By Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
When we want to learn about cooking, we can read a cookbook, take a cooking class or watch online videos and shows. When we want to learn how to drive, we can take Driver’s Education classes and we practice. When we want to become a Realtor, we can go to Real Estate School, study and then take a test. When we want to learn how to become a Yoga teacher, we can take Yoga Teacher Trainings. When we want to recover from alcohol or drug addiction, what do we read, learn or take?
One of the most challenging aspects of addiction recovery, is understanding where to start, how to find resources and who to talk about it with—as there is not a single “class” or “book” that offers one clear pathway to recovery. Unfortunately, the shame and stigma associated with addiction can also be a barrier to reaching out for support and “learning” about potential treatment and recovery options. Even more confusing, is that there is not just one path or way to get sober—each individual has their own unique circumstances and needs.
Many may begin by looking up resources online, and quickly realize that there are so many options, opinions and levels of care that they may become overwhelmed. Additionally, some of these resources may not be an appropriate fit clinically, logistically or financially. People who are looking for help sometimes will ask their Primary Care Physician for resources, which they may or may not have. Others may talk to a friend or a family member, who may also lack the knowledge of the best starting point. Not everyone who wants to explore sobriety feels comfortable attending 12-Step meetings or other self-help programs, despite their availability nationally. Even talking to general therapists may not result in a clear pathway.
So where can a person who wants to start their path to recovery begin? The In-Home Addiction Treatment model provides an innovative and easy to access year-long program. The Care Team members enable clients to recover wherever they live with a plan and community resources that are tailored to the individual, while the Family Wellness Team supports family members through a parallel recovery process. The IHAT model can truly be the “education” that individuals and loved ones may have been searching for yet struggled to find. This healing process impacts each life domain in ways that are often unpredictable. Therefore, having an IHAT care team member share their personal lived experience can be invaluable.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that the public is able to easily access affordable and adaptable addiction care. While there may not be a “class” that can teach the road to recovery, the IHAT model is able to guide clients through this process. During these quickly changing times, we are in greater need of treatment options that can accommodate differing schedules, acuity and logistics.