Comprehensive, Holistic Healing
It’s true…Balance House is a “dual diagnosis” treatment center. Dual diagnosis simply means we treat co-occurring substance use disorders and most mental health diagnoses. What makes Balance House different is our focus on, and the importance we place on, aftercare. What is aftercare? Aftercare goes by various names, some of them you may have heard before: Extended Care, Sober Living, Transitional Programs, and even Halfway Houses. What we have come to understand over the years is, regardless of what a program calls aftercare, the differences are slim, and mostly, the different ways of describing aftercare are more marketing tactics rather than distinguishing characteristics. It seems, at least to us, that aftercare is more of an afterthought rather than a crucial part of the recovery process. Aftercare, by design, should teach people how to become self-sufficient while applying what they learn in treatment into their daily lives. Basically, treatment is the surgery and aftercare is the physical therapy.
This is not to state all substance abuse treatment programs have this belief. However, over the last eight years, it seems there’s a clear disconnect between the primary focus on treatment and the secondary or even tertiary focus on aftercare. Research is clear on the subject. Good aftercare plays a vital role in one’s longevity in recovery. What we have come to understand over the years is time, just time, is crucial in regard to one’s recovery process. It takes time to build sober history, which is vital for anyone facing recovery. He must prove he can learn to respect money, build/rebuild credit, finish school, keep a job, and/or experience a renewal of his closest relationships. Allowing space for him to learn new ways of living ultimately creates the man he was always meant to be; a man by his own definition.
What is written above is recovery as we see it. We also know recovery takes practice and, of course, time. Think of it this way: imagine being told you can no longer use your dominant hand. How long would it take for you to master using your other hand? Would it take 30 days? 60 or 90 days? Someone facing sobriety must change everything while also facing the accumulation of “wasted” years as well as the terrifying pieces of himself he believes are “defective.” Is time really that vital? Without a doubt. Thus, rather than focusing only on the acute emotional bleeding, we focus just as much on afterthought… excuse us…aftercare.