Reflections By Dr. Karen Khaleghi


By Dr. Karen Khaleghi

Over the past 30 years, we have worked with close to 2,500 patients, and while it remains challenging, we find gratification in those who have gone on to live happy, productive, and fulfilling lives. At Creative Care, our passion and purpose is to join with people in their hardest moments and work together to find an improved sense of self and wellbeing. Our goal is to walk through the rebuilding and stabilizing process with Clients as they gain sobriety and resolution to those deeper issues driving the bus of addiction. We also find meaning and opportunities for learning in those who have continued to struggle and who continue to need help. In reflecting on those who continue to struggle and those who have been taken by the disease, our treatment team has grappled with the hard questions and analyzed our practices.

It is an extremely painful reality that addiction destroys the mind of an addict and it destroys the ties that bind them to the rest of their world. When the person struggling with addiction enters into treatment, we are locked in a battle against the substances that have hijacked their brain and rendered them without the ability to see beyond the disease that is destroying them. Choice, as we know it, does not exist for the addict mind. It is a tug of war that occurs, sometimes minute-by- minute, as we seek to bond with the person engulfed in addiction, in hopes to fight the disease of addiction and the pull of their substance.

Treatment for addiction is voluntary. No one can be forced into treatment against ones will, which is true for any disease. No matter how sick the patient has become and no matter how self-destructive the lack of treatment may be, treatment cannot be forced. The statistics for overdose are staggering, with nearly 64,000 people dying of drug overdose in 2016 alone – a number that is rising at a frightening rate – the largest contributor of which being illicit opioids and prescription drugs, with those between the ages of 25 – 44 years of old sustaining the highest rates of death across any demographic (2019 Drug Policy Alliance). And the access to and availability of drugs today makes the tug of war harder to win as the disease can be more readily fueled.

Over these 30 years we have found that the system and access to treatment in its various options have changed and the addict mind has become skilled in playing one treatment facility against another in order to keep their addiction active and coercive. It’s with this message that we reach out to our community of friends and colleagues to share our recognition of the critical battle with the disease of addiction, we share our commitment to provide the best care to people struggling with addiction, and we renew our commitment to get to the deeper meaning that continues to manifest in addiction. We take these moments of reflection as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the treatment process and all the complex factors to navigate throughout the person’s journey to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

Creative Care will continue to fight the good fight with the belief that everyone possesses within them the ability to grow and change and that treatment works.

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