When thinking about going to detox for drugs and alcohol, or thinking about an addiction treatment experience, most people certainly don’t equate such an experience with having fun. And for some reasons, that isn’t entirely inaccurate. Most people don’t enter treatment because they are excited about sobriety or looking forward to a life of recovery free of drugs and alcohol. Instead, most people seek treatment or admit into detox because their life is on fire- they’ve burned bridges, ruined relationships, lost a job, find themselves in legal or financial difficulty, or have been cut off from their family, friends and loved ones. In short, most people do not enter detox or addiction treatment riding a rainbow of enthusiasm surrounded by butterflies and puppy dogs. In the 12 Step rooms of recovery, it is often heard that “nobody comes into recovery on a winning streak.”
Additionally, those first few days of detox and treatment also are rarely considered fun. Dealing with withdrawal symptoms certainly isn’t enjoyable, no matter what medications someone is on to help manage those withdrawal symptoms, and without drugs and alcohol for perhaps the first time in a long time, patients deal with overwhelming feelings and intense emotions. The guilt, shame, pain, and remorse of active addiction can hit like a ton of bricks. It is one of the reasons that people avoid addiction treatment for so long in active addiction; they just don’t want to have to feel the feelings or deal with the consequences of their actions in active addiction, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Unfortunately, recovery is about feelings and learning how to manage them and navigate them, and people cannot run from their feelings if they are going to overcome their addiction and find a life of recovery.
Therefore, here at Innovo Detox, we have found that creating a fun, inspiring environment is helpful for patients keep their mind off the negative as their treatment and recovery journey begins, but also for demonstrating that it is possible to laugh, enjoy themselves, and have fun in recovery. Of course, our primary purpose is to deliver high quality medical and clinical care that keeps patients physically and mentally safe and comfortable during those first days of recovery. However, we also want to help them feel emotionally comfort and safety, and one way of doing that is to create an environment that is fun and enjoyable.
So, part of the approach here is creating fun days that the patients can look forward to, engage in, and enjoy fully. Spearheaded by Innovo Detox Office Manager Sheri Weaver and the Innovo Detox leadership team, some recent examples of how the staff here has created such a fun, warm, and welcoming environment for our patients are as follows: