How to Create a Special Sustainable Recovery Program That Works!

Notice:  This is a guest post that was written by a recovering addict. We had to edit the language quite a bit (with his approval), but we wanted to offer an inside look at an addict, how he approached his problem, and how he found a way to get the treatment he needed in a way that helped him finally come to grips with not only his problem but with the realities of long-term recovery and treatment.

How to Create a Special Sustainable Recovery Program That Works!

You read and hear a lot of blah, blah, blah, about addiction and recovery and treatment of addictions. You recognize that you hear the same boring stuff over and over.

What does it all mean and how does it apply to you?

  • How to know if you are addicted? Well, if you are asking for an answer to that question, face it, you are probably addicted!
  • What are the signs or symptoms? Duuh!  I got it.  I already saw the signs, and that’s why I’m checking this stuff out.

Look, let’s quit playing games and just cut to the chase.  OK?

I’m a recovering addict, and that’s all I will say. I’ve been in lots of trouble and in and out of a lot of treatment centers and programs, and I want to wade through all of the professional jibber jabber and tell you what I finally figured out and what finally started to help me.

This addiction thing is pretty complicated. What you see in addictions today is a mishmash of problems that include social issues, physical and biological complications, and lots and lots of mental or psychological problems thrown in.

The suffering addicts today are mostly druggies of some type, although the boozers are still trying to hang on to first place.  The addicts come in all ages from young kids in middle school to the old geezers in a nursing home. Addiction is an equal opportunity problem!

So, my first difficulty was that everything I looked at or tried was a cookie cutter solution that was created to treat a general addiction but didn’t account for the hundreds of different addictive substances or the wide age range and social situations of the addict.  I hate cookie cutter stuff!

I’m special. I wanted something that fit my addiction and something that worked for me. I knew my situation was very different from the people around me in these programs that I tried.

I wanted to get knee-to-knee with someone who understood not only my addiction but also knew where I came from, what my ‘streets’ were like, what I had experienced, what the hardships were, what the temptations were.  Between us, we could figure it all out and design a program that worked for me. I was desperate.

Those treatments I tried didn’t quite fit me… the therapies were kind of outdated, and the people running the programs seemed out of touch with reality and didn’t understand my crazy modern world and the real drug scene.

It seemed like they were just plodding along, spouting out the same old stuff, and were not too enthusiastic about digging deep and finding out what was needed to provide me with effective and useful help.

So here’s what I did. 

I designed my program based on my particular addiction, my physical condition, my psychological state, and the program would conform to things that directly treated my addiction in all areas and was slanted towards my age group and social status.

I’m not talking about ‘going it alone.’ I’m talking about a custom treatment program that included the correct treatment center, the right programs and therapies, and the type of professionals that I needed to do my work.

This program worked for me.  It was hard work finding what I needed, and at times very painful, but I worked my way through it and in the end, had the perfect treatment center and a custom program that fit me like a glove.

It ain’t easy but if I can do it so can you. Here are the guts of what I did:

     Finding and Creating the Right Program

  1. I wanted to understand about myself and my addiction, and so I began reading and studying. You already know how easy it is to get information on the internet. The big trick is to know what’s useful and what’s just more blah, blah, blah.
  2. I started taking notes and printing things out and soon had a 3-ring binder pretty full. At this point, I was very smart about my addiction and had a good idea of what to do about it.
  3. I talked to a lot of people on the street and around treatment centers, and anywhere people fighting my type of addiction hung out. They had to be like me, my age group and my social level, and someone I could relate to.  I gained a ton of information, does and don’ts, and what worked and what didn’t. I added those notes to my research binder.
  4. Next, I started looking at treatment programs and Centers. I’d talk to their Hotline, ask a lot of questions and get as much information as I could and then I’d visit the ones that sounded good and interested me.
  5. Once I locked in on a treatment center that had the right program and the right people… professionals that knew my situation and spoke my language, I was ready to rock and roll.

I made sure that all of the issues were resolved, like payments and insurance, and verified that they had what I needed and would be willing to create a customized program for me that had all of the things I wanted and needed.

I made an application and waited for a slot to open and a time when I could jump right into the program.

         Working within the Program

  1. Attitude is everything! My program turned around the day that I changed my attitude. I got rid of that ‘poor me’ feeling, dumped the ‘chip on my shoulder,’ and started to look at myself and my recovery in a positive ‘Can Do’ and “I can do this’ way.  It was remarkable! The program and the people didn’t change, I changed, and my attitude changed, and with that change in attitude, my success finally came too.
  2. Diet. It’s amazing how a nutritious, balanced diet can change how you feel. I began eating the deliciously fresh and healthy food at the center and immediately had more energy; I felt better, slept better and had a better attitude.
  3. Old friends and family be gone! Think about it! The old friends are the ones that supported your habit and wanted you to stay high. You stole from your family and good friends, took their money, sold their valuables to get money for your habit, and in general caused almost all of them to hate you or not want you around.  Do you want these people hanging around during your treatment to remind you of what a butthole you are?! Go far away!
  4. Find someone to teach. This practice changed my life! They say a teacher learns by teaching and I think it’s true. I made friends with someone in my treatment program that was really ‘not getting it’ and struggling a lot. I began helping out. The day I began teaching and helping that struggling friend was the day my understanding took place.
  5. Therapy.  At first, I objected to the therapy. I hated the whole idea. I felt invaded and gutted with my first exposures, but when I finally found the right treatment center and the right therapist’s everything started to change for me. Day by day, it built as we went along and I got stronger and better to the degree that I was willing to accept myself and my addiction and had the willingness to work hard to make those important changes. I learned to love therapy!
  6. Groups. You can get a lot out of groups like the 12 step programs. I did. You have to learn to be patient while listening to others talk about their lives and difficulties, but you’ll get used to it and begin to learn some things. Amazing what you can learn with group sharing and if you begin to contribute it gets even better. Try it! Don’t lurk and hide…step out and share!

         Aftercare and relapse prevention

  1. Get in a group quickly. My first advice is to get into a group quickly and attend meetings frequently. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep working and helping others. It’s very therapeutic and mind-expanding.  It will help you a lot.
  2. Find a sponsor. I didn’t want a sponsor. I intentionally avoided offers and shied away from the idea. One day I met someone at a meeting, and we just talked. He was non-judgmental, very understanding, and I found myself asking questions and sharing my stories and guess what? Yes, he’s still my sponsor after almost five  To be honest, I’m not sure I could have done this without him.  Great value!
  3. Sponsor someone. You need some time in the program and some experience in recovery and treatment, but the day you decide to sponsor someone yourself is the day your world will change. It’s magical and exciting to see the impact you can have on someone’s life and how quickly it changes yours.
  4. Brain food. Read and Study! Never stop, never lose your interest, and always keep an open mind.  Ask questions and note the answers. Compare, challenge, question, be like a  sponge and soak up as much as you can as often as you can. Knowledge is power!
  5. Care about something. (plant/pet/hobby). OK, this may sound crazy! I once saw a movie about recovering addicts that learned they should successfully care for something like a plant or a pet before trying to take on a serious personal relationship. I did the plant thing at first… have a house full of tropical plants that I love and care for. Then I got a dog. Not so sure about the dog but caring for something other than me all the time is therapeutic. I love my plants!  The dog…not so much. Ha!

The Future

Maybe you’re curious about the future.  Why bother?!  You need to focus on the here, and now, that’s what’s important and what will help you. You can’t fix an addiction by thinking and dreaming about the future.

I worry about relapse!

OK, I got it. In any form of addiction, hopes are high that no relapse will happen.

Relapse happens when an addict is unable to sustain the new clean lifestyle after treatment. There are drastic changes that occur after treatment, and it can cause anxiety and stress and force an addict to draw back to his former life; that’s why building a sustainable recovery is so very important.

When we talk about a sustainable recovery, we mean the long-term plans for a recovering addict. After your treatment, it is really important to map out the next steps

Post-treatment life.

I can tell you that getting back into a normal and sober routine will not happen quickly and it won’t be easy. It’s important for you to be able to recognize potential trigger points in causing relapse:

  • Stress

In addiction recovery and treatment there are a lot of things that cause stress. It varies per individual. Stress comes in different forms and at different levels but when you hit a threshold and can’t handle it, you might look for ways of alleviating the discomfort. Sadly, it can be by returning to substance abuse.

  • Emotions

Emotions and negative feelings cause discomfort. Nobody enjoys discomfort, and that’s why some addicts feel the only way to remove this powerful level of discomfort is by going back to drugs or alcohol.

  • Availability

Are you still exposed to drugs, alcohol or whatever it is you were addicted to?  Whether you like it or not if you find yourself in a situation where drugs or alcohol are easily available, you may find yourself in a situation where the urge becomes too strong, and you end up giving in. Stay away from those situations!

  • Support network

Look, you can’t do this by yourself. The awful feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead you back to using. The groups and sponsorship will remove that problem from your life if you are willing to do the work.

Here are some important points to consider in sustainable recovery:

  1. Create a defined post-treatment

Counselors and therapists are professionals trained to handle addiction. They are there to help and can help you find the path to a successful and sustainable recovery.

  1. Build the right network.

Recovering addicts just can’t do it alone. Don’t even try. Sustainable treatment means building a well-established network of people who can help you in your healing process. A network could be your family, your sponsor, other recovering addicts, or your counselor or therapist.

  1. Get involved and become a productive member of society.

Get your head out of your addiction. Quit worshipping it. Addiction tramples your life and makes you withdraw, and that can lead to total isolation. Sustainable recovery should help you get back into mainstream society. It should allow you to function again, do meaningful work, and recognize your worth in the community.

  1. Ask for help.

Once you are back in your life and doing mainstream activities, you will face a lot of challenges and frustrations. That’s normal and normal people know how to handle those things.  But we’re not normal.  If we begin to feel overpowered by any stressful situation and feel an impending relapse coming, we must seek immediate help. We have the right network of people around who know and understand your problem and they are the ones you can turn to for immediate help.

The road to recovery seems to be unbelievably long, but it’s not like you have a lot of other choices. Get your head into this, create a powerful Sustainable Recovery Program, and march forward. The future is yours!

I wish you luck and success.

  1. The reason you see my article on this website is Chateau Recovery, in that little Po-Dunk town of Midway, Utah, is the very place I found the recovery and treatment program that finally changed my life.

The facility is fantastic, the staff is remarkable, and the treatment and therapy menu is vast.  You can easily find the components for your custom treatment program and the staff will be happy to help you.

These guys walk to walk and can talk the talk. It made all the difference to me in the outcome of my sustainable recovery, going strong after 5+ years!


Chateau Recovery Center
375 Rainbow Lane

Midway, UT 84049, USA
Phone: +1 435-654-1082

Please call our toll-free helpline which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by experienced and caring professionals who can answer your questions and help you navigate through the process of evaluating and securing a treatment program.

If you or someone you love has questions concerning the rehabilitation process, call our free helpline Phone: +1 888-971-2986 for more information. Calls are always confidential, private, and secure.


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