Understanding Addiction and Recovery at Spirit Mountain Recovery

Did you know NASA has found approximately 19,000 near-Earth asteroids flying around out in space near our planet? Any one of them impacting the Earth could be devastating to life as we know it. On a much smaller, more personal scale, addiction is kind of like an asteroid.

My name is Chris Farni, Founder and President of Spirit Mountain Recovery. As a single Dad who has dealt with two of my children’s severe drug and alcohol addictions and subsequent recoveries these past 15 years, I have experienced asteroid scares of my own. My family was lucky. My kids’ addictions never resulted in their deaths and they are now five years sober, but we are still dealing with the devastating effects of having lived through their addictions.

Wanting to pass on to others what we learned in treatment and recovery, we founded Spirit Mountain Recovery three years ago. Spirit Mountain Recovery is a small, seven-bed residential drug rehabilitation center for men in northern Utah. What we have learned is that treating severely addicted young men is analogous to what it must be like for NASA to deal with an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

How would we approach this life-threatening object? What could be done to alter its course, so it doesn’t destroy us?

Anyone living with a loved one severely addicted to drugs and alcohol knows the catastrophic effects addiction has on not only those suffering, but everyone around them. Addiction ravages families. Self-destructive and life-threatening behavior, anger and resentment are the characteristics of this affliction. It is truly a seemingly hopeless and dreary place to be as a person and for families.

A severely addicted loved one has very similar characteristics to that of an asteroid. They come from a dark, cold, indifferent and unemotional place. Frozen objects spinning out of control, extremely dangerous and life threatening. Not much is really known of asteroids, and the same can be said for drug and alcohol addiction.

What we have learned at Spirit Mountain Recovery in dealing with these human asteroids has been a privilege and amazing to witness. Our life saving methodology has helped make small, purposeful nudges in peoples’ journeys to help them avoid a collision course and instead return to fulfilling and meaningful lives addiction-free.

Based on my own experiences with addiction and running Spirit Mountain Recovery, here are some truths about addiction that may help in your own experience having a loved one suffer from addiction.

12 Principal Truths About Addiction

  1. The individual who is severely addicted to drugs and alcohol is primarily responsible for their recovery and no one else. Do your best to stop feeling guilty and be kind to yourself. Relapse is not an inevitability, but it can be common. Don’t foster it. Instead, deal with it and check your ego at the door.
  2. There is a difference between drug abuse and severe addiction. Where is your loved one along this continuum? The key here is to know the difference. Early exposure to marijuana and other substances will stunt your loved one’s emotional and physical development.
  3. Early exposure to marijuana and other substances for sure has stunted your loved one’s emotional and physical development. The solution is sustained sobriety for the longest time possible by rigorously working a legitimate daily program of recovery.
  4. For severely addicted individuals, they will most likely not be able to manage their own recovery. This means they will need to commit to a residential treatment program.
  5. As a parent, wife or loved one of someone severely addicted, the best thing you can do is help your loved one find treatment and pay for it within their means. Nothing else.
  6. Residential treatment of 30 days or less is most often insufficient to sustain sobriety. The ideal minimum is 75 to 90 days or longer, depending on the circumstances and if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder.
  7. If an individual is struggling with a co-occurring mental health disorder, treatment and recovery is considerably more difficult. Mental health issues need to be identified, resolved and treated the same as treating one’s addiction.
  8. Most conventional treatment is ineffective. The most often missed element of making treatment appealing and effective is the lack of fun in the process. Fun – it’s why clients come to Spirit Mountain Recovery and it’s why they stay.
  9. Your loved one will need a solid Daily Recovery Plan that he works religiously in order to sustain long-term sobriety. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
  10. A new sober community for those who have gained sobriety is perhaps the greatest current need in recovery. Craft one together with your loved one that helps keep focus on avoiding toxic people, places and things.
  11. The biggest obstacle that has to be overcome as our clients recover is an over accentuated sense of self. Besides unresolved stress, arrogant behavior is often the number one cause of a relapse.
  12. The best goals to shoot for and measures of one’s sobriety – humility, gratitude and a lifetime of service to others.

Find Support at Spirit Mountain Recovery

At Spirit Mountain Recovery, we know what going through addiction feels like. But we also know what it’s like to come out on the other side and see others recover, too. When your son or husband comes here, he will receive remarkable treatment focused on evidence-based therapies and fun, outdoor activities that will help him learn how to live a fulfilling life without drugs or alcohol. Contact us today to speak to an admissions counselor.

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