Why I Prefer Holistic Addiction Treatment Over Other Treatment Options
Now, now don’t go thinking I’m going to sit here and bash other forms of treatment. Well, maybe replacement therapy like suboxone, but that’s about it. My best friend recovered utilizing the 12-Step Program, as have many of my friends, among other forms of treatment, so nothing bad to say here. The other forms just weren’t for me and I want to tell you why because maybe it’s the same for you.
After being addicted to drugs for a while, my parents caught on and would try to trap me into being dope sick at the house, so that they could prove it. I always talked my way right out of failed drug tests or faked them, so there was no winning there for them. They wanted to see me in pain and catch me in my big fat lie. For this, I had a stash of suboxone (sorry, mom and dad) to avoid being sick, prove them wrong, and laugh at how silly their (very true) assumptions were.
My Suboxone Journey
Now, flash forward to when I really start thinking about getting sober, some time in 2012. My friends had been in and out of NA/AA rooms all over the county. So, I got some Suboxone from a friend, used it instead of opiates, and went to meetings. Eventually, just taking the Suboxone and not going to meetings at all. This went on for a while, but I always took more than I was supposed to and didn’t want to wean down. After all, there was no one there to tell me I couldn’t and the doctor was prescribing far too much for my 110-pound body weight.
Plus, when I started taking less, I sweat like a pig at night, couldn’t sleep, and was just restless. It was gross! And, I knew how to solve the problem—more suboxone.
Inevitably, reverting back to my drug of choice—opiates.
Entering the NA/AA Rooms
It wasn’t until a friend was also getting sober that I started entering the rooms more frequently of Narcotics Anonymous/Alcoholics Anonymous (we attended whichever had a meeting that day nearby). At the time, I was still maintaining via suboxone. Eventually, after a few weeks, I did it. I got off everything and was going to meetings, had a Sponsor and was doing it.
But, nothing was getting better. I don’t know if it was me not working the program, my sponsor or what, but I still just felt empty and my body still felt like garbage. I kept on going for a while, but eventually, I felt alone and no one answered the phone one night. So… I went and got high to solve the problem instead and never looked back.
I know the 12-Step Program works for millions out there, but it just wasn’t what I truly needed to heal.
Entering a Holistic Treatment Facility
After leaving the meeting rooms, I went on another bender.
It wasn’t until 2013 that I sought help again. This time, to a holistic treatment facility, Narconon Freedom Center. After a week bender of crack cocaine and heroin, I knew I needed help or I was going to die. So, in I went.
During my time there, it was different than just taking suboxone to overcome withdrawals and then be drug-free for a short period of time, or going to meetings, sitting, listening, and sometimes talking. Each step of the way, it seemed to heal another part of me, eventually feeling whole again.
First, the body, which was pretty beat up. Then, the mind, and the soul. In an order that just made so much sense, like a natural continuation of healing. From the drug-free detox to the life skills courses and aftercare program, it all flowed right into one another to empower me to be a strong person and effectively deal with life’s dilemmas.
Seeing the Differences
While the 12-Steps offers that to many, just going to meetings and having to spend a week or more trying to figure out how to admit that I am powerless. I just kept thinking, well if I’m powerless, then what’s the point, I have no power.
Plus, there was always someone high or on a soapbox, it made me feel like all we did was meet up to talk drug stories. Don’t get me wrong, some meetings were good and enlightening, but most disappointed me and left me feeling emptier than when I arrived. I enjoyed the trip to Denny’s afterward for pancakes more than anything (I love pancakes).
So, instead, I bought the books and read those. They made sense, but still how will I even have the power to fix any of the mess that I’ve made if I have no power? I couldn’t grasp it. I just couldn’t relate to the everyday meetings, powerlessness, an addict for life theory.
Within the holistic program, I was shown how to take control of my life, handle difficult situations and utilize a set of life skills that aid in overcoming any obstacle one may encounter upon leaving treatment. It was so clear and to the point. I felt I had been handed the encyclopedia to life I was missing all along. Almost as if someone forgot to give it to me at birth, you know like a road map to life to help get you through even the toughest of times.
I just never received the same from replacement drugs (Suboxone) or the 12-step program—those felt as if I was surrendering, instead of empowering.
While everyone heals differently, the power of healing the body, mind, and soul, in a safe facility, is definitely what I found to be the most effective. It allowed me to handle my physical addiction to drugs, discover ways to handle any new problems that arise, as that’s what tends to happen with life, and enjoy it again!