we started a new process at the workplace for new methadone patients to provide support and education as they transition from a using lifestyle hopefully to one more geared towards recovery. it will last 3 months and the caveat for weekly contact is the promise of weekend take-outs at the end if attendance is stellar and tox screens are substance free.
my perception of the most valuable aspect of this new approach is the more intensive support towards changing the lifestyle. becoming recovery focused is not a simple task when the majority of a person’s life is the same as it was the years before they sought recovery. they still have family relationships that are strained or broken, friends that continue to use and more, and a sense of self that is disjointed and dark. this group experience can hopefully bring some light back into their lives. it is magical to witness self esteem as it returns to a person and a light begins to emanate from their eyes. who needs a vacation right now. i have the gift of new beginnings.
here is an outline of the curriculum which was gleaned from a study in the uk
Introductory session: acquaintance, coordination of expectations, overview of the
sessions schedule 1
Clinic rules (with the clinic director) 2
Methadone: facts and myths (with a physician) 3
Addiction-related diseases (with a physician) 4
Addiction: damages and consequences 5
What is recovery? 6
Coping with craving and relapse prevention 7
Recovery Support 8
Anger management 9
The addict and his/her family 10
Maintaining Change 11
Summary and separation 12
i am very excited and hopeful about the prospects here. there is a very good chance that this type of introduction to medicated-assisted-treatment (mat) could directly influence the culture at the clinic. people who are new to recovery definitely need to learn to live within new boundaries, but they need hope and a hand in order to aim their sites higher for themselves.
the first of these groups took place yesterday. we are holding them on saturdays and i have changed my work schedule to accommodate. if you have been following my blogs at all, you are aware that i love to get new things started. it may have actually become my life’s work. there are blessings and bloodletting that accompany life’s work and i have had the privilege and the responsibility to walk through both- not always perfectly or even with ease.
i never did opiates- well i did heroin once in 1983- euphoria is what i remember the most. i was on a cloud for a long time and i met a young man i dated for a while as i drifted in that fog. i knew that the undertow of that buzz was too strong for my constitution. i never allowed it to become a drug of choice. ergo i cannot directly relate to the struggles of the souls i am working with. but i can relate to the challenges of change and recovery. especially self-care and self-respect. these are the building blocks of a better life which can help lead us to safe harbor.