Holy places #1: Buddhism

Holy places #1: BuddhismThe United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has some startling statistics.  About 1 in 8 people in the US are alcoholics or drug addicts.  Perhaps more worrisome than this figure is whether or not those who complete rehab treatment can stay sober.  Many people return to these facilities, claiming getting clean was easy, but staying clean was, having its foundations in behavioral psychology and Buddhism.  The current facility employing this innovative method bases itself in Chicago—the Resurrection Behavioral Health Addiction Services.

How the mind of an addict works while in recovery prompted this method.  The reasons an addict used drugs or alcohol come out at last—uncomfortable emotions and thoughts.  Because drug hazes initially shut these things down, the recovering alcohol or drug abuser still tries to shut down, zoning out of what is going on in their recovery.  Despite it being bad for them, many addicts rebel against their treatment, sabotaging themselves.  People going through the initial steps of recovery do not want to necessarily confront the things that made them dependent, the issues really responsible for the cravings.  However, Doctor Daniel Angres, the director for Resurrection Behavioral Health Addiction Services and the creator of this program wants to combat this shut down.  Instead, he wants his patients to be aware of their environment and what is going on inside of them.  The mind of addict is a kind of monkey mind, where thoughts jump from thought to thought, often concerned where he or she will get their next fix.

Other programs like the traditional 12 step program can still be used with this program.  However, unlike many other programs out there this one accentuates the positive, such as inner strength and the things that are encouraging or working in their treatment.  Meditation is a significant part of how people in this program learn to rewire their brains to be more focused and mindful of their psychological state.  It also accentuates optimism; helping often despairing addicts find a purpose in life.  Part of the cause for this new program was the concern from Doctor Angers that traditional programs no longer work as well, at least not for everybody.  His acknowledgment that everyone is different is another way in which this program separates itself from the old standbys in addiction treatment: profiling his patients demonstrates what makes up their thoughts, feelings, and personalities.  It aids the staff to better understand what drove them to drugs in the initially and what that person needs specifically to heal. This method of not only recovering but achieving and maintaining sobriety is one of a long list of treatments the Resurrection Behavioral Health Addiction Services has experimented with offer the years.


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