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What does "Getting Better" look like? Here's a sneak peek

Thoughts from John Perry, Co-Founder, Clean & Sober Recovery Services

Recovery requires a team effort, and that’s why CSRS selected our tag line “Let’s get better together. So that raises a question: What does “getting better” look like? How do we know when treatment is working and our loved ones are improving?

When people begin their treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, their appearance and emotions can run the gamut. Often, they are depressed and perhaps even suicidal. They are probably undernourished, and their Substance Use Disorder may be accompanied by other disorders as well. They may look sick, with dark circles and puffy skin. They may be exhausted, frightened, listless, agitated, angry, checked out, ridden with guilt and shame, or full of blame for whoever “forced them” into treatment.

More often than not, once drugs and alcohol are out of the system for at least several weeks, the symptoms or signs of other potential disorders diminish OR become clearly evident. Sobriety “opens the curtains” and helps us determine what other mental or physical health issues need attention.

And sometimes when people check in for treatment, there aren’t any obvious external signs that their drug or alcohol use is out of control. But no matter what the client looks like on the outside, there is always an internal level of pain and suffering – either conscious or subconscious.

While there are no universal external “yardsticks” of Substance Use Disorder, there are ways to asses if someone is “getting better.” Those measures can be subjective or objective. Do they seem happier? Are their relationships working again? Do they talk about the future? Have they become humble and apologized to those they wronged? Are they actively working a program of recovery? Our licensed drug and alcohol counselors look for other changes throughout the course of treatment as they encourage clients to learn new ways to navigate life without drugs or alcohol.

When clients continue to work a strong body/mind/spiritual recovery program, they continue to get better after they leave treatment. Are they back at work or in school? Are they taking steps to address DUIs or other legal infractions? Are they paying bills? Are they eating well? Are they well-groomed and demonstrating ever-greater levels of responsibility?

There is great power and beauty in these “before treatment” and “after treatment” snapshots. Call us at (916) 990 0190 if you have any questions about the way treatment works…and the way it can work miracles.

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