it personally helps them cope. So the next time you are sitting in a staff meeting, debating how to improve your success rate and raise your funding, look no farther than Mindmachines.com. You will find a very cost-effective and highly beneficial tool that may enhance your program’s success rate, which in its turn will help when submitting paperwork for extra funding, and oh yes, basically give your graduates a reasonable chance at staying clean and sober for probably the remainder of their life.
Over time I have been concerned with one or two rehabilitation centres as a consultant for getting neurofeedback and/or light and sound programs started (learning /. Relaxation). Essentially, I'd show them what these mind machines look like and the way to use them , how they can be amalgamated into their existing systems of treatment, and indoctrinating them on how to maximise the sessions for the advantage of their patients. Why I select to do that is to open the eyes of therapists and administrators to the cost- effectiveness and benefits that mind machines offer. Particularly when many rehabs are facing extraordinary cuts and even closure. But just as significantly, I do this because as beneficial as the treatment patients receive while staying at a rehab center are, most rehabs tend to turn their patients loose after fulfilling their time at the center, telling them good luck and to call if they feel setbacks approaching. Shouldn't graduates be given tools to take home with them for forestalling relapses from happening?
Once out, patients end up in a world that hasn't modified. Only they have changed. Granted the only real way an addict can truly stop their obsession is to really want to quit, to change their routine once back in society, and to refrain from visiting the places they frequented before checking into a rehabilitation. But it's so hard for an addict to do that without mental and emotional support. This is where I believe most rehabs fail. They put so much importance on treatment while the patients are attending the rehabilitation, and allegedly have little time to maintain a tally of what happens to their patients when they graduate.
I have seen too many individuals fall into their addictive behaviors because such psychological and emotional support groups aren't available in time of need. Is that a cop-out reason to revert to old strategies? Sure. Not being able to meet new buddies who are clean and/or sober causes them to search out old buddies that shared the same obsession? Yes, that too is a pretty lame excuse. But when the desire to go back to old tactics is powerful, when that old addictive ‘friend ‘ is beckoning for their return, the addictive cycle rears it’s repellent head. A major proportion of ex-patients become new patients once again. With the cost of rehabilitative treatment being so astronomic, and the time necessary to stay at these facilities lasting from a couple of days to several weeks, even months, I'd think more rehabilitation centres would put a better accent on relapse prevention; meaning once an individual graduates, larger importance should be put on helping them re-integrate into society, re-integrate with themselves, and make available more tools for the graduate for immediate function of overcoming that ‘stinking thinking ‘ urge that may pop up at any time, for any cause. Those thoughts just happen out of nowhere, and when they occur, it's an concerned and horrifying experience for the recently clean/sober individual. They don't get these thoughts because they'd like to, they get these thoughts because obsessions are waking nightmares. Stinky thinking, in my opinion, falls short by describing just how nasty these urges and thoughts can be.
It is not my plan to upset the directors of rehabs, but with many rehab advisors and doctors themselves once being hooked on ‘their favorite mate ‘, and regularly experiencing personal relapses themselves, rehabs must awake to the increased need of having tools accessible for their graduates. Tools that can help overcome those sudden urges faster than calling an advisor and being told they will get right back to you after they finish their in-house group counselling session.
That is the potential of light and sound mind machines in relapse recovery. It is only one tool to help maintain a clean/sober life. It has worked for me, it has worked for the handfuls of folk I've met since beginning my own recovery, and it can work for today’s addicts trying recklessly to give up the obsession that is murdering them. It's time you give this modality serious thought , that is, if you are really serious in helping your patients remain clean/sober.