Treatment Goals: 3 Things

It’s challenging as a clinician and someone in recovery when working with clients in a treatment facility. My personal story of recovery from drugs and alcohol should not be a tool I use to treat clients. Even though it’s my fallback if I feel a group or session is going not well. It’s hard some times. I want a client to be exactly where I am at spiritually, emotionally and mentally, however I forget that sobriety and recovery is a process, not a race. With that being said, what are a few treatment goals that are realistic and effective when one goes into treatment? Keep in mind treatment is just the first step in a life-long journey of self-discovery.

  1. To get physically and mentally well. The streets are brutal. Even if a person did not literally come from the streets, the body and mind need a break. Detox starts the process of physically healing. We don’t realize the amount of stress we put on our mind until we stop using. The goal should be clear up you mind and get some healthy food in your body.
  2. Another goal is to realize that the life you are living on drugs and alcohol, is not a normal and healthy life. Someone should be able to identify and accept, “hey, I do have a problem,” even though they are not ready to get sober, at least they admitted it. If you are lucky, this might take the entire treatment to accept. For some it takes decades.
  3. Realizing that some sort of change is needed. If a person who is in addiction can be willing to admit that something in their life needs to change, that’s a deep emotional acceptance that could very well be the start of their recovery.

Of course, these are just examples that I came up with, their not right or wrong, they’re just simple but effective goals or starting points for someone in treatment for substance use disorder.

Come up with a few treatment goals yourself and post them in the comment section.

My Last Night At Detox

The detox board is completely full. Eleven names with red dots right by them. Eleven shattered lives. I guess it is a good and a bad thing. Great, people are getting help! Or SMH, oh, people are getting help. The window in the station is halfway open, or closed depending on how you look at things. Birds are singing a morning tune. A bit of the arctic north breeze carry’s the tune in. Okay, I completely made that up, there is no “arctic north breeze” coming in, however it sounds a lot better than it just “cold,’ outside. In a few minutes people we start lightly tapping at the pill window door as if they’re at their dealers side window, to get their morning meds from the “charge nurse.”

I’m dead tired. Just pulled twelve hours and the Recovery Tech coming in is 8 minutes late. After my shift, a hour drive home I have to look forward to. I try hard to leave my work at work. However the connection with the sick pulls me in each week, like I am the one in detox, again. The days of detox seem like a dream today, or a nightmare rather. The reality of cleaning up, is that your life gets really busy. This is my last night at detox. Next week its back working residential. I switch back and fourth every other week.

There is a person here with a broken hand. Another can draw really good. And there is the two that are back again. There’s the old one. The young one. The pretty one. The ugly one. And the one that we have no idea what they’ve been through the last 7 days. There’s the one that has been asleep my entire shift. And then there’s the one who just got here.

On my way home I cringe at the hour drive. I try to forget the last 72 hours. However I can’t wait until I work again.

JR Valdes