Healing PTSD: Trauma-Based Treatment for Veterans

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects many people who have experienced trauma. Among those most impacted are veterans, who often face higher rates of PTSD compared to civilians. For many vets, trauma-based treatment can help in overcoming the challenges of this condition.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. These events can threaten your physical or emotional well-being, leaving psychological scars. People with PTSD can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Intrusive memories
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Being overly alert
  • Avoidance behavior

Veterans, in particular, face higher rates of PTSD compared to civilians. This has to do with the difficulties of military service, including exposure to combat, deployment stress, and the constant risk of danger. According to 2021 research by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), approximately 10 percent of male veterans and 19 percent of female veterans in VA care were diagnosed with PTSD.

That said, PTSD is not limited to the veteran population. Statistics show:

  • Around 13 million individuals in American are dealing with PTSD at any given time
  • Roughly one in thirteen Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives

Can Trauma-Based Treatment Help Veterans?

Trauma therapy can offer hope to veterans dealing with the long-lasting effects of PTSD. This type of trauma treatment and counseling is designed to address the underlying traumas that fuel PTSD symptoms. Unlike traditional therapies that focus on symptom management, trauma-based treatment goes deeper. It’s meant to assist you in understanding and fitting your traumatic experiences into your own life story.

Military trauma treatment can help veterans make sense of tough memories and emotions. In a safe and supportive environment, therapists help vets challenge negative beliefs about themselves and the world, and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Many practitioners who work with veterans have a deep understanding of military culture and the unique challenges faced by those who have served.

Trauma-based treatment involves a variety of therapies, each tailored to meet the unique needs of veterans.

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Therapies for Healing Trauma

When it comes to healing trauma, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, a variety of evidence-based therapies offer veterans options to address their unique experiences. Common trauma therapy techniques include:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    EMDR helps you process traumatic memories and emotions. During EMDR sessions, a therapist will help you recall distressing memories while engaging in bilateral stimulation. For example, following the therapist’s hand movements or listening to alternating sounds. This process helps rewire the brain’s response to trauma, reducing the emotional charge associated with traumatic memories and promoting healing.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    CBT is a widely used therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with trauma. Through structured exercises, you learn to challenge distorted beliefs about themselves and the world, develop effective coping strategies, and gradually confront their fears.
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
    PE sessions repeatedly expose you to reminders of the traumatic event, such as recounting the memory aloud or revisiting locations associated with the trauma. Over time, this exposure reduces the emotional distress associated with it.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
    CPT helps you challenge and reframe negative beliefs about yourself and the world around you that resulted from the trauma. Through structured exercises and discussions, you learn to identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns and develop new perspectives.
  • Group Therapy
    Group therapy gives veterans a supportive environment to connect with others who have experienced similar traumas, share their experiences, and learn from one another.
  • Veteran Addiction Therapy
    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the most common addiction among veterans. Veteran addiction therapy is particularly helpful for those dealing with co-occurring disorders.

In addition to individual therapy, vets may participate in activities like mindfulness exercises or art therapy.

Are Medications Used to Treat Trauma?

While trauma therapy remains the heart of treatment, medications can help manage symptoms and improve overall functioning, making therapy more effective.

Common Medications for Trauma

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are a class of antidepressant medications commonly prescribed to treat PTSD. These medications, which include sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and fluoxetine (Prozac), increase serotonin in the brain, thereby improving mood, reducing anxiety, and reliving symptoms of PTSD.
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs, such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta) increase levels of serotonin in the brain while also targeting norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter involved in stress response. This dual action helps regulate mood and reduce symptoms of PTSD.
  • Prazosin: Prazosin is a medication primarily used to treat high blood pressure, but it has also been shown to reduce nightmares and improve sleep quality in PTSD sufferers. By blocking the effects of adrenaline, prazosin helps reduce the frequency and intensity of nightmares associated with trauma.
  • Atypical Antipsychotics: In some cases, atypical antipsychotic medications, such as quetiapine (Seroquel) or risperidone (Risperdal), may be prescribed to address agitation, irritability, or dissociation associated with PTSD.
  • Benzodiazepines: While benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax) or clonazepam (Klonopin), may provide short-term relief from anxiety symptoms, they are generally not recommended for long-term use in PTSD. Benzodiazepines carry a risk of dependence, tolerance, and worsening of PTSD symptoms over time, making them less suitable for long-term treatment.
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Trauma-Based Treatment for Veterans at Aliya Health Group

At Aliya Health Group, we understand veterans have unique needs when it comes to PTSD treatment. That’s why we developed the Valor program, which offers trauma-focused, evidence-based treatment for veterans and first responders. As one of our specialty treatment program tracks, our veterans program offers specialized care within a supportive and understanding recovery community.

Your treatment team will include military personnel, veterans, and retired first responders who understand the unique experiences of the service. All veterans program staff are trained in military culture sensitivity and trauma. This allows us to provide specialized behavioral therapy and treatment for PTSD, substance abuse, and other mental health issues commonly experienced by veterans. 

Some of our treatment services for veterans include:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Psychiatric medication management
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Holistic and wellness services
  • Psychoeducation
  • Life skills training
  • Community integration

Do you know a veteran with PTSD? Are you looking for effective treatment for yourself? We offer PTSD treatment for veterans that can help treat combat stress. We’re here to answer any of your questions about our Valor program for PTSD and veteran addiction treatment. PTSD in veteran communities is treatable. Call today for effective treatment for trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and more.

Will an Edible Show Up in a Drug Test?

In recent years, the landscape surrounding marijuana, cannabis, or as it’s commonly referred to, weed, has shifted. With changing attitudes toward purposes, a variety of consumption methods have shown up, including the ever-popular edibles.

But with this newfound popularity comes questions, particularly regarding drug testing. Do edibles show up in drug tests? How long do they stay in your system? Are they addictive? Let’s delve into these questions.

What Are Edibles?

First, it’s worth noting that marijuana, or cannabis, goes by various names depending on cultural and regional factors. Common synonyms include:

  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Herb
  • Ganja
  • Mary Jane
  • Grass
  • Bud

Put simply, marijuana edibles are food products infused with cannabis extracts, typically containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the compound responsible for the “high” sensation associated with marijuana use.

THC edibles come in various forms, ranging from baked goods like brownies and cookies to candies, chocolates, edible gummies, beverages, and even savory snacks. The process of making edibles involves infusing the chosen food item with cannabis extracts, often in the form of cannabis butter or oil. This infusion allows the THC and other cannabinoids to bind with the fats in the food, to distribution evenly throughout it.

One of the reasons why edibles are particularly popular is their discreet nature. Unlike smoking or vaping, which can produce noticeable odors and require specific equipment, edibles resemble ordinary food items. This makes them less obvious and more convenient to enjoy in various settings.

Of course, just like any other ingestion method, eating marijuana edibles can and probably will trigger a drug test. 

Increased Acceptance of Marijuana 

Changing attitudes toward marijuana have changed for both recreational and medicinal uses. The therapeutic benefits of pot have led to its legalization for medical purposes in numerous states and countries. This change in perception has paved the way for the development and regulation of a wide range of cannabis-infused products. With growing market demand and increased accessibility, marijuana edibles have become the go-to for many people.

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Are Edibles Dangerous?

One of the primary concerns people have about edibles is the possibility of overdosing. While it’s true that consuming too much THC can lead to discomfort and unpleasant effects, fatal overdose from marijuana alone is rare. Unlike certain other substances, such as opioids or alcohol, weed doesn’t suppress vital bodily functions like breathing to the point of causing death.

However, it’s important to recognize that consuming extremely high doses of THC, particularly in the form of edibles, can lead to intense psychoactive effects that may be overwhelming and uncomfortable. These effects can include extreme anxiety, paranoia, rapid heart rate, hallucinations, and even temporary psychosis in some cases. While not life-threatening, such experiences can be distressing and may require medical attention to manage symptoms and ensure well-being.

Due to the delayed onset and lasting effects, avoiding certain activities is recommended. Some things that could pose risks to yourself and others include:

Driving a Car: Operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana edibles can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time. This increases the risk of accidents on the road. You should wait until the effects of the edible have fully subsided before getting behind the wheel.

Operating Heavy Machinery: Similarly, operating heavy machinery or engaging in tasks that require concentration and coordination should be avoided while under the influence of edibles. Impaired thinking can increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries in industrial or workplace settings.

Making Important Decisions: Avoid making big decisions or commitments while under the influence of edibles. Impaired judgment and altered perception may affect your ability to assess situations accurately and make sound choices.

Going to Work or School: Depending on the potency and duration of the edible’s effects, it may be advisable to refrain from attending work or school. Attempting to function in a professional or educational setting while under the influence can impair productivity, performance, and interpersonal interactions.

Mixing with Other Substances: Combining edibles with alcohol or other drugs can increase the effects of both as well as the risk of bad reactions or overdose. It’s essential to use caution and moderation when consuming edibles and avoid mixing them with other substances.

How Long Do Edibles Last?

Many people wonder how long edibles stay in your system and will an edible show up in drug test results. Several factors can influence how long edibles stay in your system, including:

Dosage: Higher doses of THC in edibles may result in longer-lasting effects and a more extended detection window in drug tests.

Frequency of Use: Chronic or heavy use of edibles can lead to the accumulation of THC metabolites in fat cells, prolonging the detection window in drug tests.

Individual Metabolism: Metabolic rate, body weight, and overall health can affect how quickly your body processes and eliminates THC from your system.

Product Potency: The potency of the edible product, measured in milligrams of THC per serving, can influence both the intensity and duration of effects.

Detection in Drug Tests: How long do edibles show up in drug tests? On average, THC metabolites can be detected in urine for up to 1-7 days after consumption. Occasional edible users typically clear THC from their system more quickly than frequent or heavy users. If you take an edible, there’s a good chance a drug test will detect cannabis. Almost any recreational amount of THC can trigger a positive test. This includes hair follicle tests and urine tests.

Some people who use marijuana daily or close to that may find it takes up to a month or longer to remove all of the drugs from their system. 

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Is Marijuana Addictive?

While weed is not considered physically addictive in the same way as substances like opioids or alcohol, it is possible to develop a psychological dependence on it. This means that some individuals may experience cravings and a compulsive desire to use marijuana despite negative consequences in various areas of life.

The addictive potential of marijuana is thought to be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Neurobiology: THC acts on the brain’s reward system, triggering the release of dopamine, increasing pleasure and reinforcement. Over time, repeated exposure to THC can lead to changes in the brain’s reward circuitry, potentially contributing to addictive behaviors.
  • Genetics: Genetic factors may play a role in predisposing certain individuals to develop problematic marijuana use patterns. Variations in genes related to the brain’s reward system and cannabinoid receptors may influence the possibility of addiction.
  • Environmental and Psychological Factors: Stress, trauma, peer influence, and availability of marijuana can also contribute to the development of addictive behaviors. Additionally, individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety, may be at greater risk of developing problematic marijuana use.

If you’re struggling with problematic pot use, it’s important to seek support and treatment. Behavioral therapies, support groups, and counseling can help you develop coping strategies, find underlying issues contributing to addiction, and build a supportive network of peers.

Drug Addiction Treatment at Aliya Health Group

If you or someone you know is struggling with the symptoms of weed withdrawal, Aliya Health Group is ready to help.

There are various treatment options available, including:

  • Partial-care programs
  • Inpatient / residential treatment programs
  • Outpatient programs
  • Aftercare programs

Throughout the drug addiction treatment, you’ll work with a dedicated group of counselors, medical professionals, and other recovery specialists who can help you stop eating edibles. This team is trained to evaluate your symptoms and guide you toward a program that’ll help you refrain from using weed in the future.  If you smoke cannabis, it can remain in your system for quite some time. While a THC gummy or any cannabis product may seem safe, you very well may fail a drug test. Programs like dual diagnosis treatment, outpatient treatment, dialectical behavior therapy, medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, individual therapy, group therapy, expressive arts therapy, sober living, and more can help those who are ready to recover. Don’t smoke weed anymore with help from a recovery center.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug counseling programs and how we can help. A treatment center with treatment programs for cannabis edibles can help you. Our rehab centers for drug and alcohol abuse have unique levels of care and behavioral health programs to help. Call today and verify insurance information which can cover the cost of rehab. Stop your edibles consumption and start your recovery today!

The 12 Steps of NA for Beginners: Your Guide to Success

Following addiction treatment, many struggle to maintain their sobriety. If that’s you, then the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) might be the beacon of hope you’ve been searching for. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what NA is, delve into the 12 steps of NA, offer tips for completion, and shed light on additional avenues for assistance.

What Is Narcotics Anonymous (NA)?

Narcotics Anonymous, often abbreviated as NA, is a support group for individuals grappling with drug addiction. It’s more than just an organization—it’s a lifeline for those seeking recovery and redemption from the clutches of substance abuse. But what exactly is NA, and how does it operate?

At its core, Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based fellowship dedicated to assisting individuals in overcoming narcotics addiction. Unlike traditional treatment programs, NA relies on the power of peer support and shared experiences to foster healing and growth. It’s a place where individuals can come together in solidarity, free from judgment, to find solace, strength, and guidance on their journey to sobriety.

The origins of NA can be traced back to the founding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s. As AA gained traction and recognition for its groundbreaking 12-step recovery model, individuals grappling with narcotics addiction saw the need for a similar support system tailored to their specific struggles. Thus, Narcotics Anonymous was born—a sister organization to AA, founded on the same principles of fellowship, mutual aid, and spiritual growth.

NA meetings can be found in communities worldwide, spanning continents and cultures. These meetings take place in a variety of settings, including churches, community centers, and even virtual spaces. What sets NA apart is its grassroots nature—all meetings are run by volunteers who are themselves in recovery, emphasizing the principle of “one addict helping another.”

At the heart of NA lies the 12-step recovery model, a guiding framework for personal transformation and spiritual awakening. Adapted from the original 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, these principles serve as a roadmap for individuals seeking to break free from the grip of addiction and reclaim their lives. From admitting powerlessness over addiction to making amends and carrying the message to others, each step represents a crucial stage of the journey toward sobriety and self-discovery.

But NA is more than just a program—it’s a community, a family, and a source of unwavering support for those in need. It’s a testament to the power of connection and compassion in the face of adversity, offering hope where there was once despair and a path forward where all seemed lost.

In essence, Narcotics Anonymous is a beacon of light in the darkness of addiction, a lifeline for those who dare to dream of a better tomorrow. Through fellowship, faith, and the unwavering commitment to one another, NA stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless potential for recovery and renewal.

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What Are the 12 Steps of NA?

The 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) represent a transformative journey toward recovery from drug addiction. These steps serve as a roadmap for individuals seeking to break free from the cycle of substance abuse and embrace a life of sobriety, spirituality, and personal growth. Let’s delve into each step, exploring what it entails and what is required in each phase of the journey.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

The first step is about acknowledging the grip that addiction has on our lives. It requires a humble acceptance of our powerlessness over drugs. It’s recognizing that our lives have become chaotic and unmanageable as a result.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

In the second step, we open ourselves to the possibility of a higher power—a force beyond our own understanding—that can guide us toward healing and restoration. It’s about cultivating faith and trust in something greater than ourselves to help us find clarity and sanity amidst the chaos of addiction.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step three involves surrendering our will and ego to a higher power, as we understand it. It’s an act of relinquishing control and placing our faith in a spiritual principle to guide our actions and decisions moving forward.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

The fourth step is a thorough self-examination—a fearless inventory of our past behaviors, actions, and motivations. It requires honesty, introspection, and a willingness to confront the shadows lurking within ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step five is about owning up to our past mistakes and wrongdoings. It involves confessing our shortcomings and character defects to a higher power, ourselves, and another trusted individual—a process that fosters accountability, humility, and the courage to seek forgiveness and redemption.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

In the sixth step, we build toward letting go of our character defects and shortcomings, trusting in the transformative power of a higher power to guide us toward personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step seven is a prayer for divine intervention. It’s an earnest request for our higher power to help us shed the burdens of our past and lead us toward a brighter future. It’s an act of humility, surrender, and trust in the process of spiritual healing.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

In the eighth step, we take inventory of the harm we’ve caused others as a result of our addiction. We compile a list of individuals we’ve wronged and cultivate a genuine willingness to make amends and seek forgiveness for our past actions.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step nine involves taking concrete action to make amends for the harm we’ve inflicted on others. It requires humility, sincerity, and a commitment to repairing the damage done, while also respecting the well-being of those we’ve harmed.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

The tenth step is about maintaining ongoing self-awareness and accountability. It involves regularly assessing our thoughts, actions, and behaviors, and promptly admitting when we’ve veered off course. It’s a practice of honesty, humility, and continual growth.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step eleven emphasizes the importance of spiritual connection and mindfulness. It encourages us to cultivate a deeper relationship with our higher power through prayer, meditation, and reflection, seeking guidance and strength to align our actions with divine will.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The final step is about embracing the transformative power of the 12-step journey and paying it forward. It involves sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling with addiction. It’s about embodying the principles of recovery in all aspects of our lives. It’s a commitment to service, compassion, and the ongoing pursuit of spiritual growth.

While each step presents its own unique challenges and opportunities for growth, steps 1, 4, and 9 tend to be the most difficult to navigate for many NA members. Having dedication and willingness is key.

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How to Complete All 12 Steps of NA

Completing all 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a profound journey of self-discovery, healing, and spiritual growth. While the process may seem daunting at first, with dedication, support, and a willingness to embrace change, you can navigate each step and become transformed. Here are some tips that can help.

Take it One Step at a Time: Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Approach each step with patience and mindfulness, focusing on the present moment rather than overwhelming yourself with the entire process. Remember, progress is made one step at a time.

Seek Support: Don’t go it alone. Lean on your fellow NA members, sponsors, and supportive friends and family members for guidance, encouragement, and accountability. Sharing your struggles and triumphs with others who understand can provide invaluable support and motivation.

Be Honest and Open-minded: Honesty is the cornerstone of recovery. Be willing to confront your past mistakes, fears, and shortcomings with brutal honesty and vulnerability. Embrace open-mindedness and be receptive to new ideas, perspectives, and ways of thinking that may challenge your beliefs and behaviors.

Work with a Sponsor: A sponsor is a trusted mentor and guide who has walked the path of recovery before you. They offer wisdom, support, and accountability as you navigate the 12 steps. Choose a sponsor who you respect, trust, and feel comfortable opening up to, and be willing to follow their guidance and suggestions.

Practice Self-Compassion: Recovery is a journey of self-discovery and growth, and it’s okay to stumble along the way. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend facing similar challenges. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and forgive yourself for setbacks.

Attend Meetings Regularly: Regular attendance at NA meetings provides a vital source of support, inspiration, and connection with others in recovery. Make a commitment to attend meetings consistently, even when you don’t feel like it, and actively participate by sharing your experiences, listening to others, and contributing to the fellowship.

Practice Spiritual Principles: The 12 steps of NA are rooted in spiritual principles such as honesty, humility, acceptance, and service. Incorporate these principles into your daily life through prayer, meditation, acts of kindness, and service to others. Cultivate a deeper connection with your higher power, whatever that may be for you, and trust in its guidance and wisdom.

Who Else Offers Help for Drug Addiction?

While NA provides invaluable support for individuals in recovery, it’s not the only resource available. Treatment centers offer comprehensive programs tailored to address the unique needs of individuals struggling with addiction. These programs may include:

Detoxification: Medical detoxification programs provide a safe and supervised environment for individuals to withdraw from drugs or alcohol under medical supervision.

Therapy: Various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing, can help individuals address underlying issues contributing to their addiction and develop coping strategies for maintaining sobriety.

Support Groups: In addition to NA, there are numerous support groups and organizations dedicated to helping individuals in recovery, such as SMART Recovery and Celebrate Recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders effectively.

Drug Addiction Treatment at Aliya Health Group

Through an Aliya Health Group rehab program, you can access the comprehensive support you need to embark on the journey to recovery with confidence and determination. Our drug treatment centers provide a full continuum of care for opioid treatment. Our integrated approach to alcohol abuse treatment offers both evidence-based and holistic recovery practices. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you learn more about 12-step programs and mutual support groups for addiction therapy.

We can also help with insurance verification, finding meetings near you, and any questions you may have about AA and NA or addiction recovery in general. Alcohol and drug recovery is possible, our behavioral health and dual diagnosis treatment center can help.

Am I Enabling a Loved One’s Mental Illness?

Mental health is an important part of overall well-being, yet it’s often misunderstood and stigmatized. When a loved one faces mental health challenges, it can be tough to know how to support them effectively. Sometimes, our actions, though well-meaning, might unintentionally contribute to their struggles. That means enabling a loved one’s mental illness is indeed possible. 

Here, we explore the concepts of enabling and empowering mental illness and discuss strategies to help our loved ones navigate their mental health.

How Common Are Mental Health Disorders?

Mental health disorders include a wide range of conditions, each with its own unique symptoms and challenges. These disorders can significantly impact an individual’s ability to function in daily life and their overall quality of life.

Today, mental health disorders are widespread, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Statistics and mental health data reveal that approximately one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness each year.

Among the most common mental health disorders are:

  • Depression: persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in activities once enjoyed. It can impair concentration, sleep patterns, and overall functioning, leading to difficulties in daily life.
  • Anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, involve excessive worry, fear, and apprehension. These conditions can cause significant distress and interfere with an individual’s ability to manage everyday tasks and social interactions.
  • Bipolar disorder: involves extreme mood swings, ranging from periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) to episodes of depression. These mood fluctuations can disrupt individuals’ relationships, work performance, and overall stability.
  • Schizophrenia: a severe mental illness characterized by distorted thinking, hallucinations, and delusions. It can make you feel like you’re losing your mind, affecting your perception of reality and making it difficult to function independently and maintain social connections.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): develops in response to a traumatic event, leading to symptoms such as intrusive memories, flashbacks, and emotional numbness. These symptoms can significantly impact individuals’ daily functioning and quality of life, affecting their ability to engage in activities and form meaningful relationships.

These major mental health disorders represent only a fraction of the diverse range of conditions individuals may experience. Each disorder presents its unique challenges and requires tailored interventions and support. Working with a mental health recovery center is often the best way to turn things around. 

Enabling Mental Illness vs. Empowering

It’s important to understand the distinction between enabling and empowering individuals facing mental illness when attempting to provide support.

Enabling a mental illness involves doing things, on purpose or by accident, that make someone’s mental health problems even harder to deal with. It often comes from well-meaning intentions but can reinforce negative patterns or detract from the individual’s progress toward recovery. Examples of enabling mental illness include:

  • Making excuses for a loved one’s absence from social gatherings due to anxiety, thereby reinforcing avoidance behaviors.
  • Providing financial support without addressing underlying issues contributing to substance abuse.
  • Avoid discussions about a loved one’s depression or anxiety to prevent discomfort. This neglects open communication and support.

Empowering someone with a mental illness involves giving them support and encouragement that helps them feel more independent, capable, and happy. It focuses on resilience, healthy coping mechanisms, and helping the person to take an active role in managing their mental health. Empowerment emphasizes:

  • Balance of collaboration and independence
  • Validation of the individual’s experiences
  • Self-advocacy
  • Creating an environment that encourages growth and positive change

Empowerment differs from enabling in that it focuses on long-term well-being and personal growth rather than short-term relief or avoidance of discomfort. While enabling may offer temporary relief of symptoms or stress, empowerment addresses the root causes of mental health struggles. It equips individuals with the tools and support needed to face challenges effectively.

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How to Help a Loved One with a Mental Health Disorder

Supporting a loved one who is struggling with a mental health disorder can be challenging. Here are several ways to offer meaningful assistance and support:

  1. Educate Yourself

Take the time to educate yourself about your loved one’s specific mental health disorder. Google positive facts about mental health. Learn about symptoms, triggers, and available treatment options. Understanding their condition can help you provide informed support and empathize with their experiences.

  1. Encourage Professional Treatment

Most of us don’t know how to fix mental illness. That’s why one of the most important ways to help a loved one with a mental health disorder is to encourage them to seek professional treatment. This may involve connecting them with a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or other mental health professionals. Be supportive and understanding throughout the process, as seeking treatment can be scary for many individuals.

  1. Be a Supportive Listener

Create a safe and non-judgmental space for your loved one to express their thoughts and feelings. Practice active listening by paying attention to what they are saying without interrupting or offering unsolicited advice. Show support for their emotions and experiences, and let them know that you are there to help them unconditionally.

  1. Offer Practical Support

Assist your loved one with practical tasks that may feel overwhelming for them. This could include helping with household chores, running errands, or providing transportation to appointments. By lightening their load, you can alleviate stress and show your support in tangible ways.

  1. Encourage Self-Care

Encourage your loved one to prioritize self-care activities that improve mental and emotional well-being. This could include regular exercise, practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques, maintaining a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. Offer to participate in self-care activities together or provide gentle reminders to prioritize self-care when needed.

  1. Respect Their Boundaries

Respect your loved one’s boundaries and avoid pressuring them to share more than they are comfortable with. Let them know that you are there to support them whenever they are ready to talk, but also give them space when needed. Avoid pushing them to open up or discuss their mental health issues in public settings without their consent.

  1. Be Patient and Understanding

Recovery from a mental health disorder is often a journey with ups and downs. Be patient and understanding, and avoid placing unrealistic expectations on your loved one. Celebrate their progress, no matter how small, and offer reassurance and encouragement during difficult times. Let them know that you are there for them every step of the way.

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Mental Health Disorder Treatment at Aliya

At Aliya Health Group, our approach to mental health treatment places compassion and dignity at the forefront so you can heal safely and comfortably.  Our goal is to work with you to develop a mental health treatment plan tailored to your specific situation. We use evidence-based psychotherapies and holistic practices in our healing approach. 

Our outpatient psychiatric care services are designed to offer you the necessary support to understand and overcome a mental health disorder. The outpatient treatment format allows you to maintain your daily routine and responsibilities. Our recovery approach incorporates medications and other pharmacological treatments for a well-rounded treatment plan. This ensures you receive comprehensive and effective mental health therapy throughout your time in treatment.

Our inpatient mental health treatment involves staying at a facility 24/7 while participating in intensive programming. This level of care provides round-the-clock monitoring, support, and a structured environment to address mental health concerns effectively. The benefits of inpatient mental health treatment include:

  • Medication management and medical monitoring
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Individual and group counseling sessions
  • Workshops and wellness skill-building
  • Structured daily routine and healthy environment

With a comprehensive mental health evaluation, we can help you start your journey to living a happier, healthier life. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with a mental health disorder, contact us today.

Addiction Aftercare: The Value of Building a Support Community

Completing an addiction treatment program is a wonderful thing. It means you’ve taken the necessary steps to end a substance abuse problem with help from qualified counselors. You created a plan alongside your treatment team and stuck to it throughout recovery. You participated in therapy sessions with your treatment provider and in group settings. You underwent the many evidence-based and holistic offerings needed to reach your goal. But, now what? The answer is addiction aftercare.

One of the many misconceptions about recovery is that once your program is complete, there’s no need to actively work on sobriety any longer. That unfortunate line of thinking has led some to return to patterns of substance abuse and unhealthy behavior. Addiction aftercare is a key element in sustained sobriety as it offers opportunities for peer and professional support, further education on addiction and its dangers, and a comforting sense of community so you know you aren’t alone on this journey.

Aliya Health Group offers comprehensive aftercare services for addiction and mental health disorders. If you’re wondering how aftercare can aid in sober living, take it from our alumni staff who see the power of continued care on a daily basis.

What Is Aftercare and How Does it Help?   

Aftercare involves ongoing addiction treatment support and services that people receive after completing inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. It is an essential component of the recovery process and aims to help individuals maintain their sobriety, prevent relapse, and build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle. While you don’t attend treatment as often, aftercare may still involve regular check-ins with your case manager and treatment team. The goal is to help teach relapse prevention strategies and develop life skills that can empower individuals to maintain their sobriety.

Some key highlights of aftercare may include:

  • Continuing counseling sessions both individually and within a group
  • Attending recovery support group meetings
  • Transitioning to a sober living home
  • Establishing a support system you can rely on in the face of triggers
  • Relapse prevention strategy and life skills building

One of the most important features of aftercare is attending recovery support meetings. Participation in support groups, such as 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provides a sense of community, accountability, and ongoing peer support. Aftercare is tailored to each individual’s unique needs and circumstances. It recognizes that recovery is an ongoing process, and support is crucial for individuals to navigate the challenges of maintaining a sober lifestyle.

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Who Helps With Aftercare Planning?

Like with recovery as a whole, having the right people helping you out with aftercare can make all the difference. Those in recovery are often assigned a case manager who is a comprehensive resource for all things treatment-related. Your case manager is with you throughout every step of treatment. Their goal is to guide you through the process and onto a brighter future. The process is a collaborative one, however. According to Footprints to Recovery alumni and case manager Andrew Matthews, clients need to take an active role in the process to succeed.

“Clients are as involved in the aftercare process as their case manager. My role is to provide resources for anything the client is interested in. If they need a primary care provider, recovery coach, therapist, or continued care at a different facility, I will research and make calls or fill out applications together,” Andrew said.

Being involved in the aftercare process means everyone can choose the treatment plan that best suits their needs. Your case manager can help you find meetings or groups that occur when you’re available. That way you don’t have to worry about fitting aftercare into your life, but rather engage in aftercare that compliments your life and schedule. 

A Case Manager Who Cares

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment option when it comes to addiction. That’s why case managers are so vital to the process. In collaborating with both your case manager and your treatment team, you can create a recovery plan using the therapies and treatments available. Everyone’s plan is unique. It takes into account your situation, experiences, and preferences to create an addiction recovery plan that is uniquely yours.

From helping with things like job applications to locating support groups, your case manager provides information and education on addiction, treatment options, and available resources. They deal with both treatment-centered situations, but also more practical ones like securing transportation to meetings, finding sober housing, or getting you prepared for an employment interview. The more a case manager can assist with, the more time and energy you’ll have to focus on continued sobriety.

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The Benefits of a Support Community in Aftercare

While it may not be a diagnosable mental health condition, feeling alone can do a lot of harm to someone’s recovery. Addiction relapse often leads to isolation as some withdraw from friends and family due to shame or fear of judgment. Being part of a community provides people who have completed recovery with a network of similar peers who understand their struggle. This social support helps during challenging times, providing encouragement and understanding.

For Andrew, his experience in recovery aftercare led to a sense of purpose and belonging. When helping others make positive changes in their life, Andrew understands that removing feelings of loneliness goes a long way.

“I believe a sense of community is very important. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who have been through what you are going through can make all the difference. I truly believe that finding somewhere you feel like you belong can lead to finding your purpose. With a strong community and purpose, anything is possible,” he said.

Building your support system for aftercare means always having someone available when triggers happen, or when life gets difficult. A friendly, supportive peer or counselor is just a call away when you feel the urge to ignore your progress in recovery and make poor decisions. It’s just one of the advantages of taking the time to set up an aftercare plan with your treatment provider. If you’d like to learn more about all the options for aftercare, contact our admissions team today!


What Happens at a Methadone Detox Center?

Methadone detox centers play an important role in helping individuals struggling with opioid addiction. These facilities provide specialized care and support to help you safely transition off methadone and onto the path of recovery. What is methadone and how does a methadone detox center help?

What Is a Methadone Detox Center?

Methadone is a medication used to treat those with a confirmed diagnosis of opioid use disorder. It works by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for people to stop using opioids, like heroin or prescription painkillers. Taken daily, it is available in liquid, powder, and diskette forms. Methadone is only available through authorized clinics and healthcare providers. You can’t buy methadone online or at emergency clinics because it’s a controlled substance.

A methadone detox center is a place where people struggling with addiction to opioids can get help. During treatment, doctors and nurses supervise the process of reducing methadone doses gradually. This helps to minimize withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process safer and more comfortable. The goal is to help you become free from methadone dependence and start a journey toward recovery from opioid addiction.

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Is Methadone Dangerous?

Methadone is safe and effective when taken as prescribed. The dose is customized for each patient, and it’s often adjusted and readjusted throughout the detox process. Using methadone in any way other than prescribed can result in unintentional overdose.

Many people wonder, “How long does methadone stay in your system?” When prescribed for pain, a dose of methadone lasts four to eight hours. When prescribed for medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, the effects can last 24–48 hours. Even after the effects of the drug wear off, the ingredients remain in the body for much longer. Methadone can remain in urine for up to 14 days following the last dose.

Another risk of methadone is the potential for addiction. Some people may become reliant on methadone to function normally, which can lead to long-term health issues and difficulties stopping the medication. Others mix it with other drugs or alcohol, which can lead to serious complications and even a deadly overdose. Other medications may interact with methadone and cause heart conditions, which is why professional supervision is so important.

Methadone Overdose Symptoms

It’s important to keep the side effects of methadone in mind, as some of them may indicate an emergency. Methadone overdose symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Hives or a rash; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Chest pain
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Hallucinations or confusion

Overall, while methadone can help treat opioid addiction when used as directed by a doctor, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions to avoid them.

What Are the Signs of Methadone Addiction?

Recognizing the signs of methadone addiction can make the difference in helping yourself or someone you love to overcome it. Some of the most common signs of addiction include:

  • Persistent Cravings: Feeling a strong urge or desire to use methadone, even when it’s not necessary for pain relief or treatment.
  • Increased Tolerance: Needing higher doses of methadone to achieve the same effects as before. This can indicate that the body has become accustomed to the drug and requires more to produce the desired result.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing physical or psychological symptoms when methadone use is stopped or reduced. These symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
  • Focus on Obtaining Methadone: Spending a significant amount of time and effort obtaining methadone, thinking about using it, or planning how to get more.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Prioritizing methadone use over responsibilities at work, school, or home. This may result in neglecting duties, missing deadlines, or failing to fulfill obligations.
  • Social Isolation: Withdrawing from friends, family, and social activities in favor of spending time alone or with other individuals who use drugs.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Continuing to use methadone despite experiencing negative consequences, such as legal problems, financial difficulties, or strained relationships.

If you or someone you know is showing methadone addiction symptoms, seek help from a healthcare professional or addiction specialist.

Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol on Methadone?

Combining methadone and alcohol can have dangerous consequences. Both methadone and alcohol depress the central nervous system. Combining them can cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. It can also slow down your breathing and heart rate, which can be life-threatening, especially if you take high doses of methadone or drink a lot of alcohol.

Alcohol can also worsen the mental and emotional side effects of methadone, such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings. It can also impair your judgment and decision-making abilities, making it harder to think clearly and make safe choices. Drinking alcohol during methadone detox can interfere with the process and make it harder to successfully stop using methadone. It can also increase the risk of relapse and overdose, as alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to use other drugs.

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of methadone treatment, avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs is a must.

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What Is Methadone Detox Like?

For someone going through methadone detox, it can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience. They may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

During methadone detox, the dose of methadone is gradually reduced under the supervision of doctors and nurses. This helps to lessen withdrawal symptoms and increase your comfort during detox. The exact tapering schedule will depend on factors including your dosage, how long you’ve been taking it, and your overall health.

The length of methadone detox can vary from person to person. It may take several days to a few weeks to complete the process, depending on individual circumstances. With the support of healthcare professionals and loved ones, they can successfully navigate the detox process and begin their journey to recovery.

Methadone Addiction Treatment at Aliya Health Group   

At Aliya Health Group, we offer medically assisted treatment programs that build the solid foundation you need to end your opioid addiction and avoid a relapse. Our evidence-based approach uses three main components: medicationcounseling, and behavior therapy.

While undergoing methadone detox, you may receive:

  • Individual, group, and/or family counseling
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)

Working together, each component of our program will help you fight cravings, learn healthy coping skills, and rebuild your self-worth. Our team of detox counselors is available around the clock to ensure you’re following the process and taking the right steps toward recovery.

If you’ve searched for “methadone doctors near me,” you’ve found your partner in your journey toward sobriety. To learn more about our medication-assisted treatment programs and how you can take the next step toward an opioid-free life, contact us today.

What Are the Benefits of Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy?

Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that can cast a shadow over one’s life. It can affect emotional well-being, relationships, and overall quality of life. Whether caused by a single traumatic event or prolonged exposure to negative circumstances, the impact of trauma can last for years. One of the most effective forms of treatment to address the challenges that arise is trauma-informed expressive arts therapy. Creative arts can help relieve traumatic stress, improve someone’s sense of safety, and bolster the trauma-healing process. The mental health professionals at Aliya Health Group can offer trauma-informed care to heal mental illness and improve creative expression. 

What Is Expressive Arts Therapy?

Expressive arts therapy is a form of counseling that taps into the creative process to promote healing and emotional well-being. Unlike traditional therapy where talking is the main focus, expressive arts therapy encourages individuals to express themselves through various art forms such as drawing, painting, music, dance, and writing. It’s especially helpful to people who aren’t able to articulate their feelings with words alone.

During sessions, trained professionals called expressive arts therapists guide individuals through the creative process in a supportive and non-judgmental manner. Our therapists follow the best trauma-informed practices for creative arts therapies. 

Expressive arts therapy serves a wide range of purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Emotional expression: It provides a safe outlet for individuals to express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences, which may be difficult to articulate verbally.
  • Self-exploration: Through the process of creating art, individuals can explore and gain insight into their inner world, uncovering subconscious thoughts and feelings.
  • Stress release: Engaging in creative activities can help reduce stress and support relaxation by providing a break from the challenges of daily life.
  • Healing trauma: Art trauma therapy is helpful with the effects of trauma on the body and mind. It helps people process traumatic experiences, release pent-up emotions, and work toward recovery. After childhood, trauma art activities can help individuals express feelings they may not be able to articulate.

The main goal of expressive arts therapy is to promote self-awareness, personal growth, and emotional healing. Rather than focusing on artistic skill or talent, it’s about the process of creation and self-expression. Individuals are encouraged to explore and experiment with different types of art and techniques to tap into natural creativity and intuition. Through this process, individuals can reconnect with themselves, improve coping skills, and develop a deeper understanding of their emotions and experiences.

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What Is Trauma-Informed Expressive Art Therapy?

Trauma-informed expressive art therapy is focused specifically on trauma. This therapeutic approach recognizes the profound impact of trauma on individuals’ lives, including:

  • Generational trauma passed down through families
  • Childhood trauma experienced during formative years
  • Family trauma that affects relationships and dynamics
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, experienced by veterans and many others

Trauma-informed art therapy acknowledges the interconnected nature of trauma and its effects on the body, mind, and spirit. By combining art with a therapeutic process, survivors have a non-verbal way of dealing with traumatic experiences. They can explore their emotions, memories, and reactions to trauma in a way that feels comfortable and empowering.

When taking part in trauma-healing art activities, individuals can bring their internal struggles outward and gain insight into their experiences. Often, the physical sensations, emotional responses, and inaccurate perceptions associated with trauma will bubble up. Meanwhile, the therapist works to build trust with the individual by demonstrating empathy, compassion, and a non-judgmental attitude.

What Are the Different Art Therapy Activities for Trauma?

Art therapy activities for trauma can be tailored to personal preferences and needs. Some of the different types of art commonly used in trauma treatment include:

  • Visual Arts Therapy: Activities like painting, drawing, and sculpture allow individuals to create tangible representations of their inner world. For example, individuals can create a “safe place” collage using magazine cutouts to represent feelings of safety and security.
  • Music Therapy: Music can encourage emotional expression and relaxation. Activities may include listening to music, playing instruments, or composing songs. A simple exercise is to create a playlist of songs that evoke different emotions and reflect on how each song makes you feel.
  • Drama Therapy: Drama therapy uses role-playing, improvisation, and storytelling to explore and process trauma. Participants may reenact traumatic events or create alternative endings to past experiences. In a group setting, individuals can take turns sharing a brief scene from their trauma narrative and explore different ways to rewrite the script.
  • Dance/Movement Therapy: Dance/movement therapy involves using movement and dance to help with self-expression. Activities may include guided movement exercises, dance improvisation, or expressive movement sequences. An example exercise is to use a piece of music to guide a movement exploration, focusing on how different movements relate to different emotions.
  • Creative Writing Therapy: Creative writing therapy allows individuals to express themselves through writing, poetry, and storytelling. Activities may include journaling, free writing, or guided writing prompts. A group exercise is to create a collective poem or story where each participant contributes a line or paragraph based on a shared theme or prompt.
  • Journaling: Journaling is a form of self-expression that can be done individually or in a group setting. Individuals can write about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to trauma, using prompts or freewriting to guide their reflections. An example prompt is to write a letter to your younger self, offering words of comfort and encouragement.
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What Other Trauma Treatment Options Are There?

In addition to trauma-informed expressive arts therapy, there are several evidence-based treatment options available. These treatments are grounded in research and are effective in addressing the symptoms and underlying causes of trauma. Let’s explore some of these options:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapeutic approach that helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with trauma. Through structured sessions, individuals learn coping skills to manage distressing symptoms and improve their overall well-being.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a specialized form of therapy that helps individuals process traumatic memories by stimulating bilateral brain activity through eye movements, taps, or sounds. This helps individuals reprocess traumatic experiences, reducing their emotional intensity and negative impact.
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): TF-CBT is specifically designed for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. It integrates elements of CBT with trauma-focused interventions to help young individuals process their experiences, regulate their emotions, and develop coping skills.
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises can help individuals cultivate present-moment awareness and self-compassion. More relaxation and less stress are helpful in the face of trauma.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy explores the unconscious patterns and conflicts that contribute to trauma-related symptoms. By examining past experiences and relationships, individuals can gain insight into their present difficulties.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to decrease symptoms of trauma such as depression, anxiety, or sleep disturbances. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers are commonly used to manage these symptoms and improve overall functioning.

It’s important to note that not all treatments may be suitable for every individual, and a personalized approach is often necessary to address the unique needs and preferences of each person. Additionally, therapy may be provided in individual, group, or family settings, depending on the nature and context of the trauma.

Expressive Arts Therapy for Trauma at Aliya Health Group

Trauma-informed expressive arts therapy is just one piece of the larger puzzle of trauma treatment. At Aliya Health Group, we provide specialized trauma-informed care that addresses all of the comorbid issues clients bring with them into rehab. Depending on your specific needs, we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that includes trauma-focused approaches and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders.

This personalized, trauma-informed approach is provided in a safe and supportive atmosphere found in our treatment facilities. Here, you can heal from your experiences surrounded by compassionate, empathetic clinicians. Through our evidence-based therapies and customized treatment plans, we strive to help you overcome any obstacles and improve your overall well-being.

Ultimately, the journey toward healing from trauma is not a one-way street. Whether you’re a trauma survivor embarking on your healing journey or the loved one of someone who is, we can help you rebuild your life and thrive in the aftermath of difficult experiences. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

Is Gender-Specific Rehab Right for Me?

Embarking on the journey to recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is a courageous step, one that requires careful consideration and planning. Substance abuse treatment comes in many forms. Not every addiction treatment program is going to offer the same therapies. With many options available, finding the right rehab program can feel overwhelming. One approach that’s gaining recognition for its potential effectiveness is gender-specific rehab.

What Is Gender-Specific Rehab?

Rehabilitation, or rehab for short, is a structured program designed to help individuals overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. It typically involves a combination of therapies, counseling, and support groups aimed at addressing the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction. Gender-specific rehab offers a specialized approach to addiction treatment by separating men and women during their recovery process.

According to research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), fundamental biological and cultural differences exist between men and women and addiction. This includes choice of substance, rates of dependence, and how they respond to substance use. Studies also show that women and men have different reasons and circumstances for substance use, which result in relapse. Gender-specific treatment programs are sensitive to all of these issues.

In traditional rehab settings, men and women may undergo treatment together in a co-ed environment. However, gender-specific rehab takes a different approach by separating individuals based on gender. This means that men and women participate in treatment programs separately, allowing for a more tailored approach to treating their unique needs and experiences with addiction.

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Emphasis on Removing Distractions

By separating men and women during treatment, gender-specific rehab provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can focus on their recovery without distractions or concerns related to gender dynamics. This approach recognizes that men and women may have different experiences with addiction and may benefit from gender-specific therapies and support systems.

Benefits of separating addiction treatment for women and men:

In addition to differences in substance use, men and women also have different expectations and goals from addiction treatment. Gender-specific programs offer multiple benefits for each gender, including:

  • Focus on gender-unique physiological, emotional, and relational issues
  • Increased comfort, trust, and bonding among fellow same-sex individuals
  • Minimized distractions and sexual tension between males and females
  • Groups with open communication about social and cultural pressures

How Does Gender-Specific Rehab Help?

Gender-specific rehab provides several benefits that can contribute to a more effective recovery process. One big advantage is the safe and supportive environment where individuals can feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics without worrying about judgment or discomfort.

By separating men and women during treatment, gender-specific rehab limits distractions that may arise in a co-ed setting. This separation allows males and females to focus more deeply on their recovery journey without the potential pressures or social dynamics that can occur when both genders are present.

Gender-specific treatment programs often incorporate therapy techniques and support systems made for the specific needs and experiences of men and women. This personalized approach recognizes that men and women may have different challenges and triggers related to their addiction. It provides strategies and coping mechanisms that are more relevant and effective for each gender. Your treatment provider should have a substance abuse program that suits your needs.

Women’s Drug Rehab

Women-specific alcohol and drug programs are a good option for some because females have specific needs separate from men. From motherhood and relationships to family life and workplace dynamics, women can let their guard down and communicate in a safe, supportive environment.

Addiction treatment for women is especially helpful for those who’ve experienced trauma. These women may not feel comfortable discussing verbal, physical, or sexual abuse at the hands of a man in a group that includes males. Women can empower each other as they build the life skills needed to lead a successful life after recovery. If you search for “women’s rehab near me,” be sure it offers the treatments and therapies that match your needs.

Men’s Drug Rehab

Men also have their own specific needs when it comes to addiction treatment. Usually, it has to do with male cultural roles and stereotypes. Men often feel wary to enter treatment out of fear of being judged or viewed as weak. Participating in an alcohol and drug rehab for men can help them feel more comfortable and accepted. Men also typically require more time than women to open up and voice their struggles or emotions. In light of this, certain therapy methods tend can be more effective for men than others. For example, men respond better to treatment methods that address specific thought patterns and behaviors rather than self-analysis.

Male sexual abuse, which is often overlooked in traditional treatment settings, is one of the issues addressed in men’s alcohol rehab. This is an extremely sensitive issue for men that can be handled more openly and honestly in a single-gender setting. Men-specific treatment programs provide an understanding environment for men to build friendships and develop a support network for a lasting recovery.

Overall, gender-specific rehab offers a supportive and focused environment where individuals can receive personalized treatment that addresses their unique needs and experiences with addiction. By minimizing distractions and providing tailored support, gender-specific rehab can help individuals achieve lasting sobriety and improve their overall well-being. If you search for “men’s rehab near me,” be sure it offers the treatments and therapies you need.

Are Rehab Programs for Men and Women Different?

While there may be some differences, the core principles of addiction treatment are the same across genders. Both men and women can struggle with substance abuse and face similar challenges in recovery. Therefore, many aspects of rehab programs, such as therapy, support groups, and behavioral interventions, are designed to benefit individuals of any gender.

That said, there may be some differences in why men and women undergo treatment. For example, women may be more likely to experience trauma, relationship issues, or societal pressures that contribute to their addiction. As a result, women’s rehab programs may place greater emphasis on addressing these specific issues through therapy and support services. A gender-responsive approach to the treatment process and recovery for women includes the importance of relationships and family, the prevalence and history of trauma and violence, common patterns of co-occurring disorders, and, when applicable, particular recognition of caregiver responsibilities.

Similarly, men may face challenges related to masculinity, pride, and emotional expression that can impact their recovery journey. Men’s rehab programs may incorporate techniques aimed at addressing these concerns and promoting healthy coping mechanisms.

Despite these differences, the overarching goal of rehab remains the same: to support individuals in achieving long-term sobriety and improving their overall well-being.

Choosing the Best Gender-Specific Rehab Center

When it comes to choosing the best gender-specific rehab center, there are several key factors to consider, ensuring you receive the most effective and personalized treatment for your recovery journey.

  • Accreditation and Licensing: First and foremost, look for a rehab facility that is accredited by reputable organizations and licensed to provide addiction treatment services. Accreditation ensures that the facility meets quality standards and adheres to ethical practices, providing you with the assurance that you’ll receive high-quality care.
  • Specialized Programs: Seek out gender-specific rehab programs that offer tailored treatment plans designed to address the unique needs of men or women. These programs may include gender-specific therapy sessions, support groups, and holistic services that cater to the specific challenges and experiences faced by individuals of your gender.
  • Qualified Staff: Evaluate the qualifications and experience of the rehab center’s staff, including therapists, counselors, and medical professionals. A multidisciplinary team with expertise in addiction treatment and gender-specific care can provide comprehensive support throughout your recovery journey, ensuring that you receive the personalized care and attention you need.
  • Continuum of Care: Consider whether the rehab center offers a continuum of care, including detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient programs, and aftercare services. A comprehensive treatment approach ensures continuity of care and support as you transition through different stages of recovery, setting you up for long-term success in maintaining sobriety.
  • Amenities and Environment: Assess the amenities and environment of the rehab facility to ensure it promotes healing, comfort, and well-being. Look for facilities that offer comfortable accommodations, recreational activities, and holistic therapies that support your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being during your stay.

By prioritizing these factors when choosing a gender-specific rehab center, you can ensure that you receive the most effective and personalized treatment for your recovery journey. Remember to take your time, do thorough research, and trust your instincts when making this important decision. With the right treatment and support, recovery from addiction is possible for everyone, regardless of gender.

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Gender-Specific Drug and Alcohol Treatment at Aliya Health Group

At Aliya Health Group, we’re committed to doing everything we can to create safe spaces that support healing for every person in our care. We understand the distinct ways that substance abuse affects each gender. This creates a need for more specialized care tailored to the unique needs of men and women. To assist in your recovery from addiction, we provide gender-specific addiction treatment with a comprehensive approach that addresses addiction and its underlying causes.

Our program for men provides a safe place where they won’t be judged. Our men’s program offers:

  • Group therapy sessions exclusively for men
  • Discussions on topics that are relevant to men
  • A supportive environment where men can feel understood
  • Housing that’s only for men during residential treatment

Our program helps men challenge harmful beliefs that can lead to addiction. For example, many men think they have to hide their emotions to seem strong. But in our therapy sessions, we encourage men to express their feelings and give them the space to open up. Here, they don’t have to pretend to be someone they’re not. They can talk honestly about things that may be hard to discuss. We also focus on the roles and stereotypes that society puts on men, as well as issues like male sexual abuse and trauma.

Women who come to our rehab program discover a space where they can share their feelings freely and without feeling small. Our treatment program is designed specifically for women, offering them a supportive and caring environment where they can heal and recover.

Our program provides for women:

  • Group therapy sessions exclusively for women
  • Discussions focused on topics relevant to women
  • A kind and supportive atmosphere
  • Housing that is only for women during residential treatment

In our women’s rehab, you’ll find a safe place without triggers related to men. Here, you can address issues like verbal, physical, and sexual trauma, as well as beauty standards, stereotypes, and gender discrimination. Therapy sessions cover topics that are important to women, such as pregnancy, motherhood, family life, work dynamics, and relationships.

Working with our dual diagnosis treatment center can help with drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Even if you’re struggling with fentanyl addiction or any painkiller addiction, we can help. We can also help with benzo addiction, opioid addiction treatment, and heroin addiction treatments.  If you or a loved one is interested in joining our gender-specific treatment program, contact us to learn more. We can help verify your insurance and find a treatment option that works for you. Addiction and recovery are a cycle that you can escape from when you seek treatment.

Everything You Need to Know About Intensive Outpatient Programs

Are you or a loved one considering intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for mental health treatment? In this guide, we’ll delve into what intensive outpatient programs entail, how they work, what treatments are available, and how to find one near you.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a structured form of outpatient treatment designed to address mental health concerns without requiring full-time residency at a facility. Unlike inpatient programs or partial hospitalization programs (PHP) where you live at a treatment center, IOP allows you to live at home while attending scheduled therapy sessions. It’s more of a short-term program designed to get results fast — whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or other major mental health challenges.

The main difference between IOP and other forms of outpatient treatment is the intensity and frequency of therapy. While traditional outpatient treatment may involve weekly or bi-weekly sessions, intensive outpatient therapy requires more frequent attendance, often ranging from three to five sessions per week. This increased frequency provides individuals with more comprehensive support while still allowing them to maintain their daily responsibilities.

IOPs are just as effective as inpatient and residential programs for most individuals who have low symptom severity and do not require a 24-hour structured setting. In terms of addiction, studies have collectively shown that IOP programs improve abstinence rates, reduce SUD symptom severity, and decrease the frequency of substance use.

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How Does IOP Work?

Entering an IOP usually starts with a meeting where mental health professionals talk to you about your needs and what kind of help you’re looking for. This helps them create a plan that fits you best.

The first step is typically an assessment where they ask questions to understand your situation better. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll start going to therapy sessions. These sessions can be one-on-one with a therapist, in groups with other people, and/or workshops to learn new skills.

The treatment you get in IOP depends on what you need. You might learn ways to deal with your thoughts and feelings better, or you might work on improving your relationships. The goal is to help you feel better and cope with life’s challenges.

How Long Does an Intensive Outpatient Program Take?

As for how long it takes, it varies from person to person. Some people may only need a few weeks, while others might go for a few months. It all depends on how you’re doing and what you need. And as you make progress, you might not need to go as often.

Many individuals transition to an IOP after completing detoxification in a hospital or living in a residential program for substance use disorder or mental health treatment. They’re no longer experiencing suicidal thoughts and have successfully overcome withdrawal symptoms. Typically, individuals in IOPs are referred by the physician who supervised their care during their previous inpatient treatment. Sometimes a therapist makes a recommendation to an IOP, depending on the level of care needed.

What Are the Treatments and Therapies in IOP?

In an IOP mental health is treated with a variety of therapies, depending on your situation. Some options you might come across include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a type of therapy where you learn to recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors. It helps you understand how your thoughts affect your feelings and actions.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT combines talk therapy with mindfulness techniques to help you manage your emotions, improve your relationships, and handle stressful situations better.
  • Group Therapy: In group therapy, you meet with other people who are going through similar experiences. You share your thoughts and feelings, learn from each other, and support one another under the guidance of a therapist.
  • Medication Management: Sometimes, medication can help with mental health conditions. In IOP, there might be a doctor who can prescribe and monitor your medication to make sure it’s working well for you.
  • Holistic Therapies: These are treatments that focus on your overall well-being, not just your mental health. They might include activities like yoga, art therapy, or meditation to help you relax and feel more balanced.

These treatments and therapies are designed to give you the support and tools you need to feel better and live a more fulfilling life.

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How Do I Find an IOP Near Me?

If you search for “intensive outpatient near me,” you may be overwhelmed by the number of options that come up. The best way to find one that’s right for you is to look for specific characteristics and offerings.

What to look for in a treatment center:

  • Accreditation: Make sure the treatment center is accredited, which means it meets certain standards of quality and safety. You can check for accreditation from organizations like the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
  • Experienced Staff: Look for a center with experienced and qualified staff, including therapists, counselors, and medical professionals. They should have expertise in treating mental health conditions and be able to provide personalized care.
  • Range of Services: Consider what services the treatment center offers. Look for a program that provides a variety of therapies and treatments tailored to your needs, including evidence-based approaches like CBT and DBT, as well as holistic options.
  • Insurance Coverage: Check if the treatment center accepts your insurance plan or offers other payment options. Understanding the financial aspect of treatment is important for planning and affordability.

Where to look:

  • Online Directories: Start by searching online directories or databases of mental health treatment providers. Websites like Psychology Today or SAMHSA’s Treatment Locator allow you to search for an IOP in your area and filter results based on criteria like location and services offered.
  • Referrals: Ask your primary care doctor, therapist, or trusted friends and family for recommendations. They may know of reputable treatment centers in your area or have personal experiences to share.
  • Insurance Provider: Contact your insurance provider to get a list of in-network treatment centers. This can help you narrow down your options and ensure that you’re covered for treatment.
  • Local Mental Health Organizations: Reach out to local mental health organizations or support groups for guidance and resources. They may have information about IOPs in your community and can provide additional support during your search.

By considering these factors and exploring different resources, you can find an intensive outpatient program that meets your needs and supports your journey to better mental health.

Intensive Outpatient Program at Aliya Health Group

Aliya Health Group’s comprehensive network of alcohol and drug addiction treatment facilities offers intensive outpatient treatment as a part of our full continuum of care. Our IOPs are a step down from PHP and involve between nine and 15 hours of treatment per week. Many find IOP valuable as it offers more flexibility in recovery while tending to other obligations in life like your family, work, or school.

Programming includes therapy sessions, experiential approaches, and education, such as:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • CBT, DBT, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic services
  • Nutrition support
  • Spirituality groups
  • LGBTQIA group
  • Life-skills training group
  • Team-building group
  • Parenting group

Whether you’re struggling with mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, you’re concerned for a loved one or client, or you just want to learn more about our programs, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Brainspotting vs EMDR: What’s the Difference?

Trauma can leave deep scars on the mind and body. Living with trauma can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Whether it stems from a single traumatic event or prolonged exposure to upsetting circumstances, the impact can be serious and long-lasting. In search of help for their trauma, individuals often turn to treatment centers and therapies to find relief from the symptoms that accompany trauma-related disorders. Two such approaches, brainspotting and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), have gained importance in the field of trauma therapy. While both treat trauma and its aftermath, they differ in their techniques and methodologies. When it comes to brainspotting vs EMDR, which is right for you? Aliya Health Group is here to help you decide. 

What Is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, commonly known as EMDR, is a psychotherapy approach developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. EMDR therapy is guided by the adaptive information processing theory, which describes that traumatic memories cause emotional distress because they were never fully processed and released. Instead, they’ve gotten stuck in the brain, causing negative beliefs and intense emotional responses. The brain continues attempts at reprocessing certain emotions, images, thoughts, or beliefs associated with the traumatic event. This is why, years later, you can re-experience trauma symptoms.

EMDR is used to treat trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Some therapists also use EMDR for OCD symptoms. The benefit lies in the relief EMDR can provide for underlying issues that fuel compulsive and unhealthy coping behaviors. Since its discovery, EMDR has gained steady popularity, with famous people like Prince Harry sharing that it helped him process childhood trauma after losing his mother to a car accident at a young age.

Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR incorporates specific techniques that trigger the brain’s natural healing process. Sessions are conducted by licensed mental health professionals who have undergone specialized training with EMDR equipment. While recalling a traumatic event, the therapist guides you through sets of bilateral stimulation, which can include eye movements and an EMDR light bar, as well as audio cues using EMDR tappers or EMDR buzzers. As you move through the process, your brain can reprocess how the memory is stored. This reduces the distress associated with the memory and instills positive thoughts and emotions instead. Your EMDR therapist is with you the entire session to facilitate the treatment.

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What Is Brainspotting?

Brainspotting was developed as an offshoot of EMDR by clinical social worker David Grand, PhD, in 2003. While treating patients with EMDR, he noticed their eyes would flutter when they stared at certain areas in their field of vision. That spot, which he coined the “brainspot,” is believed to be a point of unresolved trauma that can be processed and released to ease distressing symptoms.

Trained mental health professionals use brainspotting to treat trauma-related disorders like PTSD, anxiety, phobias, and other emotional disturbances. The benefits of brainspotting also include anyone experiencing performance anxiety, chronic pain, or issues related to personal growth and self-improvement.

The main difference between brainspotting vs EMDR is the fixed-gaze position. During a brainspotting session, a trained therapist will identify and access brainspots through eye positioning and somatic awareness (noises). With focused mindfulness and bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or hearing cues, the therapist helps the patient process the targeted trauma, leading to resolution and emotional release.

What Are My Options for Trauma Recovery?

When it comes to recovering from trauma, there are various options available that can lead to healing and relief from upsetting symptoms.

  • Trauma Therapy
    One option for trauma recovery is seeking support from mental health professionals who specialize in trauma therapy. These professionals, such as psychologists, counselors, or therapists, are trained to provide evidence-based treatments tailored to address the unique needs of individuals affected by trauma. Therapy sessions offer a safe and confidential space to explore experiences, process emotions, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  • Peer Support
    In addition to professional therapy, individuals may also find support through peer groups or support networks. Connecting with others who have experienced similar traumas can provide validation, understanding, and a sense of belonging. Peer support groups offer opportunities to share experiences, receive encouragement, and learn from others’ coping strategies.
  • Self-care
    Self-care practices play a crucial role in trauma recovery, promoting overall well-being and resilience. Engaging in activities such as exercise, mindfulness meditation, journaling, and creative expression can help individuals manage stress, regulate emotions, and cultivate a sense of empowerment. Developing a self-care routine that puts physical, emotional, and spiritual health first is essential for long-term healing and recovery.
  • Alternative Therapies
    Some individuals may benefit from complementary and alternative therapies alongside traditional psychotherapy like EMDR and brainspotting. These may include techniques such as yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, and art therapy.

It’s important to remember that trauma recovery is a unique and individualized process. What works for one person may not work for another. Exploring different options and finding what resonates best with your needs and preferences is key to finding effective trauma support and healing.

Verify Your Insurance

Looking for quality treatment for substance abuse and mental health that’s also affordable? Aliya Health Group's treatment facilities accept most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now!

Check Your Coverage​

What Are the Benefits of Working with Mental Health Professionals?

Brainspotting and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are quickly becoming the standards in treating trauma. Since trauma can play a significant role in substance use, many people choose to seek help from mental health professionals at a treatment center. These professionals have specialized training and expertise in addressing trauma-related issues. They can provide tailored treatment plans to meet each person’s unique needs.

Therapists and counselors create a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore their experiences and emotions, fostering healing and growth. Through evidence-based practices such as EMDR and brainspotting, trauma therapists help clients process traumatic memories, develop coping skills, and reclaim their lives from the grips of distressing memories.

Mental Health Treatment at Aliya Health Group

Aliya Health Group is well known for its trauma-focused approach to substance abuse treatment. Many of our addiction professionals are trained in EMDR, brainspotting, and other trauma therapies, and all our treatment methods are steeped in an evidence-based approach.

Levels of care and highlights of our treatment centers include:

  • Drug and alcohol detox
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Outpatient programs
  • Sober-living residences
  • Continuing care
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis)
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Holistic therapies

We all deserve to live a life where we feel emotionally safe. You shouldn’t feel the need to self-medicate or do therapies like EMDR at home. Contact our recovery centers today to learn more!