FAQ

Am I an addict?

This is a difficult question and only you can answer it. By definition, an addict is a person who is addicted to an activity, habit, or substance. At Visible Recovery, we see addiction as a disease. It affects approximately one in ten people. It centres in the mind and affects the physical and spiritual being. It is the underlying thinking and behaviours behind any addiction that needs the most intensive treatment to enable change.

The physical part of addiction happens as the body becomes dependent upon the drug of choice (DOC). This is most apparent with some prescription drugs and heroin. A medically managed detoxification in a clinic or a hospital is the only safe way of managing the withdrawal symptoms. All drugs, when abused, are likely to have a negative effect on the body.

The mental condition of addiction is best described as the obsessive and compulsive thinking surrounding drug use. This often happens when the individual is not actually using drugs or alcohol at all. They can have overwhelming cravings to do so, even when no drug is detectable in their system. This often leads to the addicted person getting the drugs no matter what the financial, emotional or spiritual cost. This can put them at risk in the process. This is truly tunnel vision, overriding any rational thoughts of why they should not use or drink. Even in the face of extremely negative and serious outcomes, it is this obsessional thinking which drives the addict to continue their unquenchable thirst for more drugs.

For an addict, life without either drugs is painful if they don’t have a clear program of recovery. The compulsion to use for an addict does little to negate the problems in their lives, causes a very distorted view indeed, and often leads to the belief that they need to use drugs to relieve the problems they experience. It appears that life itself is the problem, and not the drugs they are consuming.

If you find yourself identifying with any or all of the above, then there is a good chance that you have a problem with addiction. Why not give us a call and talk to us and see if we could help?

 

Am I an alcoholic?

This is something that you have to decide for yourself. We are certainly not in the market of telling people that they are an addict or an alcoholic at all. Visible Recovery will only work for those people that have decided that they are, and that they want to do something about that, and stop and change. Alcohol is a killer if you are addicted to it. It is a serious addiction, and is insipid in its ability to tell you that everything is OK, and that things aren’t that bad when they really are. By the very nature of it being one of society’s legal drugs of choice today, it sets up a raft of problems for the alcoholic, and in particular within cultures that have an extremely social and outdoor lifestyle like here in Australia.

Becoming physically addicted to alcohol is very dangerous. It is the only drug in a detox that can kill you as you are coming off it. None of the other drugs of addiction can cause organ failure as quickly and without notice like alcohol can, which is why you need to stop using alcohol in a medically managed environment to ensure safe outcomes.

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease. It includes problems like:-

  • Trying to control your drinking
  • Being preoccupied with alcohol
  • Continuing to use alcohol when it causes problems
  • Having to drink more to get the same effect
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when you stop or decrease your drinking

It gets to the point where you can’t consistently say with confidence how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or the consequences that occur from drinking as a result of your changed behaviours. It can all start off very innocently with a couple of drinks a night after work, and that can rapidly turn into daily binge drinking, or even “around the clock” drinking or “top up drinking”, where you have alcohol in your system constantly.  Binge drinking is where the primary intention is to get intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It can lead to the same health risks and social problems associated with alcoholism. The more you drink, the greater the risks.

If you have alcoholism or you have a problem with alcohol, you may not be able to cut back or quit without help. Alcoholism is the disease of denial, and this is often hallmarked in some way with someone who is alcoholic.

Beyond all of that, alcoholism isn’t just about the problematic drinking of alcohol. “I thought that if I just put down the drink, I would be fine. It was when I did just that, I realised just how sick I really was, and how distorted my behaviours and views on life had become. I desperately needed help with that, and I couldn’t do it on my own. It wasn’t until I started to change my life completely that the compulsion to drink left me” says Simon Bowen.

If you find yourself identifying with any or all of the above, then there is a good chance that you have a problem with alcohol. Why not give us a call and talk to us and see if we could help?

 

Do I have an addiction to gambling?

There are many and varying interpretations of compulsive gambling. A compulsive gambler is described as a person whose gambling has caused growing and continuing problems in any department of his or her life. It has the same hallmarks of any addiction, only it has gambling or betting as its “drug of choice” instead of alcohol or drugs.

It is described as being an invisible addiction, as there are no physical symptoms of having this problem, like marks on your arms, breath smelling of booze, or being obese or overweight like there are with other addictions.

Some of the things that happen to a person with a gambling addiction would include:-

  • A steadily increasing preoccupation with gambling
  • A need to bet more money, more frequently
  • Restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop gambling
  • “Chasing” losses with more gambling
  • Continued gambling despite mounting serious and often negative consequences

The often massive financial losses that can occur with this addiction can shatter families and relationships. Gambling addiction can occur regardless of the game, be it the pokies, scratch cards, card games, horse and dog racing; even the lottery. And this isn’t just a financial problem – it’s a progressive illness. Paying off a gambler’s debts won’t cure the addiction; inevitably, the gambling addict will continue to place bets and accrue more debts that he or she can’t afford to pay.

If you find yourself identifying with any or all of the above, then there is a good chance that you have a problem with alcohol. Why not give us a call and talk to us and see if we could help?

Testimonials

 

“I found myself broken, lost and suicidal, as I hit my rock bottom just before entering Visible Recovery. I was hesitant to believe that I could somehow live a life without the gratification that I got in my addiction. However through Visible Recovery’s 12 week program I have completely transformed my life, and my family’s.”

Alex B.

Previous client

Aftercare and support

When you have completed your stay with us at Visible Recovery, there is a mandatory 12 weeks of aftercare. This will be a meeting every week of people that have graduated the programs they have attended, to help you remain sober and clean, and to refocus you on life after rehabilitation. This will give you a forum to discuss some of the issues that you are facing with others in recovery, as well as helping you to forge new and better relationships with people that remain clean and sober. You will also have access to regular one to one counselling sessions with one of our team to help you through the challenges of the first months of your new lives.

Become a “Recovery Champion” with Visible Recovery

For those people that have graduated from our one year program, there will be an opportunity to come and share your experiences with clients that are currently going through their first months with us, so that they can gain from the benefit of your experience, and hear what it was like for you. The Recovery Champion program will offer you the opportunity of studying and completing a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs by a recognised and accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This is a comprehensive nationally recognised Certificate IV that covers all aspects of the Drug and Alcohol field, and will give you a better understanding of working in this area for your new life, if you so desire. We can support you with volunteering opportunities that will enable you to gain valuable experience to work in this interesting and exciting field. Only clients completing our 12 month program with Visible Recovery will be considered for this program.

Employment @ Visible Recovery

Why not come and do some work with us? We are looking for good people all the time. We would ask that all people that want to work at Visible Recovery have a minimum of two years sobriety or clean time. We need this congruency to ensure that all staff and volunteers at Visible Recovery are examples of recovery themselves, so that the message is very clear here for those in treatment. We want to work with people that have good and strong recovery, to show others here that having a good and clean, sober life is not just a possibility, but a reality.

In the first instance, please drop us a line via email at firststep@visiblerevovery.com.au, and give us a brief idea of what position you would like to apply for, along with any relevant experience, clean time, and a recent CV. We will get back to you within 7 days to let you know what the possibilities might be. We absolutely will respond to you. Please, do not send attachments that are .zip or . rar compressed, as these will be deleted due to internet virus scams. Only .pdf or .doc formats will be kept and read. Thank you.

If we think we would like to meet with you to discuss this further, we will then call to arrange a mutually convenient time for an appointment with you. Please don’t call us, just send us an email to contact us in the first instance. We are very busy here working with clients and referrers, and you will only be directed to do the above if you do call. Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you. We wish to advise that we have no vacancies at this stage, but are willing to accept CV’s from interested people.

Volunteer @ Visible Recovery

We will be looking for volunteers to get involved with our not for profit organisation in the not too distant future. Please drop a line to us at firststep@visiblerevovery.com.au and state your interest. We absolutely will get back to you.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health Data

According to NSDUH combined data from 2005-2008 surveys, there are five common reasons why people who felt they needed treatment for substance abuse but made no effort to get it:

• Not ready to stop using
• No health coverage/could not afford cost
• Possible negative effect on job
• Not knowing where to go for treatment
• Concern that receiving treatment might cause neighbours/community to have negative opinion

Needed Treatment, Made an Effort

Individuals, who felt they needed treatment for substance abuse and did make an effort to get it, offered the following eight reasons (combined 2005-2008 NSDUH data) why they didn’t receive treatment:

• No health coverage and could not afford cost.
• Not ready to stop using.
• Able to handle problem without treatment.
• No transportation/inconvenient.
• No program having type of treatment.
• Did not feel need for treatment at the time.
• Did not know where to go for treatment.
• Might cause neighbours/community to have negative opinion .
• Might have negative effect on job.

What About Those Who Felt They Didn’t Need Treatment?

What do we know about the 95.2 percent of persons needing treatment for substance use but didn’t get it because they didn’t see a need? What can be deduced about their reasoning beyond saying they didn’t feel they needed it? Statistics don’t help here, because it gets at more deep-rooted issues. Addiction professionals say there are several underlying reasons why persons who are addicted or dependent upon alcohol and/or drugs don’t seek treatment. These could include any, some, or all of the following 10 reasons:

• Denial – The most common and initial reaction is that the addict refuses to accept that he or she has a problem with alcohol, drugs, or both. The person may be so entrenched in the drug habit that they deny its existence despite the facts.

• Control – Male addicts, in particular, may find it difficult to admit there’s a need for treatment due to issues of control. They need to feel in control of their own destiny and often are manipulative and controlling in their relationships with others. For an addict with control issues, seeking treatment is far down on the list. They’d likely say they didn’t have a problem or that they have everything under control.

• Fear – It takes a lot of determination, motivation and courage to enter treatment. Many addicts are deterred by fear. They are afraid of the entire detoxification and withdrawal process, whether out of ignorance, past attempts on their own, or perceived dangers. They may be apprehensive about what the treatment program entails and not feel able to handle it.

• Cut Off From Supply – Many addicts won’t enter treatment because they won’t have access to their supply of drugs or alcohol. Since drug and/or alcohol treatment programs require sobriety, and many are residential and/or do urine tests, addicts know there’s no chance they can get high without getting caught.

• Can’t Give Up High – For many addicts, the biggest reason they don’t go for treatment is that they can’t give up the high. They’re so wrapped up in how good they feel, so addicted to the high, that they can’t envision living without it. Despite harm to physical and mental health, and serious consequences to family, relationships and career, addicts cling to what’s known: the comfort of their addiction.

• Treatment Won’t Help – Some addicts feel they are beyond help. No treatment can possibly make a difference in their lives after years of being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Those with co-occurring mental health issues can feel particularly hopeless.

• Nobody Cares – After burning their bridges behind them, alienating family and friends during years of addiction, some addicts feel that there’s no one left that cares whether they live or die. Since they have no one close, no one to support their efforts to get better, why bother? Lack of family or other support is a big issue not only in refusal to see a need for treatment but also among those who, after they do receive treatment, falter during recovery.

• Stigma – Buried within a person’s denial of need for treatment may be the stigma attached to “going into rehab.” Whether the person is a celebrity or a common laborer, society still treats addicts with a certain amount of contempt. At least, that’s the fear among some addicts who would rather shoulder along with their addiction than admit they have a problem and seek help for it.

• Hope the Problem will Resolve itself – Some addicts, who secretly know different, hope that the problem they currently have (or have had for some time) with drugs and/or alcohol will simply resolve itself or go away. This form of self-delusion is akin to denial, but the accompanying blow to self-esteem when such a turnaround fails to occur plunges the addict into even deeper despair.

• Want to Die – After years of abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, having lost all hope, with no one to care, not believing treatment would be effective or seeing no reason to turn their lives around, some addicts continue their addiction in a deliberate attempt to end their lives. Why should they seek treatment when they don’t want it? To an addict in the final stages of addiction, death may seem the only solution. While they may not overtly try to kill themselves, by continuing their addiction, they are slowly and inexorably seeking to end their lives.

These are all just reasons not to engage in treatment! Treatment DOES help. At Visible Recovery, we have outstanding outcomes for those clients that complete our Freedom Package treatment plan. What have you got to lose? Call us on (08) 82236486 to arrange a free assessment now.

Q&A

Q. Where should I go for my treatment?
A. Visible Recovery have a unique approach to recovery offers a holistic service encompassing one on one counselling, group therapy, gym, yoga, an onsite chef providing nutritionally balanced meals all within a caring, comfortable home. Visible Recovery’s facility is not a clinical environment; you will feel at home in a beautifully restored heritage listed home. We are not the only rehab in Australia though, so look around and be certain about where you are going and what is on offer.

Q. What about my job?
A. We understand that your financial responsibilities must be considered. We offer a consultative service in which your rehabilitation will be tailored to your individual needs. Together we will ensure that your rehabilitation program will not negatively impact your job.

Q. What if I’m able to handle my problem without treatment?
A. You are not ready to enter rehabilitation. We are on hand to answer any of your questions at any time, however, entering rehabilitation can’t be forced, you need to recognise your addiction and want to overcome it. Only then we can support you to achieve a clean, happy and healthy life.