By Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
There is a military slogan “Protect what you have earned”. This wise statement also applies to addiction recovery in so many ways. The substance use disorder (SUD) recovery process is a life changing process and that takes an incredible amount of time and dedication. Every area of an individual’s life is impacted by the choice to get sober: relationships, mood, lifestyle, behavioral schedule, energy, physical health, spirituality and more. Recovery is “work” and dedication towards feeding the healthy part of oneself and fighting against the addicted part of the mind. Therefore, when individuals have earned their sobriety, it is imperative that they protect it, at all costs.
We are all living in a time that involves many changes and unknowns. There is constant stimulation and information overload by the news, social media, Zoom calls and remote interactions. We are approaching Winter and there are COVID prevention policy changes that are leading some states back to earlier Phases. These changes may impact jobs, health, childcare, the economy, education, and our sense of freedom. Additionally, the political climate has been very intense for many people in our country.
Simply reading that last paragraph could lead one to feel overwhelmed. There has also been enough time since the start of this pandemic for research that is linking the pandemic prevention efforts and shutdowns to an increase in substance use and drug overdose deaths. This can also be a challenging time for those in early recovery from substance use disorders.
It is easy to get caught up in the many negative events that are going on in our communities and in the country. Those who are in recovery are forced to cope with this chaotic landscape without using substances- preferably using healthy coping skills in order to protect what they have earned or want to earn. But how?
Recovery from SUDs does not have a single path and it involves social support, clinical services and family systems changes. The In-Home Addiction Treatment (IHAT) model is designed to address all of these aspects of recovery and to streamline the healing process. The IHAT Treatment Team is designed to help clients navigate real-life stressors and challenges and to coach and coordinate care for clients in order to protect their recovery during challenging times. This model is also adaptable to remote or in person needs. The IHAT Institute is training clinicians who have interest in applying this innovative and unique model to client care. This model is now being utilized in over 5 states and is growing exponentially. In many cases, clients choose to live at home when getting sober and therefore, the home is a treatment center that needs an IHAT model trained team to oversee and treat.