Heroes of Outpatient Rehab

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?