Trauma and shame are often intertwined with addiction and substance misuse. For many people, it’s an endless, frustrating cycle:
- Shame causes feelings of pain, self-loathing, and isolation.
- Individuals seek to numb these feelings with substances like drugs or alcohol.
- Substance misuse leads to more shame, which fuels continued issues and insecurities.
Shame can be caused by several factors. These include traumatic experiences, personal insecurities, internalized negative beliefs and a lack of love and validation from others. Let’s dig deeper into the root causes of shame and how it can affect a person’s ability to ask for help.
What is shame?
Shame is often used as a synonym for guilt, but these two emotions are very different. Guilt implies a feeling of despair or sadness over something you did. Your moral compass is telling you that you should not have done something. Shame, on the other hand, is an internal emotion where you focus on your whole self, rather than an action. It may not be related to a behavior or event. Instead, your brain is telling you that you are somehow inadequate and unworthy of love and acceptance.
Trauma is sometimes – but not always – a contributor to shame. A child who is abused at home or bullied at school may internalize these messages and believe they are inadequate as a person. An adult who has been mistreated by someone they love or trust may blame themselves instead of holding the other person responsible. These feelings of shame can take over, manifesting as low self-esteem or even self-loathing. Over time, these can lead to isolation or insecurity, both fertile grounds for addiction and substance misuse.
How can shame and trauma lead to addiction?
Shame can permeate the spirit. It has been linked to depression, mental illness and addiction as its victims struggle to cope with their feelings. While some people may be able to enjoy the subtle warmth and calmness that can come with a glass of alcohol, a person who is dealing with shame may grab onto alcohol’s numbing qualities like a life preserver in a turbulent sea. Unfortunately, the waves keep crashing and they find themselves reaching for that life preserver again and again. To continue the analogy, the life preserver or substance is never enough to stop the waves, and the shame of needing that life preserver leads to additional negativity and isolation.
Shame can also stand as a barrier between a person and the help they need. A person struggling with the potentially volatile combination of shame and substance misuse may feel they don’t deserve to be helped. They may build a wall around themselves, afraid to be vulnerable and honest with others. They are afraid others will reject them for the very reasons they reject themselves.
It is a vicious cycle. But help is available. With the correct intervention and therapy, mental healthcare professionals can help people break the pattern.
Healing from shame
When someone is seeking help for substance misuse, they also must address the shame that can derail any progress they make. This is not an overnight strategy – healing from shame takes time and often requires the assistance of a counselor or mental health professional. Working together, they may be able to uncover the root causes of shame, whether it came from a traumatic upbringing or a combination of internal and external factors.
People who are dealing with shame and trauma often have a hard time caring for and about themselves. The compassion and grace that are so easy to disperse to other people may be difficult to apply to their own hearts. A counselor may be able to help.
Addressing substance misuse shame
The shame of substance misuse presents its own challenges. The very shame that is fueling substance misuse can be the force that sabotages successful recovery. Trained mental health professionals can help people develop new practices and skills to address substance misuse while also treating the shame that accompanies it.
Everyone deserves to be happy and loved. Read that again. Everyone deserves compassion, even when they believe they are unworthy or inadequate. The Healthy365 Connection Center is here to help anyone who reaches out, whether it’s online or at our offices at 120 W. McKenzie Road in Greenfield. When you reach out to Healthy365, one of our trained support navigators will listen without judgment and work to connect you with local resources. Our free and confidential services are available to all Hancock County residents.
As we venture into the new year, resolve to take care of yourself. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance misuse or other mental health issues, reach out now. You are not alone.
Hancock County Indiana RISE is our newest program here at the Healthy365 Connection Center. RISE stands for Resilience, Individualized care in a Safe Space, and Empowerment. The program is designed for Hancock County residents who are affected by mental health and substance use disorders. Laura DeArmond, LCSW, talks more about RISE below.
What is RISE?
As DeArmond explained, “RISE is a dual-diagnosis program. Substance use is the primary diagnosis, but as with most addictions, trauma, depression, and anxiety are all underlying. The best model is to treat both of those at the same time.” RISE is an outpatient treatment primarily for those in early recovery. “They are in control of what their treatment plan looks like,” said DeArmond. “We’ll support them and give them all the available options.”
What does treatment look like?
RISE services will include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Patients will receive mental health counseling and potential medication management with a psychiatrist. “We treat a lot of patients who don’t need the medication management or maybe they’re already receiving meds from their primary care physician,” said DeArmond. “We want to transfer to a psychiatrist when necessary, but not everyone needs that medication piece.”
Support Navigators can also help with case management if there are concerns of homelessness or unemployment. Support groups will begin as more patients join the program. Overall, RISE is designed to fill in any of the gaps or challenges that an individual may face in early recovery.
How can someone join the RISE program?
Individuals can reach out directly to the Healthy365 Connection Center, or physicians can send in referrals as well. Krysti Montgomery will serve as the intake coordinator for RISE and will be the patient’s first point of contact.
“They’ll talk to Krysti, get triaged, and she runs insurance so that we can make sure it gets accepted and there are no surprises,” explained DeArmond. Next, an hour-long intake is scheduled with DeArmond, when all their information is gathered in order to determine how often to meet (typically weekly) and any other services that may be necessary, such as a psych appointment, MAT treatment, case management, etc.
What is MAT treatment?
MAT is one of the most effective harm reduction strategies to prevent withdrawal. The RISE program will use a few different types to help individuals in their recovery journey, including suboxone. “Out of all MAT treatments, we’ve found that suboxone is not as addictive as some other treatments, and it can be closely monitored,” said DeArmond.
Suboxone can produce a few side effects, but for most patients, pain is the biggest trigger for relapse and suboxone can take that away. Many patients even taper themselves down from suboxone on their own. “MAT is all about the process of meeting people where they’re at, and helping them get to recovery without judgment and stigma,” DeArmond said.
How will RISE serve our community?
“It is my hope that the RISE Recovery and Wellness program will help to fill a gap in much-needed services for our community,” said Amanda Everidge MSW, LSW, Director of Community Health Improvement. “Concurrently addressing addiction, mental health, and social needs of an individual can have a significant impact on outcomes. We strive to meet individuals where they are and empower healthy behaviors in a stigma-free and supportive environment.”
The RISE program also partners with the CRAFT Support Group, which allows loved ones to better support patients in their recovery. “If a RISE patient is talking about their family really struggling or says ‘I just don’t feel like they understand,’ then I’ll typically give them information about CRAFT,” said DeArmond. CRAFT is a 16-week highly effective, evidence-based curriculum that supports communication and family dynamics.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our RISE program, please reach out to the Healthy365 Connection Center today by calling 317-468-4231.
Fall is a busy time of year for the mental health and substance use recovery community. September is National Recovery Month, and October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Prevention and recovery are two important elements related to substance use disorders, and the resources and programs in each sector often work in tandem to build overall community resilience. Let’s explore how the Healthy365 Connection Center can connect you and your family with local resources to support the overall wellness of Hancock County.
What is recovery?
Recovery Month is an annual celebration of the strong and proud recovery community that takes place each September. This month also brings more awareness and support to new evidenced-based treatment and recovery practices that are being innovated, as well as honoring the dedication of family members, friends, service providers and community members who help make recovery possible for those affected by substance use disorders.
Treatment centers, outpatient services and dual-diagnosis programming can help bring people with substance use disorder to the successful management of their condition and long-term recovery. Many recovery programs incorporate peer-run engagement that allows those further along their journey to help those just starting out, and may also work to reduce stigma and negative attitudes toward those suffering from substance use disorders.
What is prevention?
As it relates to substance misuse, prevention is most often related to education about addictive substances like drugs and alcohol. During Substance Abuse Prevention Month in October, we also recall those who have lost their lives to substance use disorder or drug overdose. In doing so, we can recommit to promoting the local resources that can help prevent these devastating losses and bring healing to those communities affected.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), prevention strategies can also help “prevent or delay the use and misuse of substances, prevent suicide, promote mental health, mitigate problems among populations at risk for mental and substance use disorders, foster resilience, and prevent the onset among populations showing early signs and related problem behaviors.”
How can prevention and recovery work together?
Services for prevention and recovery both fall under the umbrella of mental and behavioral health, and often work together to build community resilience. Educational prevention programs and the recovery movement are each represented in the continuum of care for substance use disorders, and a number of people in the community touch them both, including clinical providers, prevention practitioners, representatives from the community and people with lived experience.
When advocating for better treatment services, it also makes sense to work with the community on improvements to prevention, and vice versa. As SAMHSA explains, “Scaling up the capacity and infrastructure of these programs will create strong resource networks to equip communities to support recovery for everyone.”
The Healthy365 Connection Center provides a few different options for both prevention and recovery services. First is Rise Above It, an educational prevention program for ages 12+ to adults that addresses mental health and substance misuse in Hancock County. These free annual events provide attendees with the opportunity to open up about mental health and substance misuse in an environment with resources that are ready to help. Indiana has rising rates of addiction, substance abuse and use of nicotine products, but help is available. This year’s Rise Above It event will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Eastern Hancock High School, and you can register online today.
Another service provided by the Healthy365 Connection Center is our CRAFT Support Group. This Family Support program is based on the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) model and is designed for family members and friends concerned about their loved ones who currently live with a substance use disorder. The ultimate goal of this 16-week curriculum is to help your loved one enter treatment services and engage in recovery, but it also addresses communication skills and your own self-care. The next CRAFT Support Group will meet each Thursday beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 3 and you can register or learn more online.
Are you ready to help support prevention and recovery programming right here in Hancock County? Contact Healthy365 today at 317-468-4231!
Do you have a friend or loved one in recovery from addiction or with mental health concerns? September is National Recovery Month, and it’s the perfect time to learn more about how you can support them. The Healthy365 Connection Center is here to help both those in recovery, as well as their loved ones and support system. Learn more about the resources we can connect you with and local programs we offer.
What is Recovery Month?
National Recovery Month, also known simply as Recovery Month, was founded in 1989. This month-long observance is a time to promote new evidence-based treatment and practices, the proud individuals in addiction recovery, and the dedication of service providers and community support systems who help make recovery possible. In particular, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) often releases announcements of new treatment initiatives and funding during National Recovery Month, celebrating individuals during their long-term recoveries as well as grantee organizations who have shown compassion and dedication to the recovery community.
Tips for supporting someone in recovery
There are many ways that you can support your loved one in recovery. Your first step may be acknowledging that they need help and offering it. They may be nervous to ask for support, but discussing the ways that you are available to help can make a big difference in their recovery. Also, keep in mind that you can’t recover for them. Find ways to encourage their responsibility and offer assistance without enabling them. For someone in recovery, it may be difficult to remember the things they once enjoyed. Help them rediscover their favorite hobbies, talents or goals while making new, healthier lifestyle choices.
Local recovery treatment centers
As much as you can support someone in recovery on your own, there may be times when they need professional help. This would primarily include the chance of harm to themselves or others, as well as the inability to take care of their own basic needs. The Healthy365 Connection Center can help connect you and your loved one in recovery with a variety of local treatment centers, including residential programs, which offers a break from the stress and temptations of daily life, as well as outpatient units and dual-diagnosis services for patients with comorbid mental health conditions. Additionally, some treatment centers offer programming for specific demographics, such as adolescents, seniors or women in crisis.
Mental health and substance use pocket guide
Also from Healthy365, our mental health and substance use pocket guide can be especially helpful for determining the best treatment options for someone in recovery. This pocket guide contains the phone numbers for 24-hour crisis hotlines supporting a variety of situations such as suicide prevention, gambling addiction, mental health and addiction resources, eating disorders and more. It also provides readers with a color-coded list of mental health and substance misuse resources, their contact information, and the type of services they provide, including inpatient vs. outpatient, age ranges, dual-diagnosis programming, detox and medication-assisted treatment.
CRAFT Support Group
While being in recovery can be extremely difficult, supporting someone in active addiction or recovery can be stressful as well. At Healthy365, we provide regular sessions of our CRAFT Support Group, which stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training. This 12-week course is designed for adults 18+ who have a family member or friend in addiction, with the goal of getting that person into treatment for recovery. CRAFT is a free program that takes a compassionate approach to communication strategies, empowering you not only to support your loved one in their journey to recovery but to take care of your own well-being too.
If you have questions about helping a loved one with recovery, or the resources that our Healthy365 Support Navigators can connect you with, contact us today at 317-468-4231.
The mission of Healthy365 and our Support Navigators is to help residents find solutions to some of our community’s most pressing health issues. Two of these top wellness concerns are mental health and substance misuse, or addiction. And in fact, research shows that there are direct connections between mental health and substance misuse, but in many cases, one or both can go untreated. But with the help of Healthy365, our Hancock County residents can get connected to resources to support their unique needs.
What is comorbidity?
The term “comorbidity” describes when two conditions, such as mental health disorders and addiction or substance use disorder, can occur in an individual simultaneously. Although neither disorder causes the other, there are often underlying mental health issues in those suffering from substance misuse. And they can also exacerbate the symptoms of the other.
This explanation is also supported by the fact that mental health conditions and substance misuse are both chronic brain disorders. The mind of someone struggling with addiction has been permanently rewired to work differently than before, affecting the same areas of the brain that are affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And on the flip side of the coin, some people with mental health disorders may be more likely to become addicted to substances in an effort to self-medicate and cope with the pain of their condition.
Identifying a dual diagnosis
Because the symptoms and connections between mental health and substance misuse are so similar, it is possible that one could be diagnosed while the other goes untreated. Inadequate training or mental health screenings that only diagnose one condition can make it more likely for the symptoms of both to continue. Especially when it comes to substance misuse, achieving sobriety can be extremely difficult while also dealing with an untreated mental health condition.
At Healthy365, we seek to educate our community to better identify the symptoms of these disorders in themselves or their loved ones in order to get the proper help. Our QPR training is a suicide prevention course that stands for “Question, Persuade and Refer,” which are three steps you can take to identify and assist someone in crisis. We also offer a full-day Mental Health First Aid Training, which gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance misuse problem, and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.
Getting treatment for the connections between mental health and substance misuse
When a dual diagnosis has been made, it is important to get the proper treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 9 million people have a co-occurring disorder, but sadly only 7 percent get treatment for both conditions, and roughly 60 percent receive no treatment at all. The top research indicates that comorbid conditions should be treated at the same time, or for best results, patients can even undergo an integrated treatment.
Early detection is very important to provide individuals with the proper integrated treatment. Because patients with co-occurring disorders can suffer from more persistent and severe symptoms that come with both conditions, receiving treatment and maintaining sobriety may be much more difficult than if they were to have a substance use disorder alone. At Healthy365, it is important to us to find the best local treatment option for our clients, including dual-diagnosis centers as well as residential treatment, outpatient centers, teen-specific treatment and centers for women who may have also suffered from domestic violence or a history of abuse.
If you believe you or a loved one may be in need of support for a mental health condition, substance misuse disorder, or both, contact Healthy365 today at 317-468-4231 or visit the Connection Center in Greenfield. We would be honored to help your family find the best treatment and support for your situation.