Regain Normal Life In A Drug And Alcohol Rehab Center In Switzerland
Addiction is a problem with many faces. Basically, addiction is defines as continual use/ abuse of certain substances, or indulging in certain behaviors, despite the markedly harmful effects on a person’s quality of life and relationships. Usually, an individual tries to, but more often than not, cannot put an end to their passion, unless they summon up all their inner resilience or have very strong psychological support from family or specialists. And yet, even in cases of apparent recovery, the danger of a relapse is always there.
What things or behaviors haunt humanity until they subdue their will? Actually, people can become addicted to many substances or patterns of actions, even ones that seem harmless, even recommended at times. The common characteristic of all addictions is that they affect our brains in a very similar way. No matter if we experience satisfaction from a good drink, a game online, a drug or a gambling session — they all influence the dopamine levels in our system. The problem is both physiological and psychological, and the psychological part is not to be ignored. It is usually a person’s everyday life, family relationships, stress at work, level of satisfaction that can push an inborn predisposition over the edge. It is true that the children of alcoholics are naturally predisposed to the same ailment. But their environment can stop them or push them into the abyss.
Alcoholism is among the oldest human addictions. Drinking changes the way your personality manifests itself. You may feel merrier, inhibitions and stress may recede, shyness could go away. But also, some really unpleasant strokes of personality may come out. Violence, gloominess, jealousy, quickness to anger… At later stages, an alcoholic’s behavior could differ from person to person. Some might become passive, docile, apathetic, thinking about nothing but reuniting with their passion after the hardships of the day. Some might deluge themselves, keep their problem secret, keep saying that there’s nothing wrong in a few drinks. Yet others will become aggressive, authoritative, hard to please. Irritability will spring up at every minor dissatisfaction, they will keep their families in fear of physical abuse. Alcoholism at its most advanced stages holds real danger if the sufferer decides to quit. Abstinence from alcohol suddenly and abruptly can lead to very serious conditions, from tremors to delirium tremens.
Teenage alcoholism is a problem here. Not all young people become drunkards, of course, but submitting to peer pressure in a group can lead those with a natural disposition to the chronic problem. After all, everyone started at some time. Slipping into the abyss did not occur all at once, no one became an alcoholic overnight. So, young people should be carefully guided and informed about the dangers that their reckless behavior can expose them to. Which, of course, does not refer to drinking only.
There are the “classical” drugs — heroin, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines; but beside these a new group have emerged since the mid-1990s, when opioids in the USA began to be prescribed as painkillers, and again since the dawn of the century, when illegal laboratories synthesize newer and newer drugs to keep ahead of legislation. It should be noted here that prescription drugs stress or pain relief tend to be a very vicious danger, especially if they belong to the opioids group, derived from the pappy plant. Both ordinary people and a number of celebrities have met ruined lives or death due to abuse of prescription drugs. Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston and her daughter, Bobby Christina, Heath Ledger, Ike Turner, and many others… Prescription of drugs to reduce anxiety, stress or pain is very likely to lead to a subtle but malicious addiction. Completing strictly the intake program prepared by a doctor is the best course, but many deviate from that despite their will. So may be, if you had a fractured limb and there are plans to put you on opioids for pain relief, it might be a good idea to think very, very carefully first. Is the pain that bad? Aren’t there other ways to fight it? The risks had better be compared and evaluated.
Some very widely used and very dangerous prescribed drugs are OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, Percocet, Xanax, Lorazepam.
Gambling is the oldest behavior recognized as harmful and addictive. Risk and the chance to be a winner in the match with fate fascinated many and ruined many, and still do. The excitement before the unknown outcome and the possible victory affects our brains in the same way that addictive substances do. Other behaviors that bring us pleasure can also prove addictive. The newest such behavior arose with the advent of technology — until some time ago, games were a serious danger, and today everyone with a smartphone and social media apps on it is in danger. The most vulnerable are, of course, children. They have not yet built the will to oppose these attractions, and they are too young to realize why they are dangerous. Recently many of us must have witnessed cases of young kids becoming very irritable if their favorite pacifier — tablet or smartphone — is taken away from them. This irritability could be interpreted as withdrawal symptoms. The net and smart devices are too powerful a stimulant for a young brain. When the stimulation is gone, nothing in the real world can quite match it. To compensate, children might become hyperactive, searching for stimulation around them, and at the same time be unable to focus long on uninteresting environments or activities. Maybe we all should recognize the danger and avoid using technology as a babysitter replacement.
But apart from gambling and technology, simple everyday activities may turn out to be addictive if performed in such a way as to become uncontrolled and harm the quality of a person’s life.
Food can be an addiction. Anorexia and bulimia are well-known. Binge eating is indulging in overeating at certain moments of stress, dissatisfaction, feeling of incompleteness. Binge eating combined with bulimia — emptying one’s stomach shortly after eating — often results in normality on the surface, but the risk of heart failure with bulimia is very high due to loss of potassium. Anorexia is often combined with excessive exercise. Physical exercise by itself can be an addiction. If the human body is put to trials or exhausted in this way, it responds with diabetes, infertility, heart problems, anemia, irregular menstrual cycles, unhealthy appearance.
Sex, pornography and masturbation can also become an addiction. These can disrupt an individual’s professional as well as personal life. Impulses and their satisfaction may become more important than human relationships, and this can lead to a distorted picture in the sufferer’s brain as to what in life is real and matters and what is immaterial.
Shopping can be an addiction, if it is done to forget about stressful moments, at times of disappointments or frustration. If it brings you great pleasure but you feel guilty afterwards, if the things you buy were chosen not because you need them or like them, but because of the amazing discounts and bargains, then you might be turning into a shopaholic. Shopping addiction often goes hand in hand with another, such as an eating disorder, or with the risk of substance abuse.
Kleptomania and pyromania, compulsive gambling/shopping and sudden violence/ anger outbursts have been recognized as impulse control disorders.
People can also become addicted to inhalants, steroids, energy drinks and, of course, tobacco. Even obsessive caring about your partner is actually an addiction.
Basically, all addictions occur because something in your life was missing. You did not find happiness and satisfaction where you expected and dreamed to find it and searched for a replacement. The replacement turned out to be so good that you were unable to resist it and wanted more and more. Otherwise, the original gloom and emptiness invaded your life again. That goes on and on to a point when your body-personality develops a tolerance to the substance/ behavior, which means that the same amounts do not produce the same effects. Then you simply need more just to ensure the same satisfaction. Trying to stop is excruciating, so it is easier to just go on and on. But your physical body has its limits and cannot tolerate anything forever. So one day addicts find themselves in life-threatening situations.
How to quit?
The simple act of quitting tobacco has proved insurmountable in difficulty. Smokers have tried again and again to quit, then they have relapsed again and again, inadvertently, or after some unpleasant day at work, or after gaining weight trying to replace tobacco with sweets. Gamers have tried to quit. Then simply having nothing better to do drew them back to their passion. Gamblers have tried to stop, finding their lives dull and grey without the thrill. Internet users try to stop, but the bright screen attracts them again and again, when their real lives are so uninteresting in comparison.
Quitting alcohol can be dangerous to your health if you are far advanced and if you try to perform the quitting unsupervised.
As alcohol generally dulls your nervous system, if you are a regular drinker, your body has learned to work hard to keep your nervous system awake enough. When alcohol levels drop, your body is still keyed up and this can cause shaky hands, nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, insomnia. If you have already had withdrawal symptoms in the past, the next time they occur will be more violent. An extreme case of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens. Delirium tremens does not occur straight away after you stop drinking. It usually happens two days later. The condition includes seizures, hallucinations, very high temperature, shivering, shaking, irregular heart rate. No more than 5% of alcoholics reach that state.
Tranquilizers withdrawal is as dangerous as alcohol withdrawal. It is recommended never to stop using these substances suddenly and never to do it without some help around.
Prescription drugs intake plans usually include the gradual period of getting off the drug. That mean following a doctor’s instructions strictly. It you do succumb to your own cravings, you could end up an addict after as little time as 10 days!
Cocaine causes states known as “crashes” — prolonged sleep, higher appetite, depression, agitation. Later stages of cocaine withdrawal may include suicidal thoughts.
Heavy dependence on benzodiazepines is also dangerous. Comas, delirium and seizures can occur if the drug is cut off suddenly.
A most dangerous combination is mixing drugs, or mixing drugs with alcohol. Then people run the real risk of accidentally overdosing and slipping into life-threatening heart, brain or lung failures. This has happened to many individuals of fame in the world of sports or the arts.
Who is in danger of addiction?
Youth seems to be a primary risk factor. Young people tend to be insecure, dissatisfied, and at the same time adventurous. A young person in a depression is much more likely to try addictive substances than a settled adult in the same psychological state. Responsibility, experience, family, fulfillment at work diminish the chance of slipping. But as few young people have had the time to achieve those, they are prone to reckless behavior and its serious consequences. Besides, young mind are not yet fully developed and no firm routines are set. So damage after early addiction may be more persistent and long-lasting.
Genetics is also an important factor, said to be responsible for 50% of the risk. Genetics includes the chemical constitution of your brain and the type of personality traits that you are born with.
Environment can be the trigger of the predisposition. Usually, addiction starts when individuals feel that something in their lives is missing, depressing, discouraging, and hopeless. Lack of a purpose in life, inability to treasure what one already has, hostile family atmosphere, an unpleasant poverty rut, apparent lack of hope for change — these can induce a sensitive and predisposed individual into looking for another reality, created by chemistry or behavioral passions.
Creative people, celebrities, people with high intelligence and belonging to the worlds of art, sports or music also seem to be at high risk. Often, this group faces the additional burden of seeking privacy when trying to recover their healthy lives.
And another group at risk are people who have been through some physical trauma and this led to medically prescribed drugs that are addictive. Anyone can be in such a group, but this also depends on medical practices and legislation in certain countries. The USA seems to be a country where these practices and laws are too permissive.
There are two directions in treatment — physiological and psychological. The psysiological treatment comes first, and it involves providing ample help, often medical, to counteract and control severe withdrawal symptoms. This is called detoxification, or detox. Detox means getting a chemical substance out of your system, which your body can react to very violently. Some detox periods need a medical environment and supervision. Detox can last weeks.
Once detox is over, it very important that a sufferer’s mind is in the right state to hold firm, show will and resist the overwhelming desire to relapse. This involves harsh reality checks, encountering and getting used to a way of life that lacks the highs of risk or drug-induces pleasures. That can seem dull, hopeless, it can lead to depressing thoughts, despair, suicidal tendencies. Sometimes family support, friends, self-discipline, faith, religion are enough to help. Sometimes an individual needs special psychological treatment, such as group therapy, AA meetings, CBT.
AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous has traditions that date back to the 1930’s. Their recovery scheme involves “the 12 steps” of recovery. In the initial step the individual will recognize that they have a problem, that it is harmful to others and himself. Then comes the belief in a higher power, or God, and the vow to seek His help to find the right way. The final stages include guiding another unhappy individual along onto the road to recovery.
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of group therapy. It does not focus so much on detecting the roots of one’s problems in the past or in one’s childhood. CBT focuses on helping an individual pinpoint unhelpful, disruptive behavior and unrealistic and harmful attitudes and beliefs, then trying to counteract them through the best ways possible. CBT looks at reality and you perception of it and corrects any damaging discrepancies. CBT is considered helpful in treating many types of addictions and harmful behavior, including eating disorders, gambling, shopaholism, internet addiction. It is effective with practically all social and age groups.
The holistic approach
It does not mean “holy”. The holistic approach follows the principle that “the sum is more than the parts”. A patient is viewed as a unity of mind, body, past life, attitudes, present state etc. Treatment is addressed at the person as a whole, not at individual symptoms only.
There are roads to recovery, and it depends from case to case which one is the best. Still, the worst cases of addiction do require some medical attention, in-patient treatment and periods of peace, quiet and meditation. Then comes the choice of enrolling in a recovery clinic to help you through the process.
Why choose a “rehab”, or a rehabilitation center
Cases differ, addictions differ. But there are undoubtedly cases when even harmonious family atmosphere is not enough. Patients need the care of medical professionals, who know the stages of recovery from an addiction, and who can, based on medical experience, determine the best treatments, approach and therapies for a particular patient. Patients may also need a period of complete relaxation, detachment from the worries of the world or the clamor of home life. So spending some time away, in a specialized rehabilitation center could be beneficial. Rehabs generally provide ample professional care and facilities that are quite good, even luxury . Normally, clients receive treatment and service based on a tailor-made rehabilitation program. This takes into account each client’s mental condition, psychological issues, physical state and health.
Rehab in Europe?
Quality and luxury rehab centers exist practically all over the world. They tend to be either in locations of magnificent scenery, or close to major cities with medical and hospital centers. Very often rehabs a located near water — rivers or the seaside. Another preferred location are mountainous regions.
If we focus on Europe, Switzerland is one country which has the scenery, tranquility and discreet professionalism for recovery centers. The Swiss Alps offer unique views, quality service and qualified teams with years of experience.
Quality, discretion, luxury — Clinic les Alpes, Montreux, Switzerland
Switzerland is the country where natural scenery, peace and quiet, as well as sports facilities and discretion meet. The founders had all this is mind when they converted a traditional Swiss chateau into a modern rehabilitation center for treating alcohol and other addictions and damaging behaviors. Clinic les Alpes is situated above the city or Montreux, which ensures that hospital care is at hand should it be needed — an advantage that many rehab centers lack. Actually, the Clinic has agreements with local hospitals for cooperation when severe cases of detox require a hospital stay rather than a rehab center environment.
Clinic les Alpes has been freshly renovated, inside and out. There are 27 private bedrooms, sports facilities and conference rooms, drawing rooms and a library, as well as a special space for seeking solitude and meditation, reachable through a tunnel. There are also saunas, Jacuzzi and swimming pools facilities. The staff working there are highly trained and dedicated, from the medical staff and counsellors, through chefs and kitchen staff and down to maintenance workers. The living conditions are excellent, including the cuisine, which follows the principles of a healthy diet and fresh, locally produced ingredients.
The philosophy behind the Clinic les Alpes treatment involves treating the person as a whole, as a unity of body, mind and spirit. Simply a detox, or treating the symptoms of withdrawal are not considered enough. Extensive medical tests, expert counselling, 12-step methods, group therapy and CBT are offered to help a person stay on the road to recovery despite temptation towards the easier way. There are no pre-set treatment plans. Each person’s needs are individually assessed and a plan of action is devised to address each individual’s specific condition. Every patient receives 4 hours of counselling daily, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. The staff speak most international languages and English for certain, so good communication is ensured.
Sufferers are encouraged to discover healthy activities alongside their therapy programs and well-being experiences. There are luxury facilities and guiding in art therapy, equine therapy, pilates, reiki, acupuncture, massages, adventure therapy, yoga and tai-chi. Such activities support mental health and recovery and help patient maintain their new course in life.
Families are not and cannot be forgotten. They are not regarded as just a part of the sufferer’s environment — families are separate individuals, facing problems of their own, facing the ruin of a loved one. Clinic les Alpes offers family treatment programs, which have the in-patient option, and can be as short as one week if the circumstances require it.
On leaving the Clinic, an aftercare strategy is decided upon. The possible dangers of a relapse are discussed and avoidance strategies are marked out; regular weekly and quarterly counselling visits are arranged to receive additional help; there are Booster Stays one week long to reinforce key learnings and recovery; a patient can be escorted back to their home should there be need to do so. Beyond the Clinic treatment, there are other organizations and networks that ca offer help and those are pointed out and discussed.
The main thing is that Clinic les Alpes offers strict discretion. The team have been carefully instructed as to the importance of respecting an individual’s need for respect and privacy. Additionally, Switzerland as a popular tourist destination offers the chance of not disclosing one’s purpose of stay there. One can announce that they are going on a skiing holiday and use the time to visit this specialized rehabilitation center and come back a stronger, reformed person.
If you are interested in receiving qualified help in the best environment, service and conditions possible, you might Clinic les Alpes a very desirable option. For more information, contacts, email and some great images of the place you can visit https://www.cliniclesalpes.com. There, you can find more about the treatment programs open in 2019, the approaches and therapies offered and the philosophy behind them. At www.linkedin.com/company/clinic-les-alpes there is information about the team of professionals working at this luxury rehab center as well as news about recent activities. The picturesque Swiss countryside might be one of the best places where a troubled soul can find their way back to mental harmony and health.