R.O.A.M.I.N.G. In Recovery: Helping Those in Need – Part 1
Recently I had the opportunity to speak and present my story at the very Recovery Center where I began the journey of my own recovery. As I offered my personal and successful steps of my “Wellness Approach to Addiction Recovery” over the past three years, I felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment. I spoke in front of the traditional medical community comprised of doctors, nurses, substance abuse counselors, and other healthcare professionals.
I spoke of the alternative modalities which are natural and organic in nature which is how I recovered from my 40-year addiction to opiates and benzodiazepines, co-occurring disorders, and how I continue to sustain my recovery. After I introduced my “R.O.A.M.I.N.G. in Recovery” model, which is the blueprint that I created of the 7 steps that I used to recover, and then shared that I am now a Certified Holistic Health Coach/Practitioner, the audience applauded me for my hard work and achievements in surviving this disease, and learning new ways of managing the underlying symptoms of this disease through natural and organic solutions.
My “R.O.A.M.I.N.G. In Recovery Model Follows These Seven Suggested Steps:
R- Reflection, O- Own It, A- Ask for Help, M- Moving on and Manifesting, I- Ignite your Enthusiasm, N- Nutritional support for the body, mind, and soul, G- Growing and Embracing Change.” Check back for my next article to learn about my “R.O.A.M.I.N.G. IN RECOVERY” model in detail.
Although many in the audience were interested in hearing about my alternative approach to recovery, my take away, sadly, is that due to the fact that Holistic Health Practitioners are not covered by insurance, my program doesn’t fit into the financial profile of those in addiction recovery. Many folks are Medicaid patients, and are unable to afford to pay for Holistic Health Counseling and care. In addition, as I talk to folks in recovery, they too, are disappointed that they are unable to follow my program due to financial constraints or hardship.
I had a conversation yesterday with a dear friend who needs to get a loved one into a recovery facility, however, this young man doesn’t have insurance. She, like so many of us, are frustrated and asking, “Where do those who are suffering with this brain disease turn for healthcare and guidance when they cannot afford insurance, and certainly cannot afford to pay for any program out of pocket?” This is one of the many challenges in treating this disease in this country. How can we help those suffering with addiction and help to rehabilitate them and support them in sustaining their recovery without financial assistance from our government?
Asking For Help From Our Leaders
Another challenge that faces those suffering with this disease, and those of us who are advocating for their recovery, is that recovery centers are only equipped with so many beds to accommodate potential patients, and furthermore, there are criteria that the patient must meet when they arrive. These criteria are imposed by OASAS (Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services) who oversees the Recovery facilities. I remember speaking to a young woman who went to the local emergency room asking for help, and because she wasn’t presenting with acute signs of withdrawal, in other words, she wasn’t “sick enough,” they couldn’t admit her to the Recovery Center on site. They actually suggested that she leave, go out and use drugs and/or alcohol, and return when she was in active withdrawal.
What kind of world are we living in that we send out a patient suffering with addiction to use the very thing that is making them sick, or killing them? Would we tell a Cancer patient to go out and smoke cigarettes, and when they are “sick enough” to come back and we will offer them healthcare? Addiction IS a brain disease, and we must educate and empower the healthcare community, and the leaders of this country to recognize that this is NOT a choice the addict makes based on weak moral values, but a disease that needs to be treated, a human being that needs ongoing managed care, and that these patients are deserving of the loving care that any patient with any other disease is entitled to receive. We must make education on nutrition for the body, mind and soul a major part of recovery as I offer in my program, and in my opinion, offer this education very early on in schools as a preventative measure!
I am so frustrated with our government. There is money for all sorts of research and foundations supporting so many causes, yet when it comes to treating a population that is in dire need of treatment for a disease that is now an epidemic, there are roadblocks everywhere. How can we heal? How can we move forward in this fight against addiction without ongoing financial support for those suffering, and in addition, to provide ongoing support for their families who also suffer? How can we continue researching this complex disease that presents with co-occurring disorders such as mental illness, eating disorders, and other serious addictions without financial support?
There is so much work to be done, and although we are beginning to find people, like myself, who are willing to have an open, ongoing dialogue about addiction, we need the leaders of our country to listen, to help us to formulate a plan, and to continually assess every aspect of addiction ongoing from our DNA, environmental factors including the food that we eat, and learned behaviors that we can definitely change to new, positive, and healthy behaviors with the proper care and guidance. We must encourage things like daily exercise to keep the body and mind healthy. This mindset will give each individual who has this disease a chance to start over, and to create and enjoy a lifelong, successful recovery.
I was so fortunate to have this type of support, love and guidance from a team of Holistic professionals, and this is now my passion, and my career.
My Wellness “Approach To Addiction Recovery” Is An Alternative To The 12-Step Program
My “Wellness Approach to Addiction Recovery” using my R.O.A.M.I.N.G. in Recovery model is one that I want to offer and share as an alternative to the traditional 12-step recovery programs, and the traditional recovery center programs that offer medications to manage symptoms in recovery. Although I believe that the 12-step programs offer a sense of connection and community in sharing “experience, strength and hope” where everyone has, or is now, experiencing addiction on a personal level, or that of a family member, I do not believe that sharing and practicing good moral values can be the sole source of healing a disease that needs a variety of modalities to find balance in achieving harmonious health 4 life.
It is not a one size fits all type of healing. We cannot expect to sit people in a group and ask them to recover in exactly the same way! We must take individuality into consideration and treat each patient accordingly. We must treat the WHOLE person. Moral principles cannot take the place of the imperative medical treatment necessary to manage the disease of addiction. In my opinion, the 12- step program should be an optional supplement to medical and holistic health treatment. There are many ways that people recover, but if we look at the food that we eat as the first line of defense against addiction, and quite frankly, any chronic disease, we can find the answer in that what we are feeding our bodies and our mind…which ultimately feeds our soul.
The key is to understand how inflammation, which is hugely related to addiction, fuels the disease, and how eating healthy food promotes a healthy mood/mind and body, and unhealthy food promotes an unhealthy mood/mind, and creates more inflammation. The food that we eat communicates with our cells. If we are eating foods that are unhealthy, or incompatible with our blood type, this causes a chemical reaction between our blood and the food we eat, and causes disease. Remember, inflammation is key in promoting all chronic diseases, and autoimmune disease. Everything we eat is absorbed and digested, and winds up floating around in our blood, and then finds its way to all of our cells giving important information.
Choose foods that will happily communicate with your cells to encourage a happy, healthy body and mind. When we eat foods that are healthy and organic, it promotes optimal wellness, and a healthy body, and mind. Look for foods that are organic, unprocessed, and natural.
Being A Survivor Of Addiction
I am a survivor of this disease. I have recovered through a holistic path where I implemented using new and sustainable alternative modalities such as use of essential oils for anxiety, focus, and physical pain, to stress management, organic nutrition, staying hydrated, and natural detoxing using whole foods, and whole food and plant based supplements. In addition, I suggest detox baths using a combination of Epson salt, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and my favorite essential oils, (visit harmonioushealth4life.com for my recipe!), and Apple Cider vinegar as an internal and external health tonic.
A big part of my program and my own recovery has been my spiritual practice and daily gratitude, meditation, journaling, daily exercise, eating organic foods that are based on my blood type, staying connected with my Life Transitions Coach, surrounding myself with like-minded people and enjoying healthy, loving, nurturing relationships, and being of service to others. And of course, I have a deep passion for my new career as a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Holistic Practitioner, and Drugless Practitioner, where I offer a blueprint to follow a “Wellness Approach to Addiction Recovery!”
We are an addicted nation whether it is to drugs, alcohol, or the foods that we eat that are filled with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, gluten, dairy, and the grains that are grossly processed making it impossible for human beings to digest. This causes an incredible amount of systemic inflammation with pathways leading directly to the brain, (in addition to the toxic substances we are ingesting in our disease of addiction/alcoholism which promotes more inflammation), and also negatively affecting our immune system. Furthermore, this actually is compromising our immune system, and affecting our “gut health” which is where 80% of our immune system is found, which ultimately prevents us from achieving Harmonious Health 4 Life.
We must transform this nation’s health offering nutritional support for the body, mind and soul, and we must start with continued research, funding, and offering organic foods and alternative treatments as medicine rather than treating with more medication. Treating a patient who suffers from this disease with more medication, in my opinion, is like being on a hamster wheel. Their body and brain never get a chance to truly heal on a cellular level. The drugs that addicts and/or alcoholics are given to manage their disease is still causing a chemical imbalance and we are unable to ever really establish a baseline on the patient. We must offer sustainable alternative choices and positive changes to our lifestyle, one that boasts “I can and do recover,” not one that has us say aloud daily, “I am an addict,” which is a negative connotation that continuously reminds us that we are “sick.” We can create a new and healthy body, and mind, which is great food for the soul. “Let thy food be thy medicine.”
If you would like more information, please email me at [email protected].
Wishing you Harmonious Health 4 Life!
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