Substance Abuse: noun 

          1.     long-term, obsessive use of alcohol or drugs, inability to reduce consumption of drugs or alcohol, and impairment in social or occupational functioning; unable to stop on their own despite escalating negative consequences and loss of important relationships.

You have seen the news reports, you have read the paper. You know that addiction crosses all lines, all economic levels and all races, genders, ages and orientation. Addiction does not care if you are rich or poor, black or white, young or old. Addiction does not care about anything other than feeding itself. Addiction literally changes the way the brain works. It creates a life or death scenario that your brain believes. It drives the addict just like water drives a dying man in the desert. 

Here at our Drug Rehab Program, we understand you or your loved one’s obsession and what drives their brain. We know there is underlying trauma either from before the addiction or from the lifestyle during the addiction. We know also that you are frightened. You have gone down this road before and your loved one, or you, started using again with a couple of weeks after getting out of rehab. Why would this time be different? Here at our Drug Treatment, we know what addiction really is. We don’t pretend to know, we don’t hope what we do will work, we don’t use a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach, we really KNOW.

We also know how hard this is on the addict and the family. We have seen the most compassionate family members turn hard and angry when drugs came into the picture. They can wrap their head around trauma but not drugs. The stigma that accompanies drug addiction does not care if there is a “reason”. Addiction is still considered by many to be a weakness, or moral failing when in reality it is brain damage. And, some of that damage was already there if there is a trauma history! There is a tendency to still blame the addict if terrible things happened to them during their addiction. As if they chose the lifestyle and the addiction freely. No one chooses in, and without help it is almost impossible to choose out. 

Trauma, although invisible is an often-missed diagnosis because it generates and lives in secrecy and shame, just like addiction. The difference is substance abuse often has visible symptoms, where trauma and/or PTSD usually does not despite causing brain damage. The chaos and fear and terror are all on the inside. Substance abuse is simply an outward manifestation of the brain damage. Drugs and/or alcohol are the easiest to blame. No one wants to think about their loved one or friend being traumatized or assaulted or hurt.

No one wants to remember it or think about it if it happened to them. At our Drug And Alcohol Rehab, we will educate you and your family about the correlation between trauma and substance abuse and addiction. We understand drugs are tangible. We can “attack” that. Trauma and the loved ones or ourselves who have suffered with it cannot be “attacked”. So our family and friends focus the anger and fear and helplessness onto the addiction and the drugs. It does not help that the media portrays addiction and substance abuse unrealistically.

In the movies and on TV addiction is portrayed one of two ways. Either you are a rock star fallen on hard times and off to a “easy” rehab by the ocean or a back-alley junkie, living in abandoned buildings in some inner-city nightmare landscape. Neither one is the truth. Addiction is the person living in their own apartment. Waking up every morning sick, miserable and afraid. Wondering who they can borrow money from, wondering how they will pull it together to get to work.

What if the boss is on site today. Will they notice how much time you spend in the bathroom? Will they wonder why you wear long sleeves in the summer? Does your supervisor wonder why you always look pale and sweaty, or did they catch you nodding off last week? They keep saying your too hyper and too skinny. Will they figure it out?

Addiction is boring and mundane. It is the same people at the same places telling the same tired stories about how “fun” it is to be “running and gunning”. How hilarious it was to go to jail that one time, remember? They aren’t necessarily homeless or derelicts but they certainly aren’t jet setting around the world either. It’s the guy waking up in middle class suburbia who rolls out of bed before everyone else is up to get that drink or that dope into them so they can start the day.

It’s the dope sick single mom who meets her dealer outside the apartment in the dark so she can be well enough to get her kids up for school and get to work. And, it is also the street. Where people come and go like shadows and no one wants to remember or think about what they’ve done to get high.

It’s desperately searching the pockets of all your clothes because you are sure you left a taste wrapped up and stashed. Its making up fantastic excuses and over time telling your boss apparently your entire family has died at one time or another because it’s one “funeral” after another that you need a few hours off for. Just some time to run up the road and meet your “guy”. Then it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. Just one more day. You’ll quit tomorrow. On pay day, you’ll get enough dope to detox yourself. You can do this. It’s easy. Just set aside smaller and smaller amounts. Except in two days it’s all gone. But that’s okay. You can get some pills to taper off with. 

You have no real friendships because you trust no one and no one trusts you. You have each taken turns ripping each other off so now you only reach out if you need the hook-up. Other than that, you have slowly isolated yourself or pushed everyone away from you. When you go around family, some pretend they don’t notice and others just stay away from you but it’s always strained and awkward and so much easier to just be invisible and stay away. You know no one really believes all your strange little excuses for avoiding family get-togethers but you are banking on the fact that they are family so they will pretend to believe or at least not make you feel more guilty than you do. 

You have no romantic relationships because you are too busy getting high. And even that’s not the truth. You haven’t been able to get high for months now. All you are hoping for is to feel “okay”. And it’s not even the physical withdrawals. Being dope sick really is like having the flu. Four to five days of being kind of miserable then it’s pretty much over. No big deal. But the anxiety. No one knows what that is like who hasn’t been there.

It’s anxiety that drives every thought except one out of your head. It makes you want to crawl out of your skin or implode or explode or everything all at once. Every bad memory, every rotten thing you have done or had done to you is right there in your face, tearing your soul into shreds. That’s what drives you, that’s what keeps you using. That’s the “sick” we run from as fast and hard as we can. That’s what no one seems to understand at the rehabs and treatment centers. When someone asks you why did you use after being in jail for 2 weeks. You were clean why start again? It’s that mind destroying anxiety. It’s your brain making dope more important than air or food or water. 

And it goes on and on and on.

Here at our Drug Rehab we really do get it! We understand the shame and hopelessness you walk in our door with. We know that you have done and seen things you think no one can forgive you for or understand. We understand that the lifestyle takes its toll on your physical and mental body and well as your spirituality. But, we also know you can be healed. We see the miracle of the healing process every day. We see people who believed they were broken and shattered pick themselves up and regain their humanity and remember who they were before drugs and/or alcohol stole their soul.

We know you can do this too. We know if you give us a chance, we can show you the way home. The staff at our Drug Rehab would ask that you take that leap of faith and let us help you find your path again. It would be our honor to travel along on this journey with you. To watch the pain and trauma fall away, to meet the “real you”.

Give us a call to see if our PTSD and Trauma Based Addiction Recovery program is right for you? (949) 386-2715