Contributor: Lyle Fried, CAP, ICADC, CHC, CEO at The Shores Treatment & Recovery
What Drew You to the Field of Addiction Treatment?
First, it was my own personal experience of going through recovery and reaching out for help. The first facility was well equipped, but of course, it cost a lot of money. As soon as my money ran out, I wasn’t welcome there anymore. My services ended and I was told that I was cured. The only problem was, I knew I was still sick and needed help. So, that was my first experience with the field of addiction treatment, and a huge eye-opener.
The next place I went to was for the homeless, so it was ideal for those who otherwise couldn’t afford care. This second facility didn’t have the ability to provide high quality services, but they had a heart for the clients.
Going through both of these scenarios, I recognized the real need for a marriage between these two: the highest quality of care along with a heart and willingness to truly serve the people who desperately needed help.
As a direct result of this experience, I went back to school and began the process of educating myself from the bottom up in the field of addiction. It really started out as a vision to “give back” and to prove that there could be a better way than what I had seen out there.
What Keeps You in This Line of Work Day after Day?
Definitely the clients and their success stories. To witness and be a part of a complete life transformation is beyond anything I could even begin to aptly describe.
I try not to wear the successes or the failures, but I certainly do revel in each success. I realize it’s not me that’s creating healing in people, it’s between them and God. However, I also realize that I can provide the tools to them and then watch them grow and flourish when they grab onto these tools and use them.
Seeing people’s lives changed is what keeps me in it. Seeing that light-bulb go on and that first moment of realization when they say, “I don’t have to live this way anymore. There is a better way,” and then watching them walk that out.
And then there are the follow-up calls and check-ins from clients who are still successful. I get to be a part of the joy of a newfound lifestyle. We receive calls from family members and invitations to weddings, baby showers, and funerals. This is what I knew treatment could be like, and the way it has all unfolded since that first decision to find a better way has been a huge blessing.
What Is Your Philosophy on Addiction Treatment?
In a nutshell, addiction is a “whole person” problem. By this I mean, addiction can’t be compartmentalized. It has physical, psychological, emotional, medical and spiritual components, and each one has to be addressed.
If we leave any part of that out, we run the risk of relapse. So, to treat the brain, to treat the body, to treat the psyche and the spiritual aspect of a person —all are vital. You need to hit all four corners in order to paint the whole room.
What Tools Would You like Your Participants to Gain While Working with You?
Contentment without complacency.
A hope for a future.
An understanding of how they got where they are and how to get out of there and move forward.
An understanding of who they are and what to do with that; a purpose in life.
What Do You Envision the Future of Addiction Treatment to Look like?
The most successful treatment will evolve into the reality of “whole person” treatment. This integrated model will involve the mental, physical, and spiritual components, along with aftercare, which I believe will all be wrapped into one continuum of care.
Addiction does not involve just one component of a person, so the entire life and family system of a person must be included in the recovery process. Addiction is also not who people are. It is a manifestation of deeper issues which include a wide range of involvements. These must all be addressed —and this can’t be accomplished without taking the “whole being” approach.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addiction. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 27th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com