Addiction is a disease of Relapses. Relapse in an Addict's life happens mainly due to two reasons. They are :
1. Mentally ,he becomes lonely and exhausted of being strong. He feels there is no support system (viz family, friends, fellowship , confidante etc) with whom he can discuss and share his fears , needs , positive or negative thoughts , his perception of danger or harm by a situation or a person etc. This alienation is usually caused because he is uncomfortable in INTERACTIONS and expressing his state of mind especially, if he has not been given the environment to communicate and share openly.
2. An addict ( Recovering or otherwise also) takes life as a do or die challenge, everything has to be done seriously because for him everything becomes a yardstick of his life's achievement . He feels he does not have a scope to fail or loose. His lack of self-esteem pulls him down so much so that with even a small pressure of failure he succumbs to his addiction , and relapses.
There are many other reasons also for a relapse, but let us focus on these two, today.
At The Hermitage ,a LUXURY rehab in Amritsar a revolutionary integrated structured program has been devised by Dr JPS Bhatia, owing to his research in the field of addiction of more than 25 years. As we have known that in the last 100 years or so , a constant fight/struggle has been going on to eradicate alcohol and drug addiction. But sadly, there is no great program which has really been able to give much results. The success rate ,according to WHO remains not more than 2%. Thus , we can safely deduce ,says Dr Jps bhatia that most of the rehab programs tried till now to achieve recovery and sobriety but have NOT been very EFFECTIVE.
According to him, almost all these methods have been very serious , mundane , or too sedentary to succeed. There is he says, a need to make the program which is playful , interesting and vigorously engrossing. Alongwith the softness of healing , sensitivity of love and honour of respect and gratitude to achieve rehabilitation and recovery.
He opines that to establish this we have to first achieve a state of UNLEARNING ( like that of a child ) & then LEARNING to heal the ADDICT'S belief system and psyche. This learning process needs to start with the basics of life ,ie the childhood. The childhood of any person is associated with games and happy memories. The childhood is filled with fond memories connection , security and trust. Games and entertainment play a crucial role to initiate these feelings again . We need to rebuild a person's senses, perception, emotions, beliefs (in himself and others ) all over again in the same way. And this cannot happen by lectures and talks. This cannot happen by any forced or induced compulsive repetitive actions. This , he said has not really worked , not even close to it. That is the reason why the newly appointed British Psychology Society's President said that our approach needs to be revolutionized .
Dr JPS Bhatia said that we have now structured our treatment program to pivot around sports and sportsmanship. In other words, the treatment structure revolves around games and entertainment therapies. The triggers provided by these therapies release DOPAMINE and ENDORPHINS in the process. This process provides us a wonderful platform and opportunity to make the mind receptive to counsellings, both individual and group . The essential basis of these counselings is to reorganize the neuro-pathways of thought flow to avoid negative and destructive cells of the brain by the virtue of neuroplasticity ( rewiring of brain pathways ).
In the whole program many challenges are faced by us . For instance, there are some patients who are physically and mentally not upto the mark to pursue the sport based or entertainment based activities. For them we try to provide alternative therapies which are creative in nature , but are usually group activities. These activities need to have a sense of achievement , teamwork and gratitude ,almost like that is in a team of game or sports .
In the end , let's discuss all this in context of RECOVERY, REHABILITATION AND RELAPSE MANAGEMENT:
1. Recovery is achieved by regaining confidence and self esteem. A person has to regain ( recover ) his self pride and not feel totally belittled by small defeats,insufficiency or disdainful comment on his character and stop getting haunted by these abberations. This he gains by being able to lose a game of sport in his rehab program in Hermitage, and still be respected. He realises that his identity will not change due to someone's opinion . HE WILL REMAIN WHO HE IS. ( JUST BE ) .
2. Rehabilitation is achieved through the rebuilding of emotions, beliefs, sense of love ,care ,respect and gratitude all due to GAME AND SPORTS to reinvent his softer self which he had lost. .Re-establishment of relationships which were lost is a natural result of teamwork. A person unlearns selfishness and rejuvenates and grows up in the COMFORTABLE AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT of togetherness and fellowship of The Hermitage. And, this is our FORTE, we have a fellowship which runs in thousands.
3. Relapse management is the crux of any Rehab Program. The whole DISEASE of addiction is based on Relapses. I will like to elaborate the points on it's prevention one by one said Dr Jps bhatia :
a.Team work in sports makes an addict relearn the values of relationship. He again starts to understand how important he is himself and for others who NEED him. With this we place a very crucial deterrent by sensitizing him to his family's feelings.
b. Loosing a few and winning a few games while playing makes him less pessimistic, blaming , less susceptible to relapse because of strength being able to loose returning in his personality. He learns to accept that one can lose even if one has given it his level best. So , he can take the hit of a LOSE , in real life, which would otherwise break him into a RELAPSE. He learns to take tough times in a stride and move on . This is because he learns that he will still be respected, and one loss is not the end of the world. This is one of the unique and the strongest point of the program.
c. Loneliness as a thumb rule induces relapse. Teamwork helps him develop BONDS with the other players , and more importantly with COACHES ( Role models). These bonds last a lifetime
d. As a natural process sports and games helps in the managment of frustration and anger. He comes across numerous opportunities to cheat or just giveup. These two play havoc in the life of every alcohol and drug addict. The aggression in the addict converts into constructive proactive actions to try even harder next time.
e. Regaining of self respect ; pride of being trustworthy ( sportsmanship ) is inculcated. This reinforced mental strength.
d. Most importantly the STRENGTH to ask for HELP is imbibed into the addict's psyche . This is one of THE STRONGEST trait of a human being ( be it an addict or not).
SPORTS AND SPORTSMANSHIP IS A REVOLUTIONARY AND WELL STRUCTURED IDEA IN THE FIELD OF ALCOHOL REHAB and we are trying it selectively with great success at The Hermitage , said Dr. Jps Bhatia.