Understanding Addiction with Reflections Recovery Center

Tag Archives: Mens Rehabilitation Facility

Initial Intake

At Reflections Recovery Center, each patient will go through a psychiatric evaluation. This applies to anyone, no matter what state they believe their mental health to be in. A psychiatric evaluation can be essential for many people in recovery. An initial assessment will allow our team to understand if each patient needs any psychiatric services and to what extent. An evaluation will provide a clear picture of our patient’s history covering mental health, physical health, and anything to do with addiction. The truth is, psychiatric help can prove beneficial for anyone. The most healthy people in the world still need to take care of their physical and mental health. With each patient, we want to have a complete understanding of their behavior and history. This will allow us to identify and treat the underlying causes that contributed to their addiction.

When we talk about underlying causes, we are not saying there is a total lack of personal choice and responsibility. Realistically, any person can become addicted under certain circumstances. Any person can choose to participate in, or abstain from, the consumption for certain substances. While there is a personal choice, clearly not everyone is on the edge of addiction.  It is the underlying causes that may make a person more susceptible. Underlying causes may also be what takes it from occasional use or experimentation to abuse and addiction. With a psychiatric evaluation, we hope to identify psychological, social, and biochemistry issues that might be contributing to addiction. Someone may struggle more deeply with one or it can be a combination of all three problems. Each issue can also feed into the other problems creating a negative cycle.

Mental Health Screening

Identifying and treating mental health problems can help significantly when dealing with addiction. The severity of mental illness is something that can obviously have a wide range. Someone might struggle with a psychological issue and it may not be as severe as other problems. Nevertheless, every person, no matter the severity, should have their mental health taken just as seriously. Many people suffer from mental health disorders and turn to substance abuse to self-medicate. Unfortunately, anxiety is not always perceived to be as serious as other mental health disorders. While it may not be as severe as other disorders, this leads many people to brush it off as something that people should be able to work on by themselves. For anyone struggling with anxiety, this can create a sense of helplessness. Someone may then turn to abusing alcohol or prescription drugs to cope with their undiagnosed and untreated anxiety.

Biochemistry and Addiction

In each patient’s initial evaluation we will also look at their biochemistry with lab testing. This will allow us to look for genetic factors that might be contributing to addiction. We also want to look for any other physical ailments that can be treated. As stated above, anxiety is something that might come up in a psychological assessment. There are of course many ways to treat this, such as medication or various forms of therapy. It could also be the case that someone’s anxiety could be biochemical issues that can also be treated with a holistic approach. With poor nutrition, our bodies deal with inflammation and that greatly impacts our mood. This can leave someone feeling depressed, lethargic, and incredibly anxious.

Identifying Social Issues

The environment that we are each raised in shapes who we are. It can be what makes us unique and capable of doing incredible things. Our social and cultural surroundings can also unfortunately be what drags us down. Some of it is out of our control – our families, where we live, and often our economic status. Illicit drugs may be more widely available in certain places, and this will absolutely be a factor in addiction rates. Cultural elements that can contribute to addiction can include social media, friend groups, and entertainment sources.

These elements are not inherently bad at all, but can quickly become problems. Social media can be isolating and also misleading. It can present the image that users want, which can make substance abuse appear fulfilling when it is not. Entertainment, in many formats, can present a similar image. In particular, alcohol is presented as a means to a happier, more social life. Many people even find humor in stories or behavior that is a result of heavy-drinking. This normalizes heavy-drinking and binge-drinking, which pose significant risks to every person’s health. Understandably, this makes it difficult for most people to recognize when alcohol use turns to abuse and addiction.

Moving Forward

If we can identify the factors that contribute to addiction, we can help our patients work to move past them. We cannot guarantee a complete fix for everything, no one can. However, we can help provide tools for dealing with problems as they arise in life. An article published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine, regarding psychological evaluations, noted, “While in therapy, patients strengthen their motivation, acquire skills supporting them to resist temptation of use, encounter gratifying activities not involving drugs able to replace former ones, and improve their problem solving skills.”* This explains what we want to accomplish at Reflections. We hope to provide all of that so our patients can live a full life and avoid relapse.

With therapy for mental health issues, we can work with patients to provide tools to ease and manage symptoms. Lab testing will give us a closer look at a patient’s biochemistry; we can identify physical issues that are contributing to addiction and keeping them vulnerable. Social issues might seem like a simple fix, but can actually be quite complex. We will need to identify where in the patient’s social environment they may be faced with problems. Is it a friend group that is encouraging use of various substances? It can be incredibly difficult to make a clean break or continue to participate in the same social circle and resist temptation.

A psychiatric evaluation will help provide a comprehensive look at each patient’s history. All patients will be unique in their needs and that is something that can be found at Reflections Recovery Center. We recognize the need for group therapy, but also individualized help. With everything we provide, we want each patient to walk away better equipped to maintain sobriety and to also live a full life in every aspect.

*Resources:
The relevance of the psychological evaluation in drug dependence – NIH

Biochemistry and Addiction

If someone suffers from anxiety, depression, or addiction they could have a biochemical imbalance. A biochemical imbalance is not the sole factor in addiction, but it can play a large part. There are many factors to understanding something as complex as addiction, and biochemistry is only a part of that. With that being said, understanding a person’s biochemistry can provide significant insights into their history and current health. It can also help to determine what treatment will be most helpful for each patient. Additionally, biochemical imbalances can manifest as issues that are more than just mental health issues. Our testing will take a comprehensive look at how biochemical issues might be affecting each patient. At Reflections, we want to completely understand each patient to be able to thoroughly treat and overcome their addiction. Our efforts to look at each person’s biochemical makeup is a part of that process.

Someone might be struggling with addiction and they do in fact have a biochemical imbalance. Their first step does not have to be prescription drugs to try to supplement what their body is lacking. That is not to say that prescription drugs have no value or do not help people, but that there are other solutions. These solutions can work separately from prescription drugs or in tandem as needed. Often when someone is struggling with a biochemical imbalance, they turn to substance abuse hoping to fix the problem. We want to completely understand how it is affecting each patient, whether mentally or physically. At Reflections, our hope is to find long-term solutions which will be essential in preventing relapse.

Heavy Metal Imbalances

Heavy metals are a natural component of the earth’s crust and there are a number of ways that our bodies can absorb them. At certain quantities, the heavy metals become toxic in a way that begins to significantly impact our health. There are many different ways someone can be exposed to heavy metals and some of the most recognizable may be lead, mercury, and arsenic. These are metals that are recognizably dangerous, however not all heavy metals are necessarily bad. Some heavy metals provide essential nutrients, but at certain levels they can become a problem. For example, zinc is a heavy metal that plays an important part in many biological processes “…including growth and development, lipid metabolism, brain and immune function.” (NIH)* Zinc also has a number of positive aspects, but too much can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and lower copper levels over time.

Copper is another essential heavy metal, but again it needs to be balanced. At Reflections, Dr. Lisa Parsons, our Medical Director, looks closely to see if any patients are suffering from a copper/zinc imbalance. For anyone living in the Southwest, where we have a lot of copper and zinc, this can become even more of an issue. Per Dr. Parsons, someone might have a genetic difficulty maintaining a proper balance and they will have too much copper. This becomes an issue with too much free copper, which depletes the dopamine pathway and raises up the norepinephrine. With a lack of dopamine, someone would feel low, have a hard time getting up, they would not look forward to anything, and would feel a lack of joy or motivation. With too much norepinephrine, someone might feel all over the place, tense, anxious, and they might have a hard time focusing.

Testing and Treatment

There are numerous heavy metals that go beyond just copper and zinc. Those are just a few good examples of heavy metals that are needed, but need to be kept in balance. At Reflections, we are want to understand these imbalances because they can clearly have a significant impact on our lives. People will often turn to substance abuse to try to cope with symptoms that are manifested through the imbalance. From a New York Times article, Daniel Goleman wrote, “…addiction becomes a kind of self-medication in which drugs correct the chemical imbalance and bring a sort of relief.”* While a heavy metal imbalance might not be the sole reason for addiction, it can play a significant part. If we can test to identify imbalances and correct them, we can work to help each patient feel better. Addiction is a complicated issue and it takes hard work to understand each step.

The Path to Addiction

With biochemical testing, we hope to understand and treat as many of the steps or causes that we can identify. We want to find out how someone can go from use or experimentation to dependence and then to addiction. Some of the many factors include social and economic environments, personal choices, and genetics.

From the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the data showed 140.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current alcohol users. Within that, 66.6 million were binge drinkers in the past month and 16.7 were heavy drinkers within the last month.* At the time of the study, in 2017, 30.5 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the last 30 days.* As alcohol is widely used and socially accepted, it can be hard to recognize when it becomes a problem. While most illicit drugs are not widely accepted, it can still be difficult to recognize when it becomes abuse and addiction.

Many of the more obvious factors in addiction, may be the social, economic, and familial components. They are all important to identify and understand. However, it can be essential to look for the things that others might not. That is something that we firmly believe in at Reflections. We want to consider the aspects listed above, of course, but we also want to look at what might be overlooked. If we look at genetic testing, biochemical imbalances, and nutrition we can better know how to help each patient.

Moving Forward

Each factor that we can understand and work on will add up to a more complete treatment. Nobody can guarantee that every single issue will be fixed. However, at Reflections we do take care to work on all of the possible causes as we are able. The more we can help and the more tools we can give our patients they better off they will be. With a holistic approach, we look at the entire patient and hope each patient will feel better overall. If someone is feeling better physically that should translate to improved mental health and an improved outlook on life. If you or a loved one needs help, contact us today.

*Resources:
Decreased Zinc and Increased Copper in Individuals with Anxiety – NIH
Scientists Pinpoint Brain Irregularities In Drug Addicts – NY Times
2017 NSDUH Annual National Report SAMHSA

How Exercise can help in Addiction Recovery

Addiction Rehab and Physical Fitness

Every person can gain physical and mental benefits from exercise, no matter where they are in life or what their capability. Each person will also find they thrive from different types of exercise and different amounts. Something as simple as getting 20-30 minutes of movement, like an easy walk around your neighborhood, will be incredibly effective in improving your overall health. Exercise is also a wonderful way to clear one’s mind and reduce stress. While it is of course not a guarantee, normal physical activity is a fundamental way to increase overall happiness. A clearer and happier mindset are essential tools in fighting addiction and maintaining sobriety.

The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Health

According to a report by Mark Smith and Wendy Lynch, published in the US National Library of Medicine, there is a considerable amount of literature which demonstrates that exercise helps decrease depression and anxiety in humans, with both being factors for substance abuse.* Exercise improves your physical health in many different ways: you gain muscle strength and definition, lower blood pressure, less stress, and better sleep among many other benefits. When you improve your health in all of the aforementioned ways, you are able to gain self confidence and feel better mentally.

From the many benefits of physical activity, the importance of improved sleep cannot be stressed enough. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Sleep problems may increase risk for developing particular mental illnesses…” and that “Regular aerobic [exercise that stimulate and strengthen the lungs and heart] helps people fall asleep faster, spend more time in deep sleep, and awaken less often during the night.” When you exercise regularly and follow a routine, you will find that you sleep better which in turn will improve your mental health.*

Camaraderie and Fitness

When following a fitness routine with others, you will find that you are more encouraged to stick to that routine and will develop close relationships with people that can provide support in your journey. There are many types of team sports that are fantastic forms of exercise and can be a significant way to build vital relationships. This can include: rugby, soccer, basketball, tennis, and group Crossfit among many other options. A study done by the government of Australia reported that, “Participants in sport and recreation report…improved self-esteem, self-confidence, community identity and greater community cohesion…” as well as “Reductions in anti-social behavior, crime and social isolation have also been reported.” As you participate in group activity over time, you will learn various skills and gain confidence in many parts of your life, which will be an essential part of continued sobriety. *

Embrace the challenges that you will face and look to your community for the support you need.

Social Benefits

Participation in team sports and group exercise is clearly a meaningful way to fight against loneliness and inactivity. It allows you to connect with others in a way that provides a challenge, encourages teamwork and communication, and everyone in the group can learn to increase trust in each other.

While it is not a bad thing to be alone, as that can be needed at times, it is important to make sure you are not completely isolated far too often. Physical activity and community action separately boost your mental health and together they both provide an incredible source of support in your recovery.

Friendship is a wonderful way to help maintain sobriety. Friends help hold each other accountable, challenge each other, and help each other enjoy life. Aristotle said of friendship, “And friendship is a help to the young, in saving them from error, just as it is also to the old…for ‘two going together’ are better able to think and act.” Group sports and exercise are some of the avenues that you can pursue to gain new friendships and deepen them over time.

Fitness and Addiction Recovery

From all of the benefits mentioned above, the important takeaway is that they will all be a part of your continued sobriety and success in recovery. Exercise is beneficial to physical and mental health, and those in turn are essential to fighting addiction. The goal is to create a positive routine where you are developing habits and skills that are going to be a part of your continued progress. Exercise on its own is not a guarantee one will never develop addiction or that one will never face relapse, but it is a powerful component in the many different parts of recovery.

Each person in recovery will be at a different starting point as far as what they are capable of doing physically. It is important to keep in mind that physical activity and skill is also a journey that will take time and effort. As you go along though, you will find yourself accomplishing more and setting new goals, developing confidence, and establishing significant relationships. Embrace the challenges that you will face and look to your community for the support you need.

*Resources:
Exercise as Treatment for Drug Abuse – NIH
Sleep and Mental Health – Harvard Medical School
Physical Activity and Building Stronger Communities – PCAL

Men’s Only Rehab: Building Brotherhood in Recovery from Addiction


Reflections Recovery’s addiction treatment program for men has an added benefit – that many other addiction treatment programs – do not have; guests of our program build bonds between each other in their recovery, and form a brotherhood that lasts well beyond treatment and into long term recovery and sobriety.

The Reflections Recovery Center Family

Supportive Addiction Recovery Staff
It is not only our guests that form bonds during addiction treatment and recovery; the Reflections Recovery Staff, counselors and therapy providers also work closely with the men staying with us, and we quickly form bonds with each other.

Though we as addiction counselors all develop a strong relationship our guests, it is our guests themselves who form the strongest bonds with each other, creating a brotherhood. This brotherhood helps individuals to strengthen their will and want for sobriety, and really gives guests a sense of purpose – even from the first days of recovery – that helps them to carry on through treatment, into aftercare, and continues long after our guests transition back into their lives outside of treatment.

Men in Addiction Recovery Need a Sense of Purpose During Recovery: Brotherhood Gives Purpose

One of the challenges in early addiction recovery for men is for those in treatment to find their purpose, or a motivation for continued work during treatment. When men suffering with addiction to drugs and alcohol first arrive in treatment, they are in a very fragile state. Many have hit a “rock bottom” moment, where they are unsure of what the future holds for them.

Many of our guests are in a state of such a severe addiction, that they are literally faced with life or death decisions – recover or face the very real threat of death – especially with severe addiction to alcohol, opioids, and heroin.

Our guests are in a period of transition in their lives when they arrive at our Northern Arizona rehab facility, and often need a little motivation to keep them on-track with their recovery goals. Even though our addiction treatment staff welcomes our guests with open arms when they arrive, it is usually their fellow men in treatment that make them feel fully at home and comfortable.

Brotherhood In Recovery - Reflections Arizona

Building Brotherhood in Recovery Through Outdoor and Adventure Addiction Therapy

One of the forms of therapies we utilize in our men’s substance abuse programs is adventure therapy, and we participate in a lot of outdoor activities throughout treatment. For those that have spent years focusing only on keeping up with their addiction, getting fresh air and enjoying the outdoors is actually a new experience for them.

Through our outdoor sessions, wilderness hikes, mountain climbing, cliff-diving, and swimming, men in our program further strengthen their bond of brotherhood.

Men in our program support each other through not only our counseling and group therapy sessions, but throughout our outdoor therapy adventures. As friends and peers, our guests work together to find purpose and to understand how a life without drugs and alcohol can be rewarding, and worth living.



Arizona Adventure Therapy for Addiction Treatment

At Reflections Recovery Center, we regularly schedule outdoor activities for our men’s rehab program attendees that – depending on the season – can include watersports, kayaking, hiking, and more. We regularly explore the many environments Northern Arizona has to offer, including trips to the Grand Canyon, trips to the beautiful and mystical Sedona, Arizona, getaways and day trips to Flagstaff, or exploring the wilderness around Prescott and Prescott Valley.


Our guests enjoy our activities and trips in between the hard work it takes to reshape your lifestyle, and learning how to live a more positive and productive life without drugs and alcohol. The memories made during their stay at Reflections last a lifetime, and serve as a basis of how life experiences can offer happiness and comfort in their sobriety.

Why Men’s Only Rehab with a Focus on Building Bonds Works to Prevent Relapse and Strengthen Addiction Recovery

Our men’s only treatment program for substance abuse and addiction has been recognized as one of the top centers for alcohol treatment in the country, best dual diagnosis and mental health treatment facility in Arizona, and has been called the “best heroin treatment program for men” due to our unique treatment style.

Putting young men in a sterile and institutional setting and telling them what they need to do is simply not as effective as creating a program that responds to their unique needs and shows them how a life without drugs and alcohol can be more rewarding. Furthermore, our rehab alumni take with them the experiences from treatment out into the world, and embed what they have learned into their own lives.

To put it simply, our men’s only rehab program works for men young and older, and offers a better chance at a successful rehabilitation from substance abuse and addiction.

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Why Men’s Only Rehab Programs Work

Are you the Parent of a Young Man who Could Benefit from Unique and Effective Model for Men’s Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment?
Call us today to Speak with Reflections’ Caring and Supportive Addiction Treatment Staff to Reserve a Spot in Our Men’s Only Program

 

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Explore the Arizona Summer: Enjoying Addiction Treatment and Therapy in Arizona’s Outdoors


At Reflections Recovery, we are gearing up for what will be a memorable summer for the guests that will be staying with us in the coming months. As part of our ongoing experiential and adventure therapy program, we are planning trips throughout Arizona for the summer. Our men’s rehab guests will be hiking, mountain climbing, swimming and exploring the many landscapes Arizona has to offer.

Grand Canyon Arizona Summer Rehab Adventure - Reflections Recovery Center

Our Summer of Rehab Adventure Schedule

Every summer, we work to create a schedule of adventures that we can enjoy with our guests. This summer, we have put together a list of outdoor activities that give our guests the adventure of a lifetime. One of the biggest expeditions we have planned is our hiking trip to the Grand Canyon. This hike will be both challenging and enjoyable, as we set out for an all-day excursion among one of the great natural wonders of the world.

Other adventures will see our group travel to the nearby area of Sedona, Arizona. This magical and mystical area famously boasts gorgeous red rocks and a spiritual vortex – which some believe has healing properties and can allow you to see into your soul and find the meaning of life on this planet.

Many of our guests who arrive from out of state are surprised to find that Arizona offers more than just desert and cacti. Arizona is a diverse landscape with evergreen forests, rivers and lakes, and even snow. We are planning day-trips to Flagstaff and other Northern Arizona destinations to get some relief from the summer temperatures and to give us a chance to connect with nature and each other.

Benefits Of Outdoor Therapy in Addiction Treatment - Reflections Recovery Arizona

The Benefits of Outdoor Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Our adventures into the wild outdoors of Arizona are more than just an excuse to get outdoors and take in the state’s beauty. We have seen the benefits that nature can provide for individuals who are trying to figure out what a sober future holds for them. Many of those attending our men’s addiction treatment program find a sense of renewal and hope through our unique treatment – especially our outdoor and adventure rehab therapy.

Northern Arizona is the state’s beautiful “backyard” where our groups of clients and therapists can continue the work they started inside our Prescott addiction treatment facility. It’s difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen the majesty of Arizona at sunset, but as you are re-building yourself and working to make plans for a sober future, nature seems to reaffirm your decisions.

Our guests relate a feeling of “standing on top of the world,” realizing how much beauty and good is in the world that they seemed to have missed completely when they were using drugs and alcohol.


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Join Us on Our Adventures

Reflections Recovery Center’s addiction treatment program is a gender-specific format that allows men young and old to find a recovery plan that works for them and their lifestyle. Utilizing outdoor and adventure therapy is just one of the ways we bring our holistic rehab therapies to our clients. Our setting, our treatment modalities and our record of success in turning lives around are the reasons why so many families send their sons and loved ones to Arizona to start their recovery.

Therefore, we invite families from across the U.S. and the world to consider our program in your search for the solution to your son or husband’s problems with substance abuse. We already have a great many adventures planned, and your loved is invited to join us as soon as possible.

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What real clients have to say about Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona
Reflections provided me with the tools that got me where i am today with 14 months sober.
— Ricky A, Long Beach CA
Reflections gave me a life and an opportunity to become part of society. They challenged me and shaped me into the man I want to be.
— Dyer K, Gilbert AZ
I learned how to stay sober, found my best friends and created a new life at Reflections
— David S, Phoenix AZ

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If you have any questions about addiction treatment, we're here.