Having worked in addiction services for so many years, I know that one of the crucial aspects of solid recovery is how much support a person with substance use disorder has in their life. This support can be achieved by attending groups or (as I propose) individually for those who don’t do well in groups. Either way, I don’t really know people who have gotten sober completely on their own. Even if family or friends aren’t present, there’s always some kind of a system in place that drives recovery success. Whether it’s group therapy, joining meetings (I don’t mean just Alcoholics Anonymous) or even finding help online, tackling the problem alone should never be the only option. Sadly, I find that people tend to relapse when they isolate and don’t have others to rely on. You absolutely need cheerleaders, guides, and someone who can relate to you on a deeper level. I know for a fact that a person who has people around them tends to stay motivated, accountable and hopeful.

Because of this knowledge, I’ve embarked on a mission to help people recover in the way that facilitates all kinds of ways of getting better and staying better. It pains me to know there are wonderful, worthy people out there who get overwhelmed because there’s no one there to guide them out of the muck of their problems. Addiction is a very complex issue and recovery tends to be complex too, and when it gets too hard, many people need someone with experience—this is the kind of support that can be indispensable. And some of us need a little extra care, one-on-one attention that would better facilitate their recovery. This is where addiction professionals like me can be crucial, since our only focus is the client that we currently work with; there are no distractions of other people around the way there might be in recovery groups. You have my full attention. In the past, I quite enjoyed working for organizations and with teams of specialists, but there was always something lacking, and it seemed like we weren’t perhaps fully available to people who came to us for help. And I knew that I had the skills and the experience to become an individual recovery consultant and wanted to continue helping people with addiction—and their families—to map out a plan that would ensure a lasting success.

When I set out on my independent journey, I’ve also set out to create a number of services for my clients. They were services that were informed by what was available to people in group or hospital settings, but I’ve added many additional opportunities that only one-on-one support could offer. My relationship with my clients and family clients is based on compassion and trust and I’m available on as-needed basis—this is different from group or even therapy setting that adheres to strict schedules and times and that might never establish the necessary close rapport a person struggling with addiction requires.

Today, I work with others on developing healthy lifestyle choices and personal recovery plans—this means having a specific relapse prevention tactic, and/ or working on trauma. Addiction is incredibly destructive but I know how to guide my clients into building structure back into their lives through the assessment of day-to-day living and working situations. I also have resources that can aid people in financial planning and budgeting, nutritional and dietary management, therapeutic medication monitoring, academic coaching, work-skills coaching, as well as finding means of transportation.

Furthermore, it’s important for me to connect my clients with permanent healthy support systems—this might mean joining groups (if appropriate and desired), establishing on-going relationships with health professionals, and teaching specific coping skills that will last a lifetime. I’m also there to help my clients with schedules, anticipating demanding times, and working through challenges as they occur. I believe in using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques that alleviate tension, anxiety, depression, and even pain.

Finally, I’m all about after-care, so I help research and investigate the right places that will enhance my client’s lives and provide the safe environment where they’ll feel taken care of with compassion and dignity. Before our relationship ceases, I stay around to make sure I provide support prior to and beyond each group meeting for as long as it takes.  And I’m all about finding new joys in recovery. Many people worry that sobriety equals boredom and lack of activities that one used to enjoy. Nothing could be further from the truth! But it’s important to learn and apply techniques that will ensure my clients are safe and happy in any social situation, such as weddings or parties or concerts.

Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

I know that if it wasn’t for my own support systems, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I can’t wait to pass on this knowledge to more people out there. And I do this with extra care and attention that goes beyond a typical recovery service.


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#mentalhealth #sober #soberlife #sobriety #health #addictionrecovery #addiction #alcoholism #substanceusedisorders #recovery #adoption #adopted #focusonthefamily

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