Chemical dependency of any kind, whether on drugs or alcohol, can be one of the most difficult things to change in your life.
The constant cravings make it easy to fall back into old habits, and relapses mean starting the recovery process over again.
But one clinic is finding success through nontraditional means.
“What separates us from others is the way we put a variety of therapeutic methods together in a unique way,” says William Steiniger, managing director of Desert Canyon Treatment Center in Sedona, Ariz. “Our approach is a whole-body approach, encompassing the body, mind and spirit. This is more than a program that helps people stop drinking or using drugs. It’s about people getting their lives back.
“We try to get them to radically shift their whole perception of what life is about.”
The system is radically different than traditional 12-step programs. Desert Canyon’s philosophy is that the addiction can be ended permanently.
Patients are taught to understand why they are abusing drugs and that they can control these urges. They are treated with a combination of counseling, meditation, dietary changes and exercise.
“As a result of the exercise, they start to get their strength back,” says Steiniger. “The physical body affects the emotions and vice versa.”
People feel better about themselves and realize how low they were, and make a conscious choice to not use drugs and drag themselves back down to where they were before.
While a small number of people lapse after leaving treatment, the effects are short-lived.
“Instead of lapsing again, they do the reverse,” says Steiniger. “They remember how awful it is and end the addiction permanently.”
Steiniger compares the variety of treatments to assembling a toolbox. Once patients are taught to use these healing tools, they can use them to help “fix” themselves. Different tools work for different people, and each person can draw on what is most effective for him or her.
“You are either doing one of two things: reacting to life or creating,” says Steiniger. “When you are in the creative process, you are the master of manifesting what you want in life. People with addictions, they have lost their ability to create, and spend their life pushing up against something.”
The therapy process takes four consecutive weeks to complete. Patients have access to a call-in support system for as long as they need it, but Steiniger notes that few people use it more than once or twice immediately after leaving, because they simply don’t need the help anymore.
They have the tools to help themselves.
How to reach: Desert Canyon Treatment Center, (888) 811-8371, or www.desert-canyon.com
Todd Shryock (firstname.lastname@example.org) is SBN’s special reports editor.