A Promise Made, A Promise Kept

I spent a good portion of my day yesterday speaking to a potential new patient. She, very clearly, was nearing the end of her road. She was depressed, lonely, and afraid. She had a very common story to tell. She told how alcohol had slowly but surely taken a greater and greater role in her life over the years. Leading her to the point where there was essentially nothing about her life that made sense to her any longer. She has been drinking, on most days, merely to stave off the shakes and the other symptoms of the DT’s. More than anything else as I was speaking to her I had the impression that she was tired, profoundly tired. I really related to her story, the pain and humiliation, the loneliness and despair, and being tired.

Reflecting On Past Experiences

Your Past Doesn’t Define You

Our conversation yesterday led me to spend a great deal of time reflecting on my own experience with alcoholism, and recovery. It has been a little over nineteen years since I have had to consume alcohol. I say “had to” intentionally, during the last several months of my drinking life there was nothing more I wanted to do than not drink. In fact, I would wake up each day and promise myself that I wasn’t going to. Everyday I had plans and designs built around this one ambition. Yet each day I would find myself drunk by mid-afternoon. Bewildered, terrified, and alone. I could not explain to myself how this kept happening. Nothing about my life made sense any longer. I was useless to all who knew me. Above all else I was tired. It was from this pit of despair and futility that a miracle happened.

I would love to share with you what my journey into recovery was like (and I may some day). The joys, and setbacks, the miracles that defy explanation that happened along the way. This however is not why I am writing today. I am writing today merely to extend a simple promise to any who read this that may be suffering like I was. When I first entered recovery a simple promise was made to me. I was promised that if I did the work necessary to stay sober, I would be able to have a life that made sense to me. What I have received is that and infinitely more. Upon the simple basis of minding the few things I learned early in recovery to do each day I have been able to stay free from alcohol for nearly half my life. In that time I have gone to university, been married, have two amazing kids, and am working in a career that is both personally meaningful and socially impacting. Just as importantly though it’s the simple things. I can sit in a quiet room at peace. My mind, for the most part, feels calm. I wake up most days excited for what the day will bring. This is not to say that this life has not been without its struggles. I have lost loved ones, bravely (and not so bravely) walked through health crisis, lost jobs, you name it. Life has continued to take its course, through it all, the good times and the tough, I have not found it necessary to put alcohol into my body (nothing short of a miracle)

Believing You Can Overcome Addiction

The First Step To Getting Clean Is Always The Hardest

Nineteen years ago if you would have told me this was possible I would not have believed you. If I had made a list of everything I had wanted out of life, I would have sold myself way short. All I wanted was to be able to make it through a day without needing to be drunk. What I have been given is a life of purpose, meaning, and usefulness, that gets better and better with each passing day.

Please know, I have not written this account to be self congratulatory. Rather, if you are reading this and are suffering from addiction I want to make you a simple promise. One that was made to me many years ago. If you will daily do the simple work that recovery requires, you can have a life that makes sense to you.

Until next time
Your friend in service,

Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for substance use disorder call us today at 1.844.878.3221. We are here to help!

Transitioning Into Recovery, A Family Perspective: Part II

In our last article in this series, we discussed strategies on how to effectively have the initial conversation leading toward an addict entering into treatment and how a family can detach with love from the addict in order to help both themselves and the addict.  Also, recently we published an article with some helpful guidelines on how to select an appropriate facility for a loved one. Today, I would like to cover the transition period that begins once and addict agrees to seek treatment and lasts through the individuals arrival at a facility. This can be a very uncertain time for both the sufferer and his or her family. This is especially true for a family that has not gone through this process before. I will endeavor to give a rough outline of some of the challenges that this scenario may present.  That said, as always, this article is not meant to be comprehensive and is in no way meant to replace working with a qualified professional. My hope is that by providing some suggestions those reading this who are concerned for a loved one may find enough comfort in this passage to begin moving toward a solution, and further that those engaged in the process will feel empowered to reach out to a qualified professional for help.  The best day for someone suffering from substance use disorder to begin the journey of recovery is today.  Tomorrow may be too late

Once The Decision Is Made

Once an addict admits they need help and agrees to pursue treatment time is of the essence.  In the life of any addict (I speak from personal experience here) there are moments of clarity where he or she can see the truth of their situation.  They comprehend the damage they have caused to themselves and others.  They understand and can feel the hopelessness of their attempts to manage their alcoholic and drug addiction on their own.  These moments are fleeting as the urge to drink and use comes back quickly and generally speaking stronger.  If you or a loved one finds yourself in one of these moments of clarity it is of paramount importance to seek treatment immediately.  As I sit here writing this article I am reflecting on the twenty-two families I have spoken to in the last six months who were seeking treatment for a loved one, who never made it to treatment.  In each case there was a delay.  In some cases the delay was unavoidable, in others it was manufactured.  For at least three of these families it is too late now.  Their loved one died from addiction before they had another opportunity to seek treatment.  I do not bring this up to be sensational, rather it is the stark reality of addiction.  Today very well may be the last opportunity someone has to get well.  Before an addict is approached by family, arrangements should be put into place to begin treatment with as little delay as possible once it is agreed upon.  Plane tickets, if needed, should be reserved, detox, if needed, should be arranged, and a bed should be secured at a facility.  Intake personnel at most treatment facilities can assist in coordinating these arrangements.   Time and time again I have watched as families have secured agreement from the addict to begin treatment, then in the few days spent coordinating travel, facility etc, the madness of addiction has returned and the opportunity has been lost.

Changing Perspective and Gaining Insight

It is important to remember that when dealing with addiction we are not dealing with a rational person.  They may be reasonable in every other facet of life, but when it comes to their addiction they will be irrational, sneaky, dishonest, and incredibly selfish.  When considering treatment the addict is being asked to give up the one thing that has made their internal condition bearable.  Right or wrong, you can ask any addict and this is how the choice feels.  This is a tough decision to make.  Many times I have had the experience of speaking to an addict and their family, securing agreement to begin treatment, setting up travel, etc.  The addict then says something to the effect of “I just need to go home for a few days” sometimes the reason is related to relationships.  For example “I just need to go home for a few days to see my kids”.  Other times its to attend to practical details.  As in, “I just need to go home for a day to pay my parking tickets, or, “ I just need to go home to get a new pair of glasses”.  They go home for a few days and we see no more of them.  Over time some of these individuals resurface, others do not.  I am not alleging that the individuals making these statements are intentionally being deceptive (though I’m sure in some cases thats true).  Rather I am highlighting a pattern that is recognizable across time and specifics.  I believe it highlights the powerlessness with which an addict is confronted when trying to overcome their addiction.  I believe in many cases they truly believe they are going to go home “for a few days” to take care of legitimate concerns.  They get home and the grip of addiction begins to tighten, and they are off on another run.  I cannot emphasize enough there are no practical details that need to be attended to that couldn’t sufficiently be addressed while in the care of a facility.  When you consider the gravity of the situation and the fleeting nature of the moment of clarity we already discussed it rarely if ever makes sense to delay treatment.  It can be hard for the family to be resolute in their decision to send a family member to treatment.  This is especially true in the face of what seem to be reasonable requests.  The best advice that I have is to keep foremost in mind the life and death nature of addiction and that you are engaged in a potentially life saving effort.  

If the family engages in some advanced planning, and is steadfast in their decision to seek treatment without delay, the road to recovery can begin. Working with a professional either connected to a facility or not can be extremely helpful both because of their expertise and their experience.   In these situations the most important thing is to begin the process.

In our next article we will review what to expect the first couple of weeks after an individual’s arrival at a facility.  Later in the series we will closely examine some best practices for reintegration into family and community after treatment.  If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and think now may be the time to begin recovery please contact us without delay.  We are here to serve.  

 

Until next time.

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you or your loved one are in need of treatment call us today at 1.844.878.3221

Who Can I Turn To?

Questions Worth Asking

Through our organization website last night I received a question that was so succinct and addressed such an important issue I wanted to take a few minutes today to reprint it here (editing out all personal details) and to address the issue publicly.  Please find this below.

“I have a niece that’s in her 4th/5th time in rehab for heroin (addiction).  She’s considering your place.  How do I know that you guys aren’t just another money grubbing institute enjoying the profits of this latest epidemic.”

This is a great question and one I feel passionate about answering.  It is truly a dilemma, to have a loved one in a state of impending crisis and not feel confident about where to turn. I will reprint excerpts of my answer to this question below as I think they may be useful to anyone reading this article.

“Before I answer your question let me say that it sounds like you or your family has had a bad experience in the past with the treatment industry.  Please let me extend my sympathy for this if it is the case.  There is no excuse for anyone who would profit off the misery of another human being.  

That said, the short answer to your question is that from the outside you can’t be certain that we are different.  While I’m certain that is not the answer you were hoping for please continue reading so that  I may elaborate.  Our industry is rife with bad actors who portray themselves as saints .  I would venture to say, unless an individual has done extensive research into the industry they would be shocked at how pervasive a fact this is.  Honestly it is disgusting to me that this is the case.  Trying to change this reality is the very reason I am working in the treatment industry.  

How Do You Navigate Your Way?

Many of those bad actors have very smooth presentation and make elaborate promises.  As a result it can be very challenging to sort out whom can be trusted.  This is only compounded by the fact that every single individual and family we speak with is in the middle of a crisis, which makes sound judgment all the more difficult…

…Getting back to your question, as you stated, how can we help you determine if we are a safe place for your niece.  You can, of course, look at all our resource materials either on our website or on our YouTube channel.    They should provide you a good general understanding of our culture, facilities, and program.  However if I were in your shoes I would still be skeptical.  To that end I would invite you to read our Google and Facebook reviews from former clients and their families.  Again, while helpful this would probably still not make me feel totally comfortable if I were in your position.  So I would invite a conversation . I would be happy to speak with you at length and share with you anything you would like to know about our organization, our program, our business practices, the neuroscience which is the grounding of our clinical approach, or anything else.  I would be happy to speak to your attorney or anyone else you would like to use as an advisor.  I can promise that myself and my staff will always be candid, honest, and frank.  Further I would happily invite you to personally come tour our facility if you would like.   One of the experiences I enjoy the most is watching an individual take in our program for the first time.  There is so much about a place and a culture that must be experienced to be understood.   I cannot promise you that I will always give you the answers you want but I can promise you that I will always give you the truth.”  

What Matters Most?

At the time of this writing I have not gotten a response to my email, so can’t report if it helped.  When a family is seeking treatment for a loved one it is a very sensitive time.  In my view trust must be earned not given as a result it can be difficult to know who to rely on.  Central to my role with Granite Mountain is to interview potential partners within our industry.  Please find below some of the things I look for when speaking to others in my industry, or when touring a facility.

  • Transparency in all matters.  When I ask a simple question I look for a simple answer.  This sounds basic, but I have found that when I’m dealing with an honest person they will have simple answers.  When dealing with a dishonest individual their answer to a simple question often leaves me feeling more confused than when I began.   Further if a program is open and transparent about their strengths, their weaknesses (we all have them), and everything else, this demonstrates a level of honesty that can begin to be relied on.  

  • Clarity of purpose.  All great organizations do a few things very well.  I am immediately skeptical of any organization that claims to be all things to all people.  In any profession it just isn’t possible to be great at all things.

  • Consistency of culture.  When speaking to multiple individuals across an organization is the message I’m receiving significantly consistent?  Or am I left feeling like perhaps I’m speaking to people from different organizations?  Do the pictures on the website match what I see with my eyes when I’m there? I look for consistency in all levels of communication when speaking to an organization.

  • Leads with program.  Sometimes when I ask people to describe their organization they lead with their therapeutic program and what sets it apart.  Many others lead with their amenities.  When I am selecting prospective partners for our company I am drawn to those who lead with their program.  This sends a clear message to me that they take their program, and by extension the wellbeing of their patients seriously.  

  • Am I a person or a commodity?  In speaking to a facility do I feel they are taking the time to understand my unique situation, do I get a quick and professional response, are they trying to help me to a solution to my problem or are they trying to get me in their facility?  These are questions which I ask myself.  At the end of the day do I feel like the organization views me as an individual who needs help or as a commodity to be traded upon.

  • Trust my gut.  At the end of it I need to listen to my gut.  All of us, have great instincts when it comes to who to trust.  These insticits have been honed by millenia of evolution.  If I get a bad feeling about someone I need to trust this feeling and walk away.

The above list should give the reader a good start on determining whom they can rely on during this crucial time.  The more of the bolded statements that I encounter when speaking to an organization the better I feel about a potential partnership.  

If you or a loved one is considering treatment, and feel you need some help please reach out to us.  If the cost of providing the advice is that you wouldn’t consider Granite Mountain as an option then please reach out anyway.  There are many fine programs in the country and we will be satisfied knowing that we helped another family find their way to recovery.  At Granite Mountain we live by a simple mantra “do the right thing, for the right reason, every time.” This is never more true than when helping someone find recovery and a new life.

Until next time

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell

VP of Communications & Market Development


If you or a loved one is considering treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today.

Transitioning Into Recovery, A Family Perspective: Part I

Transition Requires Courage

Making the transition to a life in recovery is never easy.  This is true whether the individual has been addicted to alcohol, opiates, heroin, or anything else.  Often the transition is as big for the family as for the addict.  Often I am asked by family members of our clients how they can help, what they can do to give support.  In this article I am going to try to give some general guidelines for anyone concerned with a loved one entering treatment on how to have conversations around seeking treatment, and what to expect when their loved one first enters treatment.  In a subsequent article I will cover what to expect when their loved one returns home.  

Making the decision to enter treatment is a very difficult one for an addict.  Some of the most persistent experiences in an addicts life are the feelings of a lack of connection, a sense of not having a place in the world, of being alone.  It can be hard for the family of an addict to understand that these feelings are not necessarily connected to the realities of the families life.  When an addict ingests the drugs or alcohol they prefer in addition to creating a state of intoxication they feel connection to others and the world.  It is very difficult for any of us to conceive of a life without connection.  When an addict is considering treatment this is the choice they feel they are making.  On the one hand they can continue down the road they are on with all the consequences, hurting those they love, and causing harm to their own life, but with a feeling of being connected.  On the other hand, a loss of the one thing that has helped them to feel connected with uncertain results.  Not easy alternatives to face, even when you want to.  

Family Help Can Make The Difference

A family can do much to make this an easier, and thereby more successful process.  If a family allows the following suggestions to guide their actions there is a much greater likelihood that their loved one will get better.  The first suggestion is to begin detaching with love.  Detaching with love does not mean that you quit loving the addict.  On the contrary, it means that you continue to love the individual but that you make a decision to refrain from giving all of your time and energy to focusing on them.  It means further, not allowing the addicts actions and addictions to consume your life.  In order to take care of anyone else we must first be taking care of ourselves.  Detaching with love is no easy task, especially for parents.  As parents we have an instinctual response to want to take care of our children, and it can be quite counterintuitive for a parent to detach in order to help.  What we want to try and do is to thread a balance between helping the addict and enabling them.  The truth is that for most addicts, until they can begin to feel the full weight of the consequences of their actions they won’t truly be ready to change.  At the very least learning to detach with love will enable the parent or loved one to be more available for the others in their life who need their love and support.

If the family is in a position where they agree (with or without the addicts input) that the addict needs to seek treatment, the question will arise how to confront this situation with the addict.  This is a delicate proposition and while I can provide some general guidelines consultation with one or more professionals is advisable at this point.  First, the guiding principle of this step in the process is to act as a mirror for the addict.  Reflecting to them through your words how their actions are affecting those around them.  Many times it is suggested that prior to a conversation of this nature that the family members prepare letters to the suffer, expressing honestly and compassionately their concern for their family member who is suffering.  This process will allow the family to express their worry without blaming or shaming the addict.  This should not be a negative or confrontational conversation.  Rather it should come from a place of love, concern, and compassion.  Some other guidelines to consider; it is best that this conversation take place in a neutral location, it should take no longer than an hour or two, the purpose of this conversation should be to help provide understanding to the addict, as well as, the family as a whole.  

Setting Expectations And Boundaries

Once this conversation has taken place clear expectations can be put in place in terms of the addict seeking treatment.  If this expectations are not met the family needs to be prepared to detach with love and/or provide clear consequences for the addicts decision not to seek treatment.  This is sometimes referred to as “using leverage”.  Let me explain, let’s say for example that a family has been allowing the addict to live in their home they can decide that hereafter if the addict does not seek treatment he or she will no longer be allowed to live in the home.  This same idea can be applied to any form of material support being provided to the addict.  It is important however that if a consequence is promised it must be delivered.  Otherwise we will undermine our credibility and may lessen the chances long term of being able to help the addict to recovery.  

The above should be taken as a series of suggestions and helpful tips not a replacement for working with a properly trained professional.  That said If we can detach with love, have an honest conversation and set some appropriate limits we may greatly increase the chances our loved one can get the help they need and may save them years of needless suffering.

 

In part II of this series we will examine what the family can do from the point that the addict has agreed to enter treatment through the first few weeks of treatment.  Until then if you have any questions about how to help your loved one find a solution to their problem, or questions about your specific situation please do not hesitate to reach out to us, we are here to serve.

 

Until next time.
Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for substance use disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Picking up the phone could help save a life in need.

The Stages of Heroin and Opiate Withdrawal

Last week I wrote an article that detailed the stages of the withdrawal process from alcohol. The response was so great to that piece that I thought I would add another similar article on the the stages of withdrawal from heroin. Heroin (and other opiate) addiction is currently an epidemic of unprecedented proportions. As of the end of 2016 over 115 people a day were dying because of overdose of some opioid. This makes overdose from opioids and heroin the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. As shocking as this number is it does not include all those who take their own life because of their addiction. Nor does it include all those who die in accidents or any other cause of death related to addiction. If we were to include these in the figures heroin and opioid addiction would sit comfortably in the top 10 causes of death in this country, perhaps even the top 5. Let that sink in for a moment.

Legislation Doesn’t Favor Treatment

Currently, our lawmakers, who have declared this a national health emergency have dedicated most of their resources to law enforcement not treatment as a means to combat this health emergency. I am not taking a political position here, merely I am pointing out that whatever positive impact increased law enforcement may have on combating new individuals from becoming involved with heroin and other opiates it will do little to help the approximately 2.5 million Americans currently suffering with opiate addiction. As a result we as individuals, members of our communities, and the treatment industry must pick up the slack to combat this rising tide of death and human suffering.

For those suffering from opiate addiction the fear of withdrawal is one of the primary factors that keeps them using (I know it was for me). If you or a loved one is suffering please read on, it is my hope that this article can provide you some comfort and may encourage you to seek help in recreating your life free from opiates. Also please know that help is available if you are ready to make a change.

The good news first. While withdrawal from heroin and other opiates may be painful and unpleasant, it is rarely if ever dangerous. For our purpose today I will split the withdrawal process into three stages. In each I will discuss the symptoms one may expect to experience and approximately how long they should last. That being said, the truth is each individual is different. Your individual experience of withdrawal will largely be determined by how long you have been using, and how much you have been using. Within this though there is still variability. Some individuals appear to experience withdrawal less acutely than others. Whatever your experience may end up being it is always wise to undertake this process under the supervision of medical professionals. If you are considering getting clean please consult a professional.

The longer you have been using the more challenging the withdrawal process will be, the best day to quit is today!

What Are The Stages Of Withdrawal?

Stage 1

The first stage of the withdrawal process will start approximately six to twelve hours after last consuming an opioid, and for sure within the first twenty-four hours. This phase of withdrawal is often painful and uncomfortable. It is characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Nausea

  • Irritability

  • Headaches

  • Insomnia

  • Muscle cramps

  • Mood swings

It is important to remember that these symptoms are only temporary. This is the period of withdrawal during which the symptoms are the most acute. The risk of relapse is, from our experience, the highest during the first three days of withdrawal. The good news, Stage 1 typically only lasts two or three days, and as it passes so do many of the more severe symptoms.

Stage 2

Stage two of the withdrawal process usually begins around the third day from last use and typically lasts for two to three days. At this point in the process many if not all of the most uncomfortable symptoms will have passed. The individual going through detox may still experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Minor muscle cramping

  • Mood disturbances

  • Some stomach upset

Exactly how long these symptoms persist is individual, but with each passing day they will get better.

Stage 3

This stage of the process typically begins from 5-10 days after last ingesting an opioid. On a moment to moment basis it is the least painful but it is the most important. By this point one is no longer physically dependent on the substance. The symptoms that one may experience are:

  • Depression

  • Aggression

  • A sense of detachment

  • A re emergence of co occurring disorders

  • A sense of loss

When we are finally free from the physical dependence to an opiate we begin to experience what drove us to use in the first place. For some this was underlying mental or behavioral health challenges, for some traumatic experience, and for others we just didn’t feel right in our own skin. If we do not address the causes of our addiction we are almost without exception going to repeat it. I urge all who read this to not attempt to undertake this process alone. There are many professionals who are trained to be able to help, there are countless 12-step fellowships that can be of assistance. The key is to find someone who can help you to address the underlying causes. Do this and you will be able to transform your life.

The above is not meant to be a comprehensive picture of what withdrawal will look like. It is an individual experience, and the description of what it will look like for each individual lies outside the scope of this article. I have merely tried to sketch a rough outline, and it is my hope encourage some who are suffering from opiate or heroin addiction to take the first step toward transformation. The best day to begin this process is today. Please don’t delay.

If you or someone you love is suffering from opiate or heroin addiction please contact us we are happy to help in any way possible.

Until next time.
Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell

VP of Communications & Market Development

Observations on The Transformative Power of Recover Strong

Yesterday I had the opportunity to observe the Recover Strong group in action. My duties to Granite Mountain are such that I can’t regularly attend the Recover Strong group so it is always special for me  to have the opportunity to attend. While I have been in attendance several times, yesterday I was hosting Luis Finch the Founder of Welwynn Outpatient Center, a truly innovative organization based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Being able to speak to Luis at length about his experience of seeing Recover Strong for the first time caused me to really reflect on our program and the impact its having on those who attend. It was like seeing it again for the first time.

In my experience  the first time someone hears about Recover Strong their initial impression is that we merely have a fitness component to our program. Without seeing it first hand it is sometimes hard to conceive of the fact that Recover Strong is a therapeutic model and the true heart and soul of our organization. The “fitness component” is not a nice add-on rather it is the primary driver of the transformations we are witnessing in the lives of our patients.

There are several important factors which set Recover Strong apart and make it unique. First, our therapeutic model is based on a body of neuroscientific research which has proven conclusively that intense physical exercise can modify the manner in which an individual’s brain is functioning. Brain waves are measured in hertz and amplitude most often by Electroencephalography (EEG).  What the research has shown is that intense (measured in terms of percentage of maximum heart rate) physical exercise actually raises the frequency at which the electrical impulses in the brain are occuring. This  coupled with the changes in brain chemistry caused by physical exercise create an environment conducive to neuroregeneration. Neuroregeneration is the actual growth and repair of nervous tissue including the  generation of new neurons, glia, axons, myelin, or synapses. This is the actual process by which the brain can heal itself from a cellular level.

Secondly, each of our Workouts of the Day (WOD) are carefully and thoughtfully designed to push the individual into a zone of exertion which is outside their comfort zone while remaining a series of activities they can complete if they put forth an appropriate level of effort. This creates a therapeutic environment where first an individual can confront and then overcome an obstacle which at first glance feels insurmountable. This allows our group leaders to draw parallels away from the gym to the rest of the individual’s life, and creates a therapeutic dialogue to encourage an individual to explore his or her beliefs about themselves. For example, a mantra across the organization during runs is “two more steps”. Two more steps can be heard from staff to client, client to client, and client to staff. The idea is that when you think you can’t do any more, when your mind is telling you to quit and that you’re not strong enough, take two more steps. Thus demonstrating that you are stronger than you think, in the gym and in life. It is the ability to take challenges and obstacles in the gym and use them as living metaphors for challenges in life that create an incredible opportunity for growth within the Recover Strong model.

One of the first things you notice when you see a Recover Strong group is it’s not just the clients sweating in the gym. On any given day our Executive Director, CEO, house managers, and therapists are all doing their best to complete the WOD. They are huffing, puffing, sweating, and suffering side by side with our clients. This, perhaps more than anything else we do, creates a camaraderie and community spirit like no other facility I’ve ever seen. This week about half way through the Recover Strong group Luis turned to me and said, “this is amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it”, referring to the sense of shared experience and community which was clearly evident in the room. The belief that all members of our community, while serving different functions, are important, valuable, and equal is the heart of what makes Granite Mountain so special.

At the end of each session of Recover Strong there is a process group where everyone sits together and shares their individual experiences during that days training period.  During this process many of the clients praise their peers for their days efforts, we discuss the changes in body and mind which Recover Strong is creating, and use the opportunity to further explicate the parallels between what we are accomplishing in the gym and our lives in general. The peer to peer coaching, accountability, praise, and kindness is truly a sight to behold.

Perhaps there is no greater single reflection on the impact that Recover Strong is having in the lives of those who participate than the large number of clients who actively ask for and participate in additional Recover Strong WOD’s. These are after hours, and not required in any sense. When our clients speak of their experience with Recover Strong they speak in terms of transformation, it is truly something that must be seen to be believed.

Until next time.

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you would like to speak to a professional about treatment for you or your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Quality of Amenity and Quality of Care Are Not Synonymous

Trends In The Industry

I wanted to take a few minutes today and write to you about a trend that I have noticed during my short time working in the treatment industry. In my role with Granite Mountain I have the pleasure of speaking both to many of my peers at other treatment centers, as well as being the contact person for our organization for many of those seeking treatment and their families. On a more or less weekly basis I find myself engaged in a conversation with clients and their families that goes something like this:

The client asks:  “Tell me about your facility?”

When asked to describe Granite Mountain and Recover Strong I begin by explaining our culture of community and inclusion. Highlighting that we are driven not by a compliance mindset, rather one of creating an environment that is prone to creating transformation in our clients and staff. I give several real life examples (obviously, withholding personal details of those involved) that show our commitment to this method of community building. Then, I provide a detailed account of the neuroscience (at least as detailed as my understanding will allow) that is the foundation of our therapeutic program. Afterward I proceed to highlight how our Recover Strong program makes use of this research and endeavors to expand on it.  

Quality Of Care Trumps All

After this explanation, most if not all of the potential clients and their families will ask one or more questions that pertain to their own particular set of circumstances. Less than half the time I am asked by clients about amenities. For example, what do the rooms look like, do we have a pool, what are the weekend activities, etc (the rooms are simple but nice, we do have a pool, and weekend trips are varied and fun by all accounts, for what it’s worth). There is nothing wrong with these questions and I am happy to answer them if they are important to any individual. I think though that after you’ve read how the conversation goes with others in the industry you may begin to understand my challenge.  

In contrast to the above, when I am asked the same question and give the same answer to many of my peers in the industry their response is significantly different.  After my explanation, my peers rattle off a veritable laundry list of amenities that their program offers.   The subtext of this conversation is that their facility provides a higher level of care due to the fact that they have more jacuzzis and massage therapists than we do.  When I ask about their therapeutic program and the philosophical underpinnings that guide their decisions around client experience many have little to say.  

To this I need to ask: When did we allow quality of amenity to become synonymous with quality of care in our industry?  And further, are we happy with this?

Like anybody I like to be comfortable.  I’m fairly certain I have never met anybody who doesn’t.  I feel equally certain that the measure of the quality of a program that we ought to be using is how many lives we are able to transform, not how big the TV’s are in our rooms.  Can you imagine this passing muster in another health care field?  Can you imagine choosing a cardiologist not on the basis of their patient outcome data, or their level of experience and expertise, but rather how nicely appointed their waiting room is.  Seems far fetched at best to me.  

One of the major contributing factors that has led us to this point is the absence of a widely agreed upon objective measure of success in our industry. Among the major stakeholder groups in the industry (behavioral health centers, insurance companies, clients and their families, other helping professionals, and our community members at large) there is no agreed upon definition of a successful outcome let alone a method of measurement.  A topic for a future article is this: we at Granite Mountain are currently working with a research team from consulting firm Serve 1 to develop such a definition and method that can be used throughout the industry.  In the absence of such a measure and in an effort to describe quality in an inherently difficult space we as an industry have, in my view, shirked our responsibility and allowed ourselves an easy way out.  It is comparatively simple to list how many and what type of amenities we have.  So we have taken the easy road.

I will ask again, are we happy with this?

I don’t in this article offer a necessary solution.  Merely I am seeking to name and define a problem.  It is my hope by opening these sorts of conversations we can improve our industry, the overall quality of care our clients receive, and by extension help to transform more lives.  As a final thought, I have learned in my own journey of recovery that it is only by naming a problem and squarely and honestly confronting it that I can begin to grow.  Perhaps it will be the same with this question.

Until next time.

 

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you would like to speak to a professional about treatment for you or your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Here We Grow Again

A New Year, A New Center

Fourteen months ago today marked a new epoch in the history of Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare.  At the time we were very near the bottom.  As an organization we had lost our way. This was true financially, clinically, and most importantly spiritually/morally.  We had begun Granite Mountain with the pure intention of wanting to help those suffering from a disease, we understood only too well from personal experience, to a solution and a life of freedom.  Over several years this intention had been subverted through a combination of personal shortcomings and the environment pervasive in the treatment industry at the time.   It was at this point that the founding partners threw their hands up in desperation and looked outside the organization for a solution.

In December of 2016 the beginnings of that solution was found in the hiring of our CEO Jason Turner.  Jason came to the organization with a list of demands.  Not demands for himself, rather a list of principles that would become the guiding force of Granite Mountain BHC.  Principles like community, connection, commitment, and transformation became the bedrock and guiding lights of Granite Mountain.  We would, going forward, strictly adhere to the guiding principle of “doing the right thing for the right reason”.  This simple idea would guide all future decisions both big and small.  

Jason first re-imagined the therapeutic experience, with the introduction of the Recover Strong program. A one of a kind strengths based approach to the treatment of behavioral health disorders including substance use disorder.   As a team we then transformed the entirety of the client experience and re-conceived the basic nature of client staff interactions.  Discarding the basic assumptions of this relationship pervasive in the behavioral health field one of behavior modification and compliance.  Instead we focus on accountability with kindness and confrontation with curiosity.  This has revolutionized the day to day experiences of both clients and staff.

In the fall of 2017, with the therapeutic model on a firm footing and clients experiencing wholesale transformation in their lives the team knew they needed to transform the business operations and market development sides of the organization.  That is when Jason and I first began speaking and how I became involved with Granite Mountain.  (the full story of these organizational transformations is a story that needs to be told.  It’s telling however, is beyond the scope of this article.  Be on the lookout for our soon to be released video series on YouTube that chronicles this story and the full scope of our organizational transformation.)

Bringing Everything Together

These are all still works in progress.  We are not where we want to be yet, but we are far closer than we were.  We have many setbacks as we chart a new course for our organization and hopefully the industry as a whole.  We also enjoy many sparkling successes.  It is one of these successes that has motivated me to write this article for you today.  When I first came on board we were operating out of an old business plaza.  It had what we needed at the time, but was not a location from which we could really grow into ourselves.  Our clinical team was separated by geography from our Recover Strong program, both were separated from our housing.  In short it was not ideal.  We have recently relocated to Prescott Valley, and as you will see from the images attached to this article, have found our home.  

Our Recover Strong program is now at the literal as well as existential heart of Granite Mountain. Clients come to the center in the morning and can receive all their programing in one location. Our staff and clients can meet each day in one location and our open door policy is ever evident  as clients and staff  connect as fellow community members building bonds and friendships that can last a lifetime.  Our new building looks as if it was purpose built for us, though it was not.  For us, it is proof positive that doing the right thing for the right reason has its benefits.  

We will soon be having a grand opening and hope all will attend (if you are interested in attending please message us) and share our joy and excitement as we begin a new chapter for Granite Mountain.  Become a part of our community, and witness the transformation of our individual clients, staff, and our organization.  It is going to be one heck of a ride!

I leave you with this thought, that was given to me by one of my mentors, “the best is yet to come”.  This is true for us and for you.  Until next time my friends.

 

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you would like to speak to a professional about treatment for you or your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

How to Identify Opioid Abuse and Addiction in Your Household

Identifying The Issue

One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with any addiction is admitting or identifying when the addictive cycle has gotten a hold of an individual.  This is especially true when the individual is a loved one.  We all want the best for our loved ones, and hate to think of them as having a personal problem especially one they may not be able to solve on their own.  This tendency to want to see the best in those we love is a very natural tendency.  However when dealing with addiction it makes the identification of a potential or actual addiction issue even harder for one to spot. Simply said, we do not want to see what our senses are showing us. At extremes this can become denial of the reality in front of us. This is harmful to ourselves, our ability to function as well as not being helpful for the addict.

Breaking The Stigma Of Addiction

Added to this is the persistent nature of the cultural stigma associated with addiction. Even today some in our community view addiction as a moral failing on the part of the addict. This is an outmoded view of substance use disorder and has no clinical or medical support. If however we were taught this view of addiction it can be easy to view our loved ones as failing in some respect or as having a moral or constitutional shortcoming.  If you gain no other insight from this article please believe these words, addiction is not a shortcoming it is a disease. Your loved one is suffering. If a loved one had cancer that was ravaging their body we would not look down on them as lacking the moral fiber to overcome the cancer. Rather, we would look upon them with empathy and compassion. While at the same time firmly insisting that they seek every known medical remedy for their disease. I urge every reader who has a loved one suffering from addiction to take this same point of view.  

Spotting The Signs Of Opioid Addiction

As with cancer, the sooner we can identify a potential substance use disorder as it develops the easier it will be to solve the problem and help the individual to a full and speedy recovery. Unlike with cancer and other bodily diseases wherein the sufferer once diagnosed freely admits they have a problem. Substance use disorder is characterized by the seeming inability of the suffer to admit they have a problem. Due to this challenge I have undertaken in this article to list several early signs of an additive cycle. Please find below a descriptions of many of the early signs and symptoms of addiction. These should prove useful for the loved ones of anyone currently using opioids and other addictive substances.

  1. Unexplained or excessive absences from work or school

  2. Negative consequences at work or school

  3. Hyper emotional behavior

  4. Loss of interest in hobbies, activities that used to be important to the individual

  5. Withdrawal from friend and family relationships

  6. Important engagements are not attended

  7. Important commitments are not fulfilled

  8. The individual continues to use in the face of consequences

  9. Drugs , alcohol, and using behavior is a consistent topic of conversation

  10. Disrupted sleep patterns (Sleeps far more or far less than usual)

  11. Persistent financial problems (never enough money)

  12. Increased levels of secrecy about activities and lifestyle

  13. Minimization of responsibility when questioned about life circumstances

  14. Excessive itchiness of skin

  15. Persistent sniffles or runny nose

  16. Rapid weight loss

  17. Consistent defensiveness

  18. Inability to deal with normal levels of stress

  19. The individual looks paler than usual

  20. Loss of control over the amount of a substance (including alcohol) consumed

The above list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible scenario. It would be impossible to create such a list as the behavior patterns of people vary. Instead it is meant to give a rough picture of the emotional, mental, and behavioral changes that can be an early sign of substance use disorder.  If you are concerned that a loved one may be suffering from addiction seek a consultation with a qualified professional immediately.  The old saying of, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is never more appropriate than when dealing with addiction.  If in reading this article you find yourself wondering if you or someone you love has a problem please reach out to us right away.  We can provide a no obligation no cost substance use disorder evaluation that may save years of heartache for your loved one and your family, and in many cases may save his or her life.  We are here to help.


Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development