For many people, addiction recovery can be a long and bumpy road that’s wrought with difficult challenges. Free addiction treatment resources in Tennessee are there to provide support for anyone who needs ongoing help on their recovery path.
After a week or two of detox and a month or so of residential treatment, you’d think an addiction problem would be cured, but it’s not. The effects of chronic substance abuse can leave behind long-term aftereffects that alter the brain’s physical makeup, which changes how it works. While stopping drug or alcohol use is a much-needed first step, getting your brain to perceive and interact with the world around you like it used to takes time.
For these reasons, many people in recovery require ongoing treatment support to maintain a sober lifestyle. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get the support you need. There are more than a few free addiction treatment resources in Tennessee to consider.
Types of Free Addiction Treatment Resources in Tennessee
Addiction can inflict considerable long-term damage to a person’s life. The same can be said for that person’s loved ones. Addiction-based thinking and behavior impact not only you but everyone in your life. For these reasons, your spouse, your friends, even your children can benefit from ongoing treatment help. Also, it’s important for the people in your life to grow and evolve along with you. In this way, addiction’s aftereffects can be squelched on all fronts.
Free addiction recovery resources in Tennessee are available for both you and your friends and family. Here’s a handful of resources you can access:
Resources for You
The 12-Step program has become a staple within most treatment program formats, including detox, residential, outpatient, and sober living programs. The 12-Step approach originated with Alcoholics Anonymous back in 1935 and evolved into a series of 12-Step support groups that address different types of addiction. Twelve-Step programs are based on guiding principles and action-based tasks that help you replace addiction-based behaviors with healthy ways of managing daily life. Here are the three most popular ones:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Dual Recovery Anonymous (for people living with addiction and mental health issues)
While regular attendance at a 12-Step support group can go a long way towards keeping you on the straight and narrow, counseling takes an even more in-depth approach to addiction recovery. As far as free addiction treatment resources in Tennessee go, counseling services can prove invaluable in helping you identify the personal issues that drive drug and alcohol cravings. From there, a good counselor will help you work through these issues and develop healthy ways of managing daily life pressures and stressors. Counseling combined with a 12-Step support group provides a well-rounded defense against unexpected drug cravings and the daily challenges that prompt these cravings.
SMART Recovery offers a new, alternative approach to the support group model. Unlike 12-Step support groups, the SMART model places less emphasis on group supports and more of an emphasis on creating a “self-help” path to recovery. This fairly new treatment resource in Tennessee seeks to accomplish the same goals as the 12-Step approach by helping you succeed in the following areas:
- Manage drug cravings and drug-using urges
- Stay motivated
- Create a balanced lifestyle
- Develop a healthy mindset
Sober Living Homes
If you’re recovering from a chronic or long-term addiction problem, maintaining sobriety for the long-term requires ongoing treatment support. While a residential treatment program can help you develop a drug-free lifestyle, it’s a highly structured environment where your days are planned out. This means, when you complete the program and go out on your own, these structural supports go away. Someone recovering from a chronic addiction problem will likely struggle to maintain a sober lifestyle without some level of ongoing structure and guidance.
Sober living homes act as a bridge between residential living and going out on your own. These programs operate as semi-independent living programs where residents hold down jobs, maintain the home, and pay rent. Residents must also attend support group meetings on a regular basis and obtain a sponsor, which is someone who mentors you in recovery. For someone coming off a chronic addiction problem, this free addiction recovery resource in Tennessee provides the level of structure, support, and independence needed to prepare for the challenges of real-world living.
Resources for Family & Friends
Twelve-Step support group programs for family and friends operate in much the same way as 12-Step groups for people in recovery only each group is designed to address a specific type of relationship. For example, spouses tend to take the brunt of addiction’s harmful effects, which can cause real damage to a person’s sense of self-worth. Al-Anon groups cater to spouses and significant others.
There’s also Families Anonymous, a group that supports family members by helping them learn to cope with the atmosphere of mistrust, and disrespect that addiction breeds in the home in healthy ways. Another program, known as Adult Children of Alcoholics or ACOA, caters to adults who were raised in homes where substance abuse was prevalent. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, each of these groups follows guiding principles and provide group members with action plans for managing addiction’s effects in their daily lives. These free addiction treatment resources in Tennessee offer the level of guidance and support loved ones need to heal as they support your efforts in recovery.
Free counseling treatment resources in Tennessee are available for anyone who’s felt the effects of addiction in their lives. Counseling provides friends and family with a means for understanding how they might be enabling the recovering addict and how these behaviors impact their quality of life. More often than not, enabling happens without a person even knowing they’re doing it. Also, counselors help loved ones address the emotional damage that addiction causes and find ways to heal. The overall goal of this line of counseling works to help family and friends hold themselves accountable for their behaviors while also holding the person in recovery accountable for their actions.
There’s no ignoring the fact that addiction has become a very real public health issue that’s reached epidemic proportions. Much like other chronic conditions, recovering from a chronic substance abuse problem requires ongoing treatment and support. The availability of free addiction treatment resources in Tennessee makes it possible for anyone to access ongoing treatment support regardless of their financial means.
Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a unique 12-step program. It is intended for individuals with not only a substance use disorder but also a co-occurring mental health issue. In many ways, it is like other programs that follow the 12-step model started by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Many people with a substance use disorder -- alcohol, illicit drugs, other substances -- also have a mental health issue. This condition of having two co-occurring disorders is called a dual diagnosis.
Despite how common dual diagnosis is, not enough people know about this convergence of substance abuse and a separate mental health problem. Even many people who have it may be undiagnosed. Without that information, they may find recovery difficult to impossible.
Sometimes the mental health problem leads to substance abuse: the individuals, knowing something is wrong, attempt to self-medicate for their depression, anxiety, stress, or trauma with alcohol or drugs. Less often, a mental illness may be caused or triggered by drug use.
Either way, both disorders need to be treated for the individual to recover. The 12 steps can be an important tool.
Twelve-step programs have their origin in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded by Bill Wilson (“Bill W.”) and Robert Holbrook Smith (“Dr. Bob”) in 1935. The 12 steps were codified a few years later in 1938.
They are intended to lead individuals with alcohol abuse problems to admit their addiction, ask for and accept help, make restitution to those they have injured (at least the ones who will accept help), and to help others with the program.
There have been many 12-step programs since AA, including Narcotics Anonymous. Most are for one specific type of addiction, but all use some variation of the 12 steps.
Formed in 1989, Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) isn’t much different from other 12 step programs except that its members have a dual diagnosis. They have meetings where members -- former and current substance abusers with an emotional or psychiatric disorder -- admit their dual problems, tell stories of their struggles (both successes and failures), and support one another.
Members are expected to work the steps, and in order, but there’s more to 12-step programs than the 12 steps. They are not a school from which you graduate but a lifelong discipline. After recovery, you are encouraged to keep coming to meetings, both to maintain your sobriety and to help others achieve and maintain sobriety.
There should be no blame-placing. Everyone there has a problem and none of ahem wished it upon themselves. Some older, sober members act as role models, evidence that people can get better.
Some go further and act as sponsors for the newly sober and emotionally and mentally stable, someone to talk to who knows what they are experiencing. They are someone the new member can contact when things are bad. Sponsors should be members of the same sex to avoid sexual exploitation.
Twelve-step programs should not be confused with professional therapy or evidence-based treatment. The programs are a supplement, not a replacement.
On its website, DRA notes it is “a nonprofessional self-help program,” and states, “There must always be a clear boundary separating the work of DRA from the work of chemical dependency and mental health professionals.”
Despite this limitation, 12-step programs are sometimes the first step towards recovery because they are free and because acknowledging addiction is the first step. Many people aren’t ready for treatment until they make that admission.
Twelve-step programs also can be an important part of aftercare and relapse prevention once formal recovery ends. Their meetings allow everyone in attendance to share stories of their struggles, their successes and failures, and what they have learned along the way.
Most experts believe that addiction is never cured. Everyone is subject to relapse, even years or decades later. Continued membership helps keep them on the path of recovery and provide them with a social safety net if they do relapse.
Dual Recovery Anonymous
Email - [email protected]
Phone - 877-883-2332 - Toll-free
Find a meeting - draonline.org/meetings.html