A real estate broker in Las Vegas was arrested this month on charges of money laundering for a drug cartel with connections in Hong Kong, Italy, and Mexico. According to prosecutors, the man would buy and sell homes on behalf of an organizational leader of drug trafficking organizations with ties to drug cartels in Central America and Mexico.
It is a story that attests to just how well drug cartels and their businesses have assimilated into our global culture. Today, a professional real estate broker can get by without notice for years before being intercepted by law enforcement. Businesses that look like legitimate cellphone providers are actually working to keep drug cartels connected and untraceable. Millions of pills land in the black market with the full knowledge of corrupt medical providers and even the drug companies are often aware of what is happening.
This is not just happening here in the United States. Everywhere around the world, in every country and culture, drug addiction is an ongoing epidemic that is taking lives by one means or another.
The good news is that, while our global culture shares the disorder of addiction in common, it also shares the knowledge of how best to address that disorder. Therapies, medical treatments, and combinations of treatments have been studied by every culture for centuries, and that wealth of information has been and continues to be openly shared. We are now more educated than we have ever been about the nature of addiction as well as the nature of effective treatment, and as a result, families who are in crisis due to addiction have access to some of the most well-informed, research-based treatment programs available.
Is your loved one ready to take advantage of the available treatment options?
Is Addiction a Medical Disorder?
One of the most important things we have learned is that addiction is a medical disorder. Formerly, the struggle to break free from cravings and compulsive use of substances was viewed as a moral failing, but with intensive neurological research, it was determined that substances impact more than just the emotional and mental health of the individual; they change the structure and function of the brain as well.
This is critical information if the issue of drug use is to be effectively addressed. Approaches to individuals and their families have changed drastically as a result of this information, and the fight is on to reduce the stigma against drug addiction disorders and the people who are suffering from them.
Personalized Care Is Key
Because addiction is a medical disorder that not only impacts physical, emotional, and mental health, but is also impacted by physical, emotional, and mental health, it is essential that each person who seeks treatment undergoes a personalized assessment at the start of treatment. A full drug and mental health history, as well as assessments and tests that are indicated all, serve to provide a multidisciplinary treatment team with the information they need to more accurately identify goals for recovery. In order to reach those goals, a personalized treatment plan can be developed that utilizes a range of treatments and therapies. Throughout the treatment process, this plan can be revisited, updated, and altered as needed to keep up with changing goals and accomplishments.
Long-Term Aftercare Is Essential
To solidify the intensive work done during the treatment process, it is necessary to engage in an ongoing and consistent aftercare treatment plan.
Starting with the transition into independent living in sobriety, this aftercare plan should emphasize:
- Treatment goals that continue with referrals in the community
- A strong support network of peers in recovery
- Family therapy sessions for those who are working on rebuilding important relationships
- Parenting support for those with children at home
- Job skills training and assistance in connecting with employment
- Alumni groups so that those who grow close during treatment can continue to connect and support one another
- Continued mental health care and treatment
- Access to outpatient therapeutic services as needed if challenges to sustained recovery arise
Not everyone steps out the door of a treatment program ready to go on with the rest of their life without drugs and alcohol. However, everyone who genuinely commits to a program of recovery that starts with comprehensive care and creates the habit of continually reconnecting with personal recovery will learn how to live a sober life for the long-term.
Are you ready to take the first step toward the treatment program that can change your life?