There are many reasons why people seek primary care.
When it comes to treating negative or harmful patterns of thought and behaviour, people turn to primary care to get the treatment they need for long-term recovery.
In the majority, they have exhausted all other avenues and reached a crisis point.
The first phase in any emotional healing process is detoxification.
During times of turmoil, stress and emotional overwhelm, we can turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms for short term relief. In time these maladaptive patterns can become habitual and destructive.
I regard the use of these coping mechanisms a relationship, these are analysed and assessed throughout primary care.
The removal of these coping mechanisms can be uncomfortable. This can manifest in many ways on a physical, mental and emotional level, all of which must be managed and should be a significant factor when selecting the right facility.
When it comes to treatment at the Camino Recovery Centre, it’s down to our clients to decide whether these relationships are to remain the same or change in some way.
Individuals seeking a sustained transition must choose a centre that specialises in detox management, and in particular, the type of detox they are likely to experience.
Also, to be surrounded by those who have years of experience in dealing with this specific discomfort and understand that anxiety and depression are often temporary conditions during any detox period.
Seeking a substitute
What is often misunderstood or even disregarded is that a detox needs to be all-encompassing to access underlying emotions.
Usually, in the absence of a primary coping mechanism, we search for a substitute to distract from difficult emotions.
Reputable treatment centres are aware of this and will create an environment that is conducive to helping clients access unpleasant emotions while helping to address them.
The list below (whilst not exhaustive) illustrates some of the behaviours, habits and distractions that we may act on in the absence of a primary addiction:
- Drugs (including prescription drugs)
- Eating disorders
- Relationships, sex or love
- Computer, Internet, Gaming, TV series and movies
- Shopping and/or Spending
Medical detox management
Occasionally a medically supervised detox program may be appropriate. For instance, when dealing with alcohol detox, an instant and sudden withdrawal can lead to seizures, and therefore medication is required.
Other detoxes such as from Benzodiazepines or Opioids will require different treatment management.
The first few weeks (and this can vary from substance to substance and process to process) often entails a wide range of acute withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Extreme changes in mood
- Cognitive Impairment
- Physical urges and cravings
- Pain in muscles, joints and bones
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
This can be followed by a longer period where physical, emotional and psychological symptoms all form part of a ‘grieving’ process.
These symptoms often include:
- Bouts of depression and/or Anxiety
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to focus, confusion and/or forgetfulness
- Irritability or hostility
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Mood swings
These, combined with any trauma triggers, a lack of education, hormonal fluctuations, life stressors and being institutionalised all add another dimension to the potential for recidivism.
Reconditioning the brain to find healthier and more constructive ways to trigger reward chemicals is a significant part of the recovery process. It is all part of the primary care given here at Camino Recovery.
It is crucial to learn to detach and observe the wave of emotion. Life inevitably provides plenty of ups and downs, and it’s common for clients to live and operate in ‘extremes’ placing greater or less importance on particular experiences, consequences and the long-term effects.
At Camino, we look to process and ‘right-size’ these events, and in doing so, we help our clients to develop a stronger resilience to stress.
There are a variety of therapies that can help clients to understand their triggers while learning to adopt healthier coping mechanisms. These treatments include:
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing
Since trauma often lies at the heart of addiction, treatment programs must address any underlying trauma and other co-occurring disorders.
Treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly effective treatment, particularly when it comes to treating trauma.
EMDR is a popular therapy used to treat conditions such as:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Trauma symptoms
- Panic disorders including OCD, anxiety and depression
Essentially, trauma can very often become ‘trapped’ within the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the brain resulting in a whole host of unpleasant symptoms (such as the ones you see above).
EMDR therapy seeks to release those trapped memories that may be causing any unpleasant symptoms. This is done through specific eye movements, physical stimulation and sound (often referred to as bilateral stimulation).
The recalibration of the brain is not an overnight process.
It can take up to two years to heal. Adopting new ‘coping mechanisms’ is also a vital part of the process.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (often referred to as CBT) is another highly effective treatment which is specifically designed to treat addictions and a whole host of other mental health conditions including:
- OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
CBT therapy helps to challenge any negative thoughts and behavioural patterns that are restrictive and often destructive – all of which (if left untreated) can lead many people down the path of addiction.
Essentially, CBT helps individuals to address any negative thoughts and behaviours whilst encouraging them to adopt healthier ways of coping.
Twelve Step Programmes
Twelve-step programmes are based on a framework which involves a wide range of therapeutic interventions.
These programmes operate on the principle that every person can offer support and help to another and seeks to maintain long-term remission.
12 step programmes are effective when attempting to treat:
The benefits of 12 step programs offer limitless rewards when it comes to relapse prevention as treatment is geared towards getting well and staying well.
The better rehab facilities offer aftercare programs to their patients’ post-discharge, allowing them to continue doing the work needed to stay in recovery.
Self-awareness is another vital aspect to recovery and something that CBT, group therapy and individual therapy all encompass.
Developing new skills is vital in maintaining a connection with the self and others.
Activities that are especially helpful when it comes to aiding recovery include:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Being accountable
- Setting daily goals
- Developing honest relationships
It’s often the case that life choices are required for a person to recover fully. It helps to:
- Speak with mental health professionals
- Join support groups
- Avoid toxic relationships (past, present and future)
- Recalibrate family and friend relationships and set boundaries
- Surround themselves with people who understand them
When it comes to addiction, self-care is often neglected.
As part of the recovery process, Camino will look at:
- Physical health
- Personal hygiene
Primary care provides a unique opportunity for people to detox from the outside world, which allows them to become fully present in their lives.
Learning to live in the present moment ensures that any underlying anxiety and fear dissipates, leading to more enriching and fulfilling lives long after they have left Camino.
This is the intention we have for every one of our clients who spend time with us.