By Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
There are many views and opinions about what is needed for individuals for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) to maintain long-term sobriety/recovery. There are therapeutic models, levels of care, evidence-based research, 12-Step model, SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, alternative treatments, spiritual/religious perspectives and more… The good news is that there are many resources and ways for individuals to receive support and to get sober. However, the downside is that individuals may become overwhelmed by options.
Many in the addiction treatment field have observed clients and loved ones acquire sustained recovery in differing ways. Individuals have found ways to apply different recovery principles and coping skills that suit their beliefs, personality and lifestyle. For some, an extreme and strict framework has been needed and for others, a moderate approach has been more appropriate.
Throughout the treatment, therapeutic and recovery process individuals learn many coping and relapse prevention skills as well as life skills and spiritual principles all intended to improve their prognosis and quality of “sober” life. This process can be compared to a buffet, where an individual views all of the options, samples some things they may or may not like and then settles on what they prefer- in other words “take what you like and leave the rest”.
In fact, the most effective way to maintain sobriety is to engage in strategies that are realistic and that an individual is likely to DO. While addiction treatment providers can make suggestions, it is important to view each individual as unique and that they will have their own journey. When treatment centers, addiction professionals, recovery coaches or spiritual leaders are only open to one way to view or to engage in the recovery process, it is important for them to be honest about if that view is the right “fit”. If not, then there is always the option of integrating various pieces of that approach with additional strategies.
The In-Home Addiction Treatment (IHAT) Model is equipped to tailor care to the unique needs of individuals in their home environment and community. The staff are trained to offer a variety of clinical approaches and community resources to clients and to allow them to see that there are various pathways to recovery. Many clients who engage in the IHAT model have experienced more siloed care in the past that may not have been the best fit for them. This model also supports clients in organizing a treatment plan that is appropriate for their needs. The IHAT Institute is training healthcare professionals in this innovative approach that has been especially relevant during this unprecedented time. Many clinicians are realizing that addiction treatment needs to be more adaptable and mobile in reaching clients, and the IHAT Institute can provide training in such a model.
May we all remember that the best way for individuals to get and maintain sobriety is the way that works for them!