By Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
This year has been challenging for most people and for a variety of reasons. Those who are in long-term recovery have had many opportunities to test the coping skills that they have been learning for years into real life scenarios. Individuals who have gotten sober ideally have been engaged in therapy, self-help groups, may have attended residential treatment/detox. Those experiences have provided them with many foundational emotional, physical and spiritual tools to cope with their lives…sober.
Research indicates that there has been a 40% increase in liquor sales throughout the past year, and this is a sign that many people have reached their limits in terms of coping with their life stressors. However, people who are in longer-term recovery have been facing life sober, no matter what challenges have come their way including divorce, deaths of loved ones, disease, extreme stress, legal problems and more. There is a saying in the recovery community that “No matter what, just don’t drink” and “Nothing will get better with a drink” and these seemingly simple sayings are much harder to apply when external stressors accumulate.
Getting initially sober this year has been a greater challenge in some ways than in other times given the external pandemic stressors. In contrast, those who have been able to remain sober through this time have gained resiliency to constant change and unknowns while relying on their recovery coping skills to navigate daily life. Therefore, it is especially important that individuals who are planning to get sober have a team in place to help plan and anticipate these unprecedented times.
The In-Home Addiction Treatment (IHAT) model is equipped to manage in person and remote treatment as well as guiding clients in engaging in their curriculum, care coordination and family support services as well as connecting them with available community resources. The treatment team is skilled at managing complicated circumstances and in leading clients to increase their resiliency in their home environment.
The IHAT Institute is preparing addiction professionals in learning how to administer this innovative model, which is needed now, more than ever. There has been a shift in the healthcare industry towards telemedicine and IHATI is able to train professionals in a model that can be delivered either in person, remotely or both. This allows clients to experience continuity of care and not to have gaps in their treatment when the future seems uncertain.