The field of recovery research is constantly expanding, and new approaches to treatment are being discovered every day. At ARS, we draw from a wide range of advanced treatments that cover a full continuum of care, from detox to residential treatment, outpatient services, aftercare, and sober living homes. Striving to stay at the forefront of recovery services, we utilize trusted, proven therapeutic modalities to help our patients build a strong foundation for a healthy life.
Individual therapy and group therapy are two cornerstones of effective treatment for substance abuse and eating disorders. In individual sessions with a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist, our patients build self-confidence and learn how to deal with the negative thoughts or emotions that can perpetuate substance abuse. Group sessions with other patients in treatment provide a supportive forum for practicing coping skills and building trusting relationships. Some of the major modalities that we use in treatment include:
We aim to assist our patients in creating stable, fulfilling lives by helping them learn how to manage stress, cope with difficult emotions, and handle their behavioral triggers. At the same time, we provide them with the practical tools they need to build self-confidence and increase their sense of competency.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focus on teaching the patient to transform negative thought patterns, to regulate emotional responses, and to live more mindfully. Both CBT and DBT have also been applied successfully to the treatment of depression and anxiety, both of which commonly occur in people with substance use disorders. According to Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, DBT is particularly effective for treating patients with co-occurring mood, anxiety, or personality disorder.
Innovations in pharmacology have made the recovery process easier, safer, and more comfortable than ever. Today’s anti-addiction medications have a lower potential for dependency and side effects, combined with a higher rate of effectiveness. The results of a study published in JAMA Psychiatry showed that in a group of 600 patients being treated for prescription opiate abuse, over 49 percent achieved successful outcomes when they received Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that is prescribed to treat opioid dependence. Patients in the study also participated in counseling sessions while taking Suboxone. Naltrexone, sold under the trade names Vivitrol and ReVia, has been prescribed successfully to reduce the effects of alcohol and opiates.
Along with anti-addiction medications, our physicians and psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or other psychotropic drugs to help manage the symptoms of co-occurring mental illness. For patients with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or other forms of serious mental illness, these medications can help them create stable, satisfying lives in recovery.
ARS facilities have a strong focus on the importance of nutrition in recovery. Substance abuse and eating disorders take their toll on the body and mind, causing nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, and disordered eating habits. ARS facilities are staffed by credentialed nutritionists and registered dietitians who collaborate directly in the treatment process. These highly trained professionals plan nutritious, balanced meals for patients whose physical and psychological health have been compromised by addictive behaviors.
Physical exercise is another crucial component of recovery. A regular exercise routine helps our patients build strength, stamina, and self-confidence. Cardiovascular exercise, in particular, accelerates the healing process by stimulating blood circulation and oxygen delivery through the body. Frontiers in Psychiatry reports that individuals who engage in regular aerobic exercise have lower rates of substance abuse and relapse. As part of their treatment plan, our patients have the option to participate in fitness programs that complement and enhance their recovery goals.
For many individuals in recovery, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have proven to be an effective blueprint for creating a life of sobriety, self-understanding, and spiritual fulfillment. At ARS, we give our clients the opportunity to incorporate the 12 steps into their recovery program by providing them with an introduction to these principles. The 12 steps are introduced as a potential framework for treatment, and as a source of emotional support and encouragement throughout the stages of recovery.
Therapeutic practices like yoga, meditation, dance therapy, art therapy, and equine-assisted therapy teach stress management techniques and provide healthy outlets for emotional self-expression. Social Work Today notes that a regular yoga practice in substance abuse treatment can help restore healthy levels of the brain chemical GABA, a neurotransmitter that can influence stress levels and emotional responses. Studies show that individuals with anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders often have lower than average levels of GABA.
Many people who have been misusing drugs or alcohol for many years have lost the ability to feel pleasure in sober activities, or to fill their time with fun, meaningful pastimes. Experiential and holistic therapies help our patients reconnect with their interests, talents, and passions, so that they can enrich their lives with fulfilling, drug-free activities.
After finishing a rehab program, many individuals temporarily turn back to old habits and coping mechanisms. Although relapse is a common phenomenon, a slipup doesn’t have to mean a return to addictive behaviors. In relapse prevention planning, clients learn vital skills for maintaining sobriety and coping with triggers. Classes, group therapy sessions, and one-on-one therapy help prepare the individual to deal with a potential relapse, and to minimize the impact if a lapse occurs. As part of the effort to prevent relapse, patients learn how to create and rely on a strong support network of professionals, supportive friends, and recovery peers.
Life skills training is another vital component of the ARS continuum of care. Addiction can rob the individual of his or her sense of self-efficacy, or the ability to handle the practical realities of life. Patients who have been involved with substance abuse or disordered eating behaviors may have lost the ability to manage the details of their lives, including their finances, work responsibilities, and family relationships.
Life skills groups and educational sessions help patients regain these essential abilities, or to acquire them for the first time. Case managers assist with the transition back to the community by providing referrals and resources for assistance.
The ARS full continuum of care model includes comprehensive aftercare services to support our patients as they evolve in recovery. Our residential aftercare facility, Next Step Village Orlando, is designed with this goal in mind. Next Step Village Orlando meets the needs of our residential treatment graduates by providing the following services:
The transition to aftercare services can be a sensitive time in recovery. That’s why discharge planning and case management play such an important role in our treatment plans. We work closely with our patients to ease their transition from one level of our continuum to the next, so that their progress is as fluid and seamless as possible.
Above all, our approach to treatment focuses on the individual patient. Admission to the ARS network of recovery centers begins with a careful, comprehensive assessment of the patient’s needs. Our treatment plans are tailored to the individual’s requirements, including his or her medical, psychological, emotional, and social status. The length of stay and the recommended services are determined not by external requirements, but by the patient’s personal development and progress in our programs.
Our mission at ARS is to assist and empower our patients on their path to recovery. All of the recovery services in our continuum reflect that mission. If you, or someone you love, are in need of treatment for a substance use or eating disorder, we encourage you to call one of our Florida treatment facilities today.