At The Treehouse, we realize that addiction cannot be treated from a singular perspective, nor is every person who comes to us for help the same. We seek to engage our clients in a way that keeps this awareness at the forefront of their care, so that they obtain the highest measure of individualized care, granting them the strongest foundation for long-lasting success.
We employ a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities, all of which have been researched and implemented in a manner that will support you in healing mind, body and soul. These methods do not stand alone, instead, they work in harmony with each other, creating a holistic and empowering treatment program that works towards getting you sober while implementing crucial skills to maintain a drug-free life after you leave our care.
In addition to our cutting-edge behavioral health services, we offer you an array of mindfulness and stress management practices that can help you to imbue your life with balance. In order to better understand the importance of these approaches, we need to understand the role that stress has on addiction.
Stress Can Fuel Addiction
Stress is something we all know, some more intimately than others. Stress, in certain quantities, is part of a normal life, however, when it gets out of control, it is something that can become vastly detrimental to a person’s health. In the case of addiction, it can fuel a person’s propensity towards drug use and abuse.
Why is this? One of the largest reasons why a person uses drugs or alcohol, to begin with, is as an attempt to self-medicate. What this means is a person who is overwhelmed with their life or a specific symptom, in this case, stress may choose to abuse a substance in the hope that it alleviates these issues. What is dangerous about this pursuit is that this is, in fact, an extremely counterproductive approach, one that can leave you in worse shape than you started with.
This is because the drugs or alcohol, due to the manner in which they change your body and brain’s chemistry, can actually exacerbate your existing stress. Or, in the instance of stress that is resultant from life circumstances—such as difficulties within a marriage or job—the substance abuse produces more tension and trouble, creating higher measures of stress and pushing you towards additional substance abuse as you attempt to cope with the harsh reality of your addiction.
Addiction may actually cause mental health disorders, many of which may manifest to some extent by extreme bouts of stress. Again, as a person seeks to self-medicate they fuel this vicious cycle. In conjunction with teaching you mindfulness and stress management, our addiction specialists can help you to address and treat any co-occurring disorders so that you can obtain the greatest measure of solidarity to build your recovery upon.
Beyond this lies the threat of relapse. Any person in recovery is at risk for relapse, however, certain factors come into play, increasing a person’s susceptibility to this. Stress is one such concern. As a person enters back into their life, they will likely face a period of maladjustment. Though this is to some extent normal, in more extreme cases this failure to acclimate to a sober life may push them towards relapse. Specifically, this difficulty in adjusting may cause a person’s stress to skyrocket as they struggle to cope with the myriad of changes that a sober life can bring.
An additional cause for concern is the toll that stress can take on your body and mind. A growing collection of research illustrates exactly how harmful undue amounts of stress can be. Stress can impair your cognitive functions, inhibiting your ability to concentrate, focus or maintain motivation; it can increase fatigue, headaches, create or increase anxiety and depression, disturb your appetite, cause stomach problems, suppress your immune system in a capacity that puts you at a greater risk for infection and has even been implicated in an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health.
What is perhaps even more frightening is that every one of these health concerns can be caused or aggravated by some form of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. You are heightening the risk and intensity of addiction by self-medicating, increasing the chance that your body will develop any number of illnesses or disease. This doesn’t have to be as ruinous as it sounds; the good news is that stress, like addiction, can be treated. At The Treehouse, we employ a compassionate and expert staff that is adept at helping clients to manage and overcome both, so that they can lead a more balanced, fulfilling and drug-free life.
Endeavor Towards Wellness
At The Treehouse, we are committed to seeing you through your journey from beginning to end. At every step of the way, we believe that a greater sense of mindfulness and a commitment towards stress management can help to alleviate the negative thoughts and behaviors that may be accelerating your addiction, as well as helping other treatment modalities to have a more lasting effect.
We want you to be grounded. The body, mind, and spirit are all interconnected in a capacity that, within the right conditions, can strengthen a person, or in the wrong circumstances, such as an addiction, can work towards depleting each other. In order to combat this discord, we offer you or your family member a variety of mindfulness-based therapies and stress management techniques that will activate your body and grant your mind a more stable equilibrium.
Physical activity is very important for anyone in terms of maintaining good health and vitality. It is especially important for a person overcoming an addiction who is seeking a more healthful and energized state. When a person’s body is healed and able to handle it, we recommend that a person in recovery engage exercise as a way to promote energy, focus, a strengthened immune system stress relief and even cleanse. One way that your body cleanses itself is through the lymphatic system. Exercising stimulates this important system that is responsible for eliminating toxins. We have an onsite fitness room, martial arts classes, and an expansive and beautiful wilderness setting that gives you plenty of opportunities for physical activity.
We also invite you to engage yourself on a level that integrates therapy physically, mentally and spiritually. At The Treehouse, you can attend classes on yoga, Tai Chi and meditation. Offered five days a week, these will help you to moderate your stress, elevate mindfulness and restore your body. Reports indicate that these practices may help to reduce blood pressure, protect against heart disease, bolster the immune system and handle pain response. The latter of these may be critical to those who fell prey to an opioid addiction due to issues of pain management.
Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist concepts and traditions, however, today its practice extends beyond that and does not necessarily adhere to those doctrines. According to an article originally published by the Harvard Review of Psychiatry that examined mindfulness and meditation as therapies for psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, “Mindfulness has been described as the nonjudgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal and external stimuli as they arise; as bringing one’s complete attention to present experience on a moment-to-moment basis; and as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
In the context of drug treatment, this means that we are encouraging and supporting you in encountering and processing your life, thoughts and experiences in a manner that propagates a more calm, reasonable and purposeful approach to your life. This practice will carry you with greater success through treatment and into the time beyond in your aftercare practices.
Mindfulness is empowering. It encourages you to acknowledge and accept your situation, instead of becoming overwhelmed with it and avoiding your reality by the harmful habits of substance abuse. Numerous studies support the promise and efficacy of mindfulness-based therapies for substance use disorders.
Conquering stress and harnessing the power of mindfulness techniques can not only help you during rehab but in the time beyond. Here, you will shape and nurture a strong foundation to base your recovery on and learn practices and techniques that you can draw upon throughout your recovery to maintain balance and prevent relapse.
Instill Your Life With Greater Balance
At The Treehouse, we want to help you revitalize and renew, in a way that lends a greater balance to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states, so that you can discover the joy, hope, and wellness that comes from living a drug-free life. If you have any questions, about this or any other treatment modality, contact us today.
- National Institute of Mental Health Information Resource Center — 5 Things You Should Know About Stress
- Huffington Post — Meditation Health Benefits: What The Practice Does To Your Body
- US National Library of Medicine — Editorial Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Substance Use Disorders: Part 2