Planting Seeds of Change in Overcoming Addictions Requires the Right Attitude and Environment


A rehabilitation center in Italy is using marathon running as a way to facilitate recovery and accountability along with an emphasis on producing one’s own food such as vegetables, cheese, and wine.

This live-in communal type of in-house recovery combined with intense physical training is an excellent way to break down old patterns of thinking and introduce new programmed thinking. Stopping the cycle of destructive thoughts that lead to addictive behaviors is paramount to permanent change. This is not easy to do and patients master this in varying degrees, depending on many different factors. People have different predispositions to addictive behavior spurred on by the kind of environment they have grown up in as well as genetic factors. Getting at the root of the negative thoughts and planting new “thought seeds” that grow and mature is what permanent recovery is all about. The road to this seemingly impossible outcome is usually bumpy and one should not expect perfection and allow room for errors and feelings of being overwhelmed. It is acceptable to make mistakes and succumb to old thoughts along the way towards full recovery, but one should not embrace a defeatist or self-deprecating attitude that prevents or gives an excuse for not raising the bar towards completely overcoming an addiction. Being in the appropriate facility to cultivate new thinking while simultaneously shedding previously learned belief systems is crucial to total recovery.

Resort-Style Recovery Centers

Which treatment center is best for achieving this task, one that often seems excruciatingly long or even irrelevant to a patient whose perspectives differ greatly? The first thing to remember is that it is those individuals who choose to enter a rehabilitation facility or enter treatment at their own recognizance, who have the highest success rates and lowest recidivism. With this in mind it is partially up to the patient to choose the program that best suits his or her needs. Inpatient facilities with communal living, such as the one mentioned at the beginning of this article are effective for certain patients who need constant support. Other ones offered are resort-style recovery centers with some offering inpatient or outpatient services. This kind of facility can have its pros and cons, depending on the each patient’s will to recover. Resort-style facilities are beneficial because they offer a bright and cheerful environment, which is conducive to creating a positive and healthy environment. This kind of setting dispels any preconceived ideas about rehab and medical facilities that are reminiscent of a clinical environment akin to a Catholic monastery, or worse yet, nurses like Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Of course this is an exaggeration and most treatment centers, especially resort-style ones, are highly advanced in customer service and provide amenities that are second to none. The atmosphere in resort-style centers can be too casual for some and counterintuitive to the hard work that is involved towards full recovery, but again, these external factors are secondary to the attitude and motivation of the patient.