Substance Use Disorder Program Philosophy
Current medical science clearly has demonstrated the multi-faceted components of an Addiction Disorder: the biological, psychological (behavioral), and social disturbances that contribute to its initiation and to its progression through uncontrollable compulsions, thought disorder, and self-defeating behavior. Once the “pre-Addicted” brain is exposed to mood-alteration through substance use, the brain is “hijacked” with development and reinforcement of destructive neural circuits and chemistry. Even after the extinction of withdrawal and the “need” to use in order to “feel” normal, these altered brain circuits and their chemistry remain active for upwards of 12-24 months, oftentimes resulting and explaining failure of treatment and early relapse. With this understanding, our first priority is to “quiet” these circuits and quickly readjust brain chemistry to its normal state through use of the most up to date pharmacological protocols and therapies, thus ensuring the best chance for each patient to fully engage in the treatment process, where the “full” and “life-long” change in brain activity really occurs.
Each and every one of us has the ability to change our own thought processes and behaviors. These are all “learned” traits beginning in our earliest hours after birth, but how many of us know how to change ourselves? Addiction leads to alterations in how we think, how we behave, what pleases us, and what drives us. The behavioral aspect of treatment involves recognition of our patterns of behavior, why we do what we do, how we cope with all that we perceive and misinterpret, and how we feel about ourselves and others. Behavioral (Psychological) treatment through group interaction and individualized therapy is an exploratory learning process that attempts to correct the patient’s defective thinking, his/her self-defeating behaviors and thoughts, and his/her attempts to “hide” from how they really feel. Ultimately, this learning and corrective process leads to permanent changes in brain activity and chemistry, without the use of medications or chemicals, resulting in long-standing Recovery.
We are a “social” species, requiring interaction with others to share our lives and feel whole. The addicted individual feels alone with limited interests in anything but his/herself and his disease. Relationships are sacrificed, family is estranged, and all real contact with the outside world is lost or ignored. The Addict just wants to be left alone and to use. Self-hatred ultimately ensues. A strong component of the treatment process involves breaking down these isolation barriers. Learning how to share emotions and experiences with others, relearning the pleasure of human contact and bondage, and of feeling “connected” to things outside of his own self are experiences emphasized in our Recovery program through community activities, 12 Step meetings, Family outings and groups, and the surroundings with others with similar struggles and experiences. Ultimately, it is recognized how we all are dependent on others to feel satisfied, successful, motivated, and self-worthy, and how we need to use others to keep us on course.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to Treatment here at 7 Summit Pathways. Each patient’s strengths and weaknesses are individually assessed from Day One, with the initial focus on Medical/Pharmacological needs, and a unique Treatment Plan devised in consultation with our entire Treatment Team. Our success and satisfaction is measured solely from watching families and loved ones reunited and new lives created.