by Richard M Knapp, Executive Director
Those of us who sit around and think at Sherwood Hills Recovery have come up with some interesting ideas about addiction.
First of all, the term “addict” is often used in a derogatory way and its offensive. Maybe it’s because I struggled with these issues myself some years ago? Or maybe labeling people like this is just plain hurtful and creates another obstacle for those struggling to overcome as they try their best to put their lives back together. Either way, in this modern age of “political correctness” you would think that there would be a better word for this. Substance abuse victims? Those who struggle? Habitually-challenged? Pick your favorite.
Here at Sherwood Hills Recovery we take a novel position regarding addiction when we say that “addiction is not a disease but the symptom of a disease.” Like a runny nose is only an indication of a viral infection, for example. In our case the drinking and drugging or any other addictive behavior for that matter, has roots which go far deeper.
- Perhaps, with some, there are genetic factors.
- Others have experienced trauma in their past.
- Some suffer from stressful
- Maybe a few have acquired these bad habits from their upbringing.
- And still there are many find that their addictions have roots in a core or fundamental level of shame.
So, in trying to ask ourselves “why we do what we do?”
So why do we drink? And why do we drug?
The answer to these questions are key. Only by getting to the underlying cause of addiction, can we begin to help someone long-term.
Now, there are those that scoff at the idea that there is a cure for addiction. For those people, I merely rephrased my sentence, “we address the underlying cause of the addictions and notice a significant reduction in these destructive behaviors.” After all, we are in the treatment industry. So why would we then dare take the position that “once an addict, always an addict.” If people can’t be helped, well then we might all as well go home.
Well, how is this done?
We employ a “body, mind and spirit” model at Sherwood Hills Recovery. We first cleanse the body of toxins with our Sauna-Vitamin Detox ™ so that clients feel better and are attentive during their classes, groups and appointments. Then, using Neurofeedback we retrain and recalibrate the mind, preparing the brain to depend only on itself for pleasure and not on outside substances. Finally, we put a substantial focus our therapeutic efforts on releasing the “spirit” of our clients, helping them get their own answers to the question of why they do what they do.
Unlike other traditional treatment centers, we are not a 12-step facility. The steps are only one of many tools available at our disposal to be used for “getting at” those underlying causes. Aside from those things that every treatment center does, like individual and group therapy, we do some very innovative things. We’ve established the Center for Innovative Therapies at Sherwood Recovery to administrate some of these cutting-edge approaches to addiction medicine. The IT Center has, among other detoxification and rejuvenation treatments typically only found in high-end day spas:
- Recreational / experiential therapies
- Essential oils in addiction recovery
- Spiritual healing
- Horticulture therapy
- Art and music therapy
- Sand tray therapy and,
- And more…
We believe that by keeping the number of treatment options as large as possible, we are more likely going to be able to find something that works for most people. “One size does not fit all” and what helps one person is not as effective with another. Eventually, we hope to find something that works for each person to make a real difference in their life.
We say here, “Now is the time. This is the place.”
The time: Is now, of course. And if you don’t believe me, ask those that mourn loved ones lost to addictions. I’d love to prevent any further casualties that can be thwarted with timely treatment.
The place: Our treatment center is a former mini-resort hotel on 706 acres in the mountains of northern Utah. This place has become a “place of healing” for those seeking humbly the chance to change. Changing is what it’s all about. And in substance abuse treatment, you have to change everything before you’ll change anything. The real change happens in the hearts and minds of our clients, but once you realize what you are doing for individuals and families and friends and for all those that are affected when someone recovers from the claws of addiction, you realize that what we are really doing is changing the world, one soul at a time.
Well, changing the world is hard work sometimes and the hours are long, but in the 25 years that I have worked in other industries prior to this, I have not found the deep satisfaction like I have in doing this.
Here at Sherwood Recovery, We have given substance abuse treatment a name, we call it a “noble work” because it is just that — noble, good, and right. After all, we are saving lives.
In conclusion, I am grateful to be alive to deliver this message. My own life was nearly forfeited to my own addictions years ago. But I stubbornly survived, and those closest to me never gave up on me. I guess that’s why I don’t give up on these people, my people, these “addicts.”
Of equal importance, is that I am really quite lucky to have found my life’s work, my noble work, in substance abuse treatment. And I am even luckier still to be able to have found the kind of people who share my “noble dream”, the men and women with whom I now work, every day, side-by-side.