Beyond the Physical Addiction

more than physical addiction

Table of Contents

Providing the groundwork for successful long-term recovery from alcoholism and addiction is far from a simple task. This particular disease is one of the most complex and misunderstood conditions that people suffer from. Never mind the highly common conditions that frequently co-occur with alcoholism and addiction, such as trauma and emotional health issues. For many decades prior to the modern era, treatment for alcoholics and addicts was either barbaric or judicial. That era has passed to the betterment of all, but the rehabilitation industry has gotten itself stuck in another common rut.

In more recent decades, the chosen methods for helping those with alcoholism and addiction has had a primary bias toward the physical, focusing on physical sobriety, physical coping mechanisms, and physical treatments for other issues in the form of pharmaceuticals. None of these methods are bad, and most have positive effects on people. All possible avenues of healing and recovery should be pursued. Indeed, the physical issues must be addressed, as they are the bedrock conditions we must treat.

Yet physical addiction is far from the only area that requires treatment, and physical sobriety is not the only goal. Putting our strongest efforts towards the physical aspect of things leaves out much that is vitally important. It’s a good start, but it’s not the complete picture. To begin and end with physical treatments does a disservice to those who seek help. It also leaves unnecessary vulnerabilities exposed and undealt with.

Treating All Aspects

Gratefully, we’ve had the 12-Step program of recovery available to us for some time. Solutions based on the 12-Steps have proven highly effective and transformational for thousands of people suffering from the disease. At Jaywalker Lodge, the 12-Step program is our foundation and our launching point for holistic and revolutionary recovery. The 12-Steps have profoundly affected many of us here personally, changing our lives and helping us find long-term recovery, but it is also the most holistic and direct treatment foundation by far. Of course, the physical aspect of things is not left out, but simply put in its proper place.

To understand this point, we must understand the disease of alcoholism and addiction. This is why facilities staffed by people in recovery like Jaywalker Lodge can apply the 12-Steps so passionately and effectively. Someone with the condition best understands a fellow sufferer, so they are able to relate to one another. Simply treating alcoholism and addiction as a physical issue often leaves treatment incomplete.

The Physical Allergy Is Just One Part

Alcoholism and addiction are a disease of a three-fold nature, comprised of the mental obsession, the physical allergy, and the spiritual malady. The mental obsession is an overwhelming obsession of the mind that focuses almost exclusively on using an addictive substance like alcohol or drugs. This mental pattern is locked on, recommending substance use and abuse at every turn. It will eventually overwhelm the sufferer into using the substance despite the consequences or their desire not to use.

Once they have engaged with the substance once again, the physical allergy sets in. This physical phenomenon seems to only appear in alcoholics and addicts, who ingest the substance and then find themselves unable to control or stop their usage — again, despite the consequences or their desire not to. These two symptoms are compounded by the spiritual malady, which is a fundamental lack of power that renders the sufferer unable to overcome these conditions on their own. In order to fully recover from this disease, they must have a power greater than themselves. Only this will enable them to become freed from the mental obsession and cease to trigger the physical allergy.

The Full Picture

When the disease of alcoholism and addiction is explained in this way, it becomes apparent that focusing on a physical solution is an incomplete picture. Of course, we must begin with physical sobriety. At Jaywalker Lodge, we don’t start with you until you’ve gotten physically sober. But as soon as you’re there, it’s time to get going on the real solutions. Trauma and mental and emotional health issues are addressed immediately, as we design a unique, personalized course of therapy to go alongside group therapies. If medicine is necessary, that is incorporated as well. But so muddy are the waters between the disease and mental and emotional conditions that we find the best course to be nothing less than total holistic treatment. Every small step of growth, healing, education, and reinforcement on one level begets similar progress in all other areas.

Once that’s sorted out, we get down to the Jaywalker way of things. We get to work on educating and understanding the 12-Steps, particularly the 1st-Step. We believe this to be the fundamental cornerstone of recovery. Proper understanding of the disease and what it means to them and for them personally can be revolutionary. In addition, we do regular 12-Step meetings, Jaywalker Lodge alumni meetings, service events with the whole Jaywalker community, “family” dinners, nature outings, physical activity, and more. We don’t leave the physical out — in fact, we stress physical health. But we’re also well aware that without proper addressing of the real issues, mere physical sobriety is too flimsy a leg to stand on.

We base what we do firmly on a holistic method, deeply rooted in the 12-Steps. We do this not only because we believe it is the most effective way to set our men up for rock-solid, long-term recovery, but because we have seen it work firsthand for those who stay with us. We must go beyond the physical and address the root causes and conditions simultaneously, so we can reduce the potential for relapse and ensure a stable recovery.

Jaywalker Lodge believes in nothing less than holistic recovery. Our goal with every man who comes to us is that we can begin a lifelong journey of recovery. Whatever your past struggles have been, no matter how many times you have slipped, we at Jaywalker Lodge believe recovery is possible for anyone. Many of us here were once stuck in a cycle of chronic relapse. We were aided in finding a way out, and if it worked for us it can work for you, too. Providing education, community, physical, mental, and emotional therapies and healing activities — all while planting firm roots in the 12-Step program of recovery — is our tried-and-true formula. Alcoholism and addiction are a disease that goes way beyond mere physical sobriety. Therefore, the methods that result in long-term, successful recovery should go beyond the physical as well. We aren’t interested in just helping people get sober. We’re focused on helping people find lasting and joyous recovery. We believe that everyone deserves it, including you. Let’s get started! Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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