WHAT IS RECOVERY?

Success should not be measured by what
happens during treatment, but rather by
what happens after treatment.

REDEFINING THE GOAL

THE DEFINITION OF RECOVERY IS KEY
TO PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

The definition of “RECOVERY” is the center of much debate in the addiction community; some say it’s abstinence or staying sober, while others think it’s much more complex and multi-dimensional. But for anyone who really understands the addiction illness, the idea that abstinence is recovery just doesn’t make sense. If it were that simple, then the solution would merely involve “quitting,” and the treatment industry wouldn’t exist today.

But the truth is, addiction is complex. It is the symptom of a deeper problem (s) which is the reason why relapse happens so often. In fact, there is a significant difference between recovery from addiction and trying to abstain from drug use. And that matters. Why? Because the “effectiveness of treatment” is largely determined by the treatment goal. If the goal is simply abstinence, then based on our experience – relapse is almost inevitable.

Any treatment center or rehab that doesn’t extend care and support beyond thirty days, is treating addiction as if it were an acute problem rather than a chronic illness. It is the “old” rehab model based in part on the idea that abstinence is recovery. This approach to solving the addiction problem has proven to be ineffective for the majority of people. It is also the primary reason why program effectiveness can vary so much from one treatment center to another – and why the definition of “recovery” is so important.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders as, “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defined recovery as, “a process of sustained action that addresses the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual disturbances inherent in addiction. This effort is in the direction of a consistent pursuit of abstinence, addressing impairment in behavioral control, dealing with cravings, recognizing problems in one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and dealing more effectively with emotional responses. Recovery actions lead to reversal of negative, self-defeating internal processes and behaviors, allowing healing of relationships with self and others. The concepts of humility, acceptance, and surrender are useful in this process.”

A group of experts convened by the Betty Ford Institute in 2007 defined recovery as, “a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship.”

Alcoholics Anonymous defines recovery as, “a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism” and “a profound alteration in a person’s reaction to life.”

THE DETAILS MATTER

MAKING RECOVERY THE GOAL
OF ADDICTION TREATMENT

When the purpose of treatment makes the giant leap from short-term abstinence to long-term recovery and improved quality of life, THE FOCUS CHANGES. The typical offering of therapy methods, wellness groups, and relapse prevention classes aren’t enough. To be effective, a program must at least provide extended care, ongoing support, and a safe transition to normal living.

But long-term recovery requires a significant change in the way a person thinks, feels and behaves – so treatment also needs to be more sophisticated and purposely designed for that outcome.

The thing is, personal transformation is almost always a process, and it requires some kind of systematic approach. In other words, a caterpillar does not become a butterfly by accident. Such a major transformation happens over a period of time, and involves a series of essential steps that must be followed in the correct order. If we skip a step, or change the order, we won’t get the intended results.

LONG-TERM RECOVERY

CHANGING THE DEFINITION
OF TREATMENT SUCCESS

There is a popular viewpoint that thirty days of treatment ‘fixes’ the addiction problem. This perception fails to recognize the lifelong nature of the illness, and encourages acceptance of inadequate treatment and limited outcomes. At NuLife, we believe RECOVERY must include mental, emotional and spiritual wellness, sustained abstinence, improved quality of life, and productive engagement in an ongoing recovery program.

In order to achieve these goals, we designed a more effective treatment program, which includes key elements from two very successful systems of care:

The first has been used for the past four decades to treat addicted physicians, commercial pilots and lawyers. It focuses on extended care, increased accountability, and personal motivation. The long-term recovery rates for physicians in this program are between 70 and 96 percent – which is the highest in all of the treatment outcome literature.

The second is the way treatments for other chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, or cancer are managed in medicine. This system utilizes long-term patient engagement, chronic care management, and preventative care to produce better outcomes.

REDEFINING THE GOAL

THE DEFINITION OF RECOVERY IS KEY
TO PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS

The definition of “RECOVERY” is the center of much debate in the addiction community; some say it’s abstinence or staying sober, while others think it’s much more complex and multi-dimensional. But for anyone who really understands the addiction illness, the idea that abstinence is recovery just doesn’t make sense. If it were that simple, then the solution would merely involve “quitting,” and the treatment industry wouldn’t exist today.

But the truth is, addiction is complex. It is the symptom of a deeper problem (s) which is the reason why relapse happens so often. In fact, there is a significant difference between recovery from addiction and trying to abstain from drug use. And that matters. Why? Because the “effectiveness of treatment” is largely determined by the treatment goal. If the goal is simply abstinence, then based on our experience – relapse is almost inevitable.

Any treatment center or rehab that doesn’t extend care and support beyond thirty days, is treating addiction as if it were an acute problem rather than a chronic illness. It is the “old” rehab model based in part on the idea that abstinence is recovery. This approach to solving the addiction problem has proven to be ineffective for the majority of people. It is also the primary reason why program effectiveness can vary so much from one treatment center to another – and why the definition of “recovery” is so important.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders as, “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defined recovery as, “a process of sustained action that addresses the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual disturbances inherent in addiction. This effort is in the direction of a consistent pursuit of abstinence, addressing impairment in behavioral control, dealing with cravings, recognizing problems in one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and dealing more effectively with emotional responses. Recovery actions lead to reversal of negative, self-defeating internal processes and behaviors, allowing healing of relationships with self and others. The concepts of humility, acceptance, and surrender are useful in this process.”

A group of experts convened by the Betty Ford Institute in 2007 defined recovery as, “a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship.”

Alcoholics Anonymous defines recovery as, “a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism” and “a profound alteration in a person’s reaction to life.”

THE DETAILS MATTER

MAKING RECOVERY THE GOAL OF ADDICTION TREATMENT

When the purpose of treatment makes the giant leap from short-term abstinence to long-term recovery and improved quality of life, THE FOCUS CHANGES. The typical offering of therapy methods, wellness groups, and relapse prevention classes aren’t enough. To be effective, a program must at least provide extended care, ongoing support, and a safe transition to normal living.

But long-term recovery requires a significant change in the way a person thinks, feels and behaves – so treatment also needs to be more sophisticated and purposely designed for that outcome.

The thing is, personal transformation is almost always a process, and it requires some kind of systematic approach. In other words, a caterpillar does not become a butterfly by accident. Such a major transformation happens over a period of time, and involves a series of essential steps that must be followed in the correct order. If we skip a step, or change the order, we won’t get the intended results.

LONG-TERM RECOVERY

CHANGING THE DEFINITION
OF TREATMENT SUCCESS

There is a popular viewpoint that thirty days of treatment ‘fixes’ the addiction problem. This perception fails to recognize the lifelong nature of the illness, and encourages acceptance of inadequate treatment and limited outcomes. At NuLife, we believe RECOVERY must include mental, emotional and spiritual wellness, sustained abstinence, improved quality of life, and productive engagement in an ongoing recovery program.

In order to achieve these goals, we designed a more effective treatment program, which includes key elements from two very successful systems of care:

The first has been used for the past four decades to treat addicted physicians, commercial pilots and lawyers. It focuses on extended care, increased accountability, and personal motivation. The long-term recovery rates for physicians in this program are between 70 and 96 percent – which is the highest in all of the treatment outcome literature.

The second is the way treatments for other chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, or cancer are managed in medicine. This system utilizes long-term patient engagement, chronic care management, and preventative care to produce better outcomes.

NULIFE'S CLINICAL APPROACH
HAS A HIGHER PURPOSE

Research has validated the effectiveness of several commonly used, evidenced-based therapy models; CBT, DBT, MI, and EMDR to name a few. But if they are not part of an organized treatment system purposely designed to facilitate long-term recovery, they can have little effect, if any,
on the addiction problem.

That’s why NuLife’s Clinical Team developed a three-phased approach to treatment
with all the essential steps, strategic use of proven therapy models,
and one ultimate purpose: LONG-TERM RECOVERY.

NULIFE'S CLINICAL APPROACH
HAS A HIGHER PURPOSE

Research has validated the effectiveness of several commonly used, evidenced-based therapy models; CBT, DBT, MI, and EMDR to name a few. But if they are not part of an organized treatment system purposely designed to facilitate long-term recovery, they can have little effect, if any, on the addiction problem.

That’s why NuLife’s Clinical Team developed a three-phased approach to treatment with all the essential steps, strategic use of proven therapy models, and one ultimate purpose: LONG-TERM RECOVERY.

Start your journey to recovery!

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