Looking Forward With Hope and Health

I’m no stranger to addiction. It’s sadly something that all too many people have to experience in their lifetime. Even if you’re not the one struggling with the addiction itself, just knowing someone who is can be a challenging experience. What can you do to help, and is it possible that they’ll ever really change?

The truth is that addiction is one of the hardest things anyone will ever overcome. Most people turn to drugs or alcohol after a traumatic experience to help them numb the pain of the event. When sober, life can become nearly unbearable for them. They may experience anxiety or paranoia just trying to cope with everyday life. Recovery is always possible, but not everyone is able to do it on their own.

My brother found himself at this very point earlier this year. Ex-military, he was finally home but from far from himself. While he used to be a laid-back, chipper guy, he was now much quieter, never laughed, and his drinking was definitely getting out of control. I tried to talk to him about it, but he was always extremely defensive, and I was unable to understand what he was going through at the time. As much as I wanted to help him, I had no idea how.

Seeking Help

Eventually, we were able to have a somewhat coherent conversation about everything he’d been going through. To my surprise, my brother admitted to me that he needed help. I knew that must have been hard, and although I was new to all this, I was determined to help him in any way I could. Together, he and I scoured the net until we came across the Harris House St. Louis Treatment Center. I was happy to learn that, not only did they have a special program for my brother, but also another program to help educate family members on what we can be doing to help.

When you make the decision to seek help, you are ultimately choosing yourself above your addiction. This may seem like an easy decision for those who have never drank or done drugs, but I’ve learned that most addicts struggle with their self-worth. It’s hard to choose yourself over drinking when you don’t care about yourself.

Another hard part about seeking help is giving up all control of the situation. Rehab facilities will help with detoxing, therapy, and learning how to live life sober, but it can still seem extremely scary to make that first step. Fortunately, there are several programs that help to make the transitioning period much easier.

Types Of Programs

Many people forget that addiction is a disease. It’s not something that can be turned off and not every addict is created equal. Because of this, there are several treatment options that patients can choose from depending on their individual needs.

Intensive Inpatient Program

In this program, the patient will live on the facility while they go through the detoxing phase. They will also be provided with group and individual therapy several times a week. The patients are also provided with several fun activities and a strict routine to help them relearn sober living.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Another option is the outpatient program. Here, patients will still be provided with counselors to help them identify the root of their addiction, but they will not be required to stay at the facilities at all times. Most patients who attend this program are able to hold down steady jobs while focusing on their sobriety.

Transitional Housing

Some patients still struggle with addiction even after attending therapy. Relapse is always possible, and some may find it safer to live on the facility until those urges pass. While in housing, patients are able to meet with counselors to better identify their trigger points. They’re then taught healthy ways of dealing with their emotions instead of using their vices. With continued therapy, the odds of relapsing go down dramatically.

Family Education

When my brother first came to me with this problem, I had no idea what to think or expect. I knew nothing about addiction, all I knew was that he was hurting. Thankfully, this program helped open my eyes and gave me a much better understanding of what he was going through. Not only did it help me cope, but it also taught me how to make things easier on my brother.

I’ve learned that while addiction isn’t fun, it can be overcome. It can be hard at times, but as long as you have a great support network and remember to take things one day at a time, you can always succeed.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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