Here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we know that helping someone heal from an addiction is not as simple as eliminating their physical dependency on alcohol or drugs. On the contrary, substance abuse is frequently caused or worsened by underlying, often undiagnosed, psychological, mental and/or emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If a treatment program does not also address these issues, a patient's efforts to recover will likely end in failure.
That is why, ever since Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded Fairwinds Treatment Center here in Clearwater, Florida, 25 years ago, he has used a unique dual diagnosis methodology to promote a lasting recovery both inside and out. Patients each receive a personalized plan that combines clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling, which may include family therapy, support groups, art therapy, life skills education and relaxation/meditation. The latter is the subject of a recent study conducted by Stanford University researcher Emma Seppala, who finds that meditation and breathing exercises can significantly help military veterans recover from PTSD.
Seppala assessed 21 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans as they learned to use relaxation and meditation techniques over just one week. Strikingly, when the researchers examined the veterans a full year later, they displayed a marked improvement in their trauma symptoms, even though most had not continued practicing at home.
"Veterans with PTSD are easily startled and are hypervigilant. We found that the reduction in self-reported hypervigilance – one of the main PTSD symptoms – was associated with reduced physiological startle responses," Seppala tells Stanford's news service. "In other words, objective physiological data [recorded through eye-blink responses] corroborated the veterans' self-reported experience of relief."
Seppala's findings are also relevant to those addiction sufferers who are not military veterans and do not have an official diagnosis of PTSD. Any type of stressful event, such as an accident, illness, death of a loved one, natural disaster or violent attack, can cause trauma that leads to addiction. Ongoing stress, like the kind that comes from living in a high-crime area or suffering bullying at school or work, can also be extremely traumatic. By using diverse therapeutic techniques, such as meditation and relaxation training, Fairwinds Treatment Center helps patients who have undergone trauma to heal. This, in turn, allows them to achieve a lasting recovery from substance abuse.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, know that it is not enough simply to treat the addiction. You must also recover from the underlying issues that have triggered or exacerbated it. There is simply no better place to find healing than Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida. Contact us to learn more.