Jenna Caplette migrated from California to Montana in the early 1970s, first living on the Crow Indian reservation, then moving to Bozeman where she owned a downtown retail anchor for eighteen years. These days she owns Bozeman BodyTalk & Energetic Healthcare, hosts a monthly movie night, teaches and writes about many topics.
My doorway in to becoming a BodyTalk Practitioner and Social Health Advocate was my own process of Recovery. For me, that is from co-dependency and sugar. Working with clients reminds me where I’ve been, the weave of experience that has been my process toward healing.
The changes just keep coming. I’m still in process. So is the science around what exactly addiction is and therefore, what recovery looks like.
It’s a timely conversation, one on my mind as I write. Each year in September National Recovery Month “promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.” (www.recoverymonth.gov)
Substance abuse disorders impacts every aspect of our communities. More than 97,000 Montanans and their families are affected by it. Nationally, 23 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for a substance use disorder in the United States in 2007 - and as many as 20.8 million people nationwide needed but did not receive treatment at a specialty facility. Montana ranks first in the nation for 12-17 year olds needing but not receiving help for substance use.
Though these stats were pulled together four years ago for a Recovery Month event hosted by Alcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County, the picture they paint is valid. The faces of addiction -- the faces of recovery -- are our faces. Recovery benefits us all.
I’ve been writing about addiction, about alcohol misuse and addiction, and about driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs for thirteen years. With every article written, I learn more.
Today, my training in PaRama BodyTalk includes general neuroanatomy and theories on the addictive process. Just the same, when my former sister-in-law died of health complications from alcoholism and meth addiction, my first response was to view that as a choice, a failing of will power.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as: “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.”
In their 2011 report on the article, “Radical New Addiction View Stirs Scientific Storm,” the online magazine, “the fix” reports that “This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally compels the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling.”
The article continues, “In other words, conscious choice plays little or no role in the actual state of addiction; as a result, a person cannot choose not to be addicted. The most an addict can do is choose not to use the substance or engage in the behavior that reinforces the entire self-destructive reward-circuitry loop.” (read the full article:http://www.thefix.com/content/addiction-gets-medical-makeover8004).
Really, Recovery Month is every and any month. Addiction is a treatable disease. The opportunity for healing is there, always. I write to remind you -- and me -- that addiction is a treatable disease. Pass it on! If people do not understand that to be true, they may not seek help.
Here’s one of my favorites of all the articles I’ve written on this topic, The Medicine Wheel & Recovery: http://www.adsgc.org/medicinewheel.htm
For substance abuse treatment connect here: https://www.mentalhelp.net/care/substance-abuse/mt/