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Developing Life Skills

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How Does Substance Abuse Treatment Help Patients Develop Life Skills?

The main purpose of addiction treatment, of course, is to help people recover from substance use disorders. However, recovery treatment can help patients develop life skills that will help them stay sober and to live a full, productive life.

Here are some life skills that patients can develop through addiction treatment:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Good nutrition and exercise habits
  • Stress management
  • Budget following
  • Job searching
  • Better communication

Life skills like these can be taught either implicitly or explicitly. Implicit learning comes organically, through activities and experiences. For example, living with other patients in a residential facility can teach people about how to cooperate with others and how to build healthy relationships. Other skills can be taught explicitly. For example, some treatment centers offer classes on how to create a budget, search for a job, or communicate with loved ones better.

The combination of implicit and explicit teaching and learning can enable patients to develop the life skills they need to function and live happily once treatment is over. At ABTRS, we want to help you find a well-rounded treatment program that provides these types of services. Call us today to find out how we can help you.

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Drug & Alcohol Abuse Alters Expression of Brain Chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine

Your Brain on Drugs: the Addicted Brain

When a person gets lost in drug and alcohol abuse, their brain changes. Some of these changes are permanent and some are situational. These changes can affect the individual’s self esteem, their concept of what is enjoyable, their desire to eat and enjoy the taste of food, whether they can trust others, and even their desire to set life goals.

Effective treatment programs offer quality treatment and pay attention to details. Again, even though patients have taken the steps of getting sober, it is really about the quality of their life and the ability to capitalize on the drug-free potential that keeps the patients on the right path of recovery. It all begins with the brain and how it functions.

Proper brain function relies on the regulation of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Many drugs like ecstasy and heroin alter the natural expression of those chemicals. For examples, serotonin is responsible for the well-being and mood of a person, and dopamine controls what a person considers is pleasurable throughout their day. A disruption in those chemicals changes how a person thinks, what a person thinks is enjoyable, and how they feel in general. For more information about the addicted brain check out the video and know that treatment for drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t stop with getting sober.

How Does Substance Abuse Affect Communication Skills?

In the midst of active addiction, people tend to lose their connection with their family, friends, and coworkers. Relationships with others lose their value when drugs and alcohol become the focus of life. Being able to communicate their feelings, develop healthy relationships, and reciprocate trust and respect become less and less important as they become more dependent on the substances they are abusing.

For those who have jobs or careers when they begin to abuse drugs and alcohol; their performance, mood, and motivation to succeed dwindle as they slip further and further into their addiction. Communicating with co-workers and supervisors can become an irritation or a trigger to abuse. The relationships that do last, tend to be stretched thin as manipulation and desperation wear them down to the point of breaking.

These types of behaviors in active addiction haunt the individual when they are getting help for their substance abuse problem. The raw emotions of guilt, betrayal, and manipulation are hard to overcome, especially if abusing drugs or alcohol are used to numb the senses to begin with.

Having an individualized treatment plan that helps the person work through these destructive behaviors and relearn more socially acceptable behaviors in rehab is just as important as step-work. A Better Today Recovery Services understands that paying attention to those details encourage long-lasting recovery and a better quality of life. Call us today, and we will help you find the treatment option that is right for you.

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Setting Achievable Goals & Having a Positive Outlook on Life

One of the most worst things active addiction can do is focus the individual’s whole life around obtaining their next fix. Nothing is more heartbreaking to ABTRS than hearing someone say they didn’t care if they lived or died, as long as they had their next fix they were okay. When a person gets lost in their addiction, they no longer dream of obtaining success, they do not set short and long-term goals, and most of all, their self-esteem is crushed by the weight of their own guilt and shame.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one method that helps people overcome addiction. Effective treatment centers use CBT, which is an effective type of talk therapy, to work with patients. CBT helps patients become aware of their negative thoughts so that they can challenge their own thinking. Further, CBT helps patients know how to respond to harmful, intrusive, or destructive thoughts.

When an addiction treatment center uses CBT, therapists help their patients recognize triggers for relapse. Further, therapists can help patients understand the underlying psychological problems behind their substance use disorders. Overall, CBT is one effective counseling method that helps patients understand their addictions better.

Developing Healthy Routines: Chores & Cooking

One focus of effective addiction recovery programs is helping people develop executive functioning skills. Executive functioning skills include cooking, cleaning, setting goals, and managing time.  When active addiction has robbed people of the value of a healthy routine and comfortable living arrangements, teaching them the joy of these types of simple daily activities is important.

Encouraging that healthy routine of eating every day and taking care of household responsibilities is part of effective individualized treatment plans. Many patients in recovery have dreams and aspiration of getting their family back together while in treatment. Convincing child protective services that they are stable enough to get their children back once they graduate is tough.

That is why many treatment centers give patients the opportunity to cook and do chores during treatment. Effective programs want to prepare every client for the real world and the potential stressors that may come their way. Developing these healthy routines while in treatment, eases them into the role of parent without suddenly overwhelming them fresh out of treatment.

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Why Should Developing Life Skills Matter in Substance Use Treatment?

When it comes to providing quality treatment that heals the whole person, ABTRS wants to help you find the holistic treatment you’re looking for. Individualized treatment plans encourage long-lasting treatment because they focus on the little details that set the patient up for success.

That may look like going back to school to become a nurse or proving to the court system that they deserve their children back; either way, ABTRS is there to help. We help each person find a treatment plan that offers stability and security. Whether that involves a sober living establishment or continued intensive outpatient with their therapist, we are there for the long haul.

A Better Today Recovery Services feels that an addiction program should help patients develop the life skills necessary to be productive members of society. We will help you find a program that offers comprehensive individualized treatment, continued aftercare programs, sober living options, connections with sponsors and fellowship organizations, and alumni programs. These resources can help you walk the path of recovery and to surround yourself with influences that keep you on the path toward a better quality of life.

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Living a Fulfilling Life in Recovery is Built on a Foundation of Knowledge

No one likes to be misled with fake news when they are researching drug and alcohol treatments. Their concern is usually focused on saving their loved one’s life from addiction, not on determining whether they can trust their source.

Which is why ABTRS believes in the importance of using reputable sources when educating our patients and their families. ABTRS wants to empower you with the knowledge to make good decisions with your addicted loved one’s future in mind. So, we have provided the sources that we use to educate people below.

NIDA. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition on 2019, February 12

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