Community: Continuing Care in Recovery, by Nirmala Raniga
Relapse, or the fear of relapse, is one of the most challenging aspects addicts face in maintaining recovery. Whether the individual has stopped drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, disordered eating or any number of harmful behaviours, the anxiety around starting up again is daunting. Following any type of recovery treatment or after one or more periods of abstinence, the stress around wanting to stay clean can sometimes drive the person back to their old habits. In some cases shame and guilt may even result in suicide attempts.
It is important to understand and accept that ‘slips’ are common and can be recognized as temporary setbacks, and that healing from a long term addiction is a process that requires effort and support.
During treatment – especially if the treatment takes place in a safe environment away from the triggers and temptations of home – individuals are surrounded by supportive caregivers who offer positive reinforcement, a toolbox of coping skills that includes relaxation and meditation techniques, massage, yoga, physical exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest, as well as appropriate therapy to help address the causes of the addiction. At the end of the treatment, recovering addicts leave with new ways of being with self and others, a new perspective and plan to establish new healthy patterns in their lives.
Once back home, however, people need to be very focused and determined to continue practicing their new ways of being with self and others on their path to full recovery. It is necessary to nurture the new lifestyle routines in order to give them a chance to become fully ingrained habits. The first few months are the most difficult. Along with a positive approach to living a new life, the support and love of family and good friends are keys to success. Those who participated in the four-week treatment program at the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center automatically become part of the Center’s continuing care program supporting guests to access weekly counselling in their community for 12 weeks. Follow this link for more information on the continuing care program available through our Center.
For the past four years, the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center has been helping people with addictive behaviours “re-wire” their reward circuitry and create a new memory free from harmful cravings. Referred to as neuroplasticity, this re-wiring of the nervous system enables the brain to reorganize itself so human beings can create new neural pathways through new experiences. Under the guidance of the professional staff at the Center, emotional pain can be identified and experienced with safety and support not previously possible. This “re-wiring” can produce new empowering, liberating experiences and new choices that nourish the mind, body and spirit, can be revealed, thus bringing about healing and transformation.
Unique to other addiction treatment centres, Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center offers the first truly holistic addiction recovery method in North America. The healing team at the Center combines the latest breakthroughs in modern Western medicine with the healing arts of the East. The goal of the holistic health care experts at CAWC is to restore balance and wholeness in the lives of the people who come for help. Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D., co-founders of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, developed a recovery method, Freedom from Addiction, unlike any other. The four and six week residential programs offer individuals intensive, personalized treatment that address the deeper issues at the root of addiction and help individuals identify and release stored emotional pain, destructive thought-patterns and life-damaging beliefs. These are replaced with more nurturing, self-empowering behaviors and experiences. An integral part of the program is inclusion of the ancient healing system called Ayurveda. Originating in India 5000 years ago, Ayurveda focuses on the individual as a whole; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ayurveda uses various techniques and medical procedures to unlock the human potential that has been buried within a being to bring about healing and a return to wholeness. In addition to group and individual therapy, residents at the Center benefit from the mind, body, spirit healing that addresses the needs of all five senses: massage (touch), music (sound), vegetarian cuisine (taste), art therapy (sight) and aromatherapy (smell) along with meditation, yoga and acupuncture. Using this mindfulness approach and paying attention to all five senses, residents transcend and overcome addiction.
Nirmala Raniga is an addiction specialist and the founder of the Chopra Addiction and Wellness Center, a unique residential addiction recovery treatment center in Squamish Valley, B.C., Canada. The Center offers holistic recovery programs combining modern Western medicine with Eastern healing traditions including instruction in meditation, yoga, and other mind-body wellness practices. 2008 nominee for YWCA Women of Distinction Award and Celebration of Business Excellence Award, Nirmala is a Chopra Certified master educator of Primordial Sound Meditation, Seven Spiritual Laws Yoga and Perfect Health Ayurvedic Lifestyle. She is passionate about sharing timeless wisdom tools for mind-body health, deeper life fulfillment and emotional healing.