Heroes of Outpatient Rehab

Five years ago I founded a treatment center named Adaptive Center. Actually, it’s not a “rehab”, it’s a Human Potential Center that specializes in treating addiction. However, that’s not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is that working in all kinds rehab centers for the past 25 years I have met cowards and sheep; Heroes and Eagles. Today I want to say something about the Heroes.

I have met Cowards and Sheep; Heroes and Eagles.

In the addiction rehab world, there are different kinds of programs. “Residential” (where people live and go to treatment), Partial Hospitalization (where people come to treatment all day), Intensive Outpatient (where people come to treatment several times per week), and Outpatient (where people usually come 1 to 3 times per week for treatment). In this writing, “Outpatient” means any treatment that is not Residential.

People who come to Outpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment are facing struggles that the average person cannot even imagine, so I will try to put it in perspective. Imagine that you have not eaten for 3 days. Also, imagine that you have to manage your hunger as you work, take care of all of your daily chores and responsibilities, study, attend to family and friends, etc. Imagine that you have to abstain from eating, and fight the urgings of your own body and mind, in a world that is filled with delicious food that is being advertised in attractive ways all around you, that wherever you go you are surrounded by restaurants of all kinds. Also imagine that, if you yield to your hunger and eat, you will loose your loved one’s, family, work, career, your freedom, and possibly your life. Now imagine that, for the sake of protecting these beloved things, you put yourself through the battle of making it through the day, one day at a time, without giving in to your hunger. How would you describe yourself? Would the word Hero apply?

The people that I work with in my center are facing a challenge like this. They are not protected by the walls of an institution that keep them sheltered from the reality of a culture where alcohol is everywhere, glamorized and part of most social interactions. Neither are they protected by the isolation and pampering of a rich Spa, disguised as a residential alcohol addiction rehab. No, the people that I work with fight to preserve their work, their families, their careers and their freedom by facing themselves and their addiction in an act of defiance and heroism that transforms them every day into the people that they have the potential to become. Again, what would you call them?

Miami Alcohol Rehab

There is a danger that with the increasing attention to the current opiate epidemic alcohol addiction may be minimized. I see this trend in our treatment groups. People that are coming into treatment see drugs like heroin and meth as “hard”, and downgrade the danger of alcohol. Instead they display a belief that alcohol is “not the same as drugs”, and even propose using alcohol instead of the “hard drugs”.

People that are coming into treatment see drugs like heroin and meth as “hard”, and downgrade the danger of alcohol.

This is dangerous. Alcohol is an extremely dangerous drug that continues to cause death and great damage. Here is a short list of its dangers:

  1. Alcohol, along with Benzodiazepines (a family of anti anxiety medications), can cause death in people trying to get off them without medical supervision. This is not so with drugs like cocaine which is considered “hard”.
  2. The death toll related to alcohol continues to be extremely high, especially when you considered the deaths related to car accidents caused by alcohol.
  3. The extreme extent of the destruction that alcohol has on families cannot be estimated. Alcohol abuse and the behaviors that it creates destroys individuals and families for generations.

Alcohol treatment needs to continue to be highlighted as necessary and even urgent in our culture.

Living Sober in Miami Takes Soul and Balls

Living Sober in Miami Takes Soul and Balls

For people suffering from addiction, living in Miami, and abstain from drugs and alcohol in order to nourish the continuing evolution of their human potential, is like a celibate monk living in a neighborhood of whorehouses while abstaining from sex. That’s what makes walking a spiritual path in Miami so fun, challenging, and fruitful. Just like anyone can be a mystic on top of a mountain, anyone can be sober isolated behind the walls of an institution, or protected by pampering in a Spa disguised as a treatment center. But to be an addict on a spiritually-conscious-sober journey in Miami, you need Soul and Balls.

Miami offers a thousand ways to escape reality: partying, shopping, sex, and affluence in any shape and form that you can imagine. But it’s also full of a powerful undercurrent of spiritual curiosity and seeking that it’s palpable, as soon as you dip your hand under the surface.

Miami nourishes materialism and the deepest spirituality. It equally offers new life and kills through excess. In this wonderful and cruel place of paradoxes, you can lose your life with a vice, or you can free your soul from the slavery of dependency. It depends on your capacity for courage. Miami eats up the weak of spirit and forges the soul of the strong. Miami is a furnace that will burn you out until all your metals evaporate, and only the gold remains if you have the courage to put yourself through the fire of creation.