Many Pathways to Recovery

Historically, people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) seeking the help of a treatment center were frequently criticized when exploring their uniqueness. 12-step groups were once the only acceptable support program, and often centers would require a client to attend 12-step meetings, even if the client voiced a desire to chose an alternative fellowship.

I once witnessed a client reading their bible while waiting in the lobby of a treatment center. Shortly after this observation, I overheard a clinician comment to the client “put down that bible and pick up a Big Book”. Helping a person entering recovery in developing a recovery plan is highly personalized and requires the clinician to listen to the needs of the client, rather than simply prescribing the path with which the clinician is most familiar. In this scenario, the most effective plan for recovery would likely have involved the client’s faith. For others seeking recovery, a biblical path might not be part of the journey. There are many pathways to recovery.

Recovery is not a “one-size fits all”. What works for one person, may not work for another. SAMHSA, a federal program with a mission to reduce the impact of SUD and Mental Health in communities throughout America, conducted a qualitative research study with people in recovery. The outcomes found from this study strongly support the approach Healing Springs Ranch embraces: There is not one right way to recover. Recovery is highly personalized and the role of treatment is to assist a person seeking recovery to develop the strongest recovery plan possible. Some of the recovery supports that were discussed by people in recovery were: • Bodywork such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reflexology, and Reiki; • Clinical Services, such as residential treatment, outpatient treatment, counseling groups, and individual counseling; • Recovery Residences, such as recovery housing and peer support coaching; • Faith-based services, such as Celebrate Recovery or attending fellowship and studies through a place of worship; • Gender-specific groups; • Culturally based support; • Justice initiated programs, such as divert courts; • Recovery Schools, such as Collegiate Recovery Programs offering on-campus support to students in college; • Multi-media support, such as attending meetings online; • Recovery Apps, such as Sober Grid and Mindfulness Meditation; • Social Media for Recovery. Many people are encouraged by following celebrities or others with strong recovery on social media; • Music and art used as an expression of recovery and healing; • Podcasts and radio programs, such as Recovery Coast to Coast; • Educational conferences and life-enriching workshops; • 12-Step based mutual aid groups; • Non-12-step based mutual aid groups; • Online supports, for example, AA meetings, alumni groups via video conferencing, meeting with peers or counselors through web-based platforms; and • Secular supports not involving a spiritual path. While this list is extensive, it is not exhaustive. Healing Springs Ranch believes planning for recovery is multi-facet and needs to be customized for each person. There is no right or wrong element, if the components work together to support a person seeking long-term recovery.