Gabor Mate: The Myth of Normal and Benefits of the Roots’ Aftercare Program

Gabor Mate: The Myth of Normal and Benefits of the Roots' Aftercare Program

Alcohol and substance addictions can be overwhelming to overcome in all aspects: seeking help, starting and going through the treatment process, and leaving treatment when the time comes. Likewise, trying to heal in a toxic environment can surface trouble or stress. 

In Gabor Mate’s The Myth of Normal, Mate discusses how to heal in a toxic environment both during and after treatment, which Roots Recovery works on with our clients. In Roots’ aftercare program, professionals work with clients to develop coping mechanisms to incorporate into their daily lives. In doing so, they are more likely to prevent relapse, even in an unstable or unsupportive environment.

Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are common in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 23 million Americans struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. Often people turn to alcohol or substances when dealing with trauma or pain, using them as a way to escape. However, using substances as an escape can lead to dependency and addiction. 

Signs of Substance Use Disorders

An individual may be struggling with SUD if they experience the following:

  • Increased irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or difficulty waking up
  • Hallucinations
  • Decreased involvement and motivation
  • Inability to focus
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Seizures

Effects of Substance Use Disorders

SUD can wreak havoc on a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Addiction can have the following effects on an individual:

  • Damage to organs
  • Development of mental health disorders
  • Permanent hormonal or nervous system changes
  • Damaged social relationships
  • Financial issues and legal troubles
  • More incidents of accidents or injury
  • Job, home, or school problems
  • Risk of arrest and incarceration
  • Suicidal behavior

Gabor Mate and Toxic Environments

Seeking help can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for many. However, receiving treatment for addiction can be life-saving. In receiving treatment, life becomes more fulfilling and purposeful. Individuals can learn how to cope and manage daily stressors without the use of drugs or alcohol.

However, after receiving treatment, many people find themselves in toxic or unstable environments that may lead to relapse or other issues. In Mate’s The Myth of Normal, he discusses how to heal in toxic environments. In Mate’s book, he reveals how prescription drug usage, high blood pressure, mental illness, and other troubling issues are increasing in the Western healthcare systems despite the pride they hold. 

Modern-day life is increasingly stressful, yet these pressures are not discussed. Society as a whole, as Mate discusses, is a toxic environment in itself. These daily pressures result in illness, both chronic and general. Western medication, however, does not treat the whole person but rather symptoms or concerns. Emotional health is pushed aside, only dealing with the physical. Likewise, the toxicity of the modern world is left unaddressed. 

To push past these societal issues, Mate introduces a guide for health and healing that takes a more compassionate, understanding, and emotional approach. Often compassion is neglected, not only in the Western healthcare system but in Western society in its entirety. By focusing on generosity, hospitality, objectivity, and tolerance, Mate introduces a new way to cope with mental health disorders, addiction, and the toxicity of the modern world. 

This is considered the compassionate inquiry approach. The compassionate inquiry approach to care in the mental health and addiction field is implemented in Roots Recovery’s programs, especially in our aftercare program. 

Roots’ Aftercare Program

Completing treatment and transitioning back into daily life and society can surface anxieties and worries. Often, without the proper care and resources, individuals find themselves in circumstances of relapse or developing symptoms of mental health disorders. At Roots Recovery, we offer various levels of treatment and treatment approaches to help people during their transition from inpatient treatment. 

A Whole-Person Approach

Specifically, during treatment, Roots Recovery works to treat the whole person, known as the whole-person approach. In doing so, the client gains a deeper connection between their mind, body, and spirit. This approach involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), spiritual exploration, mindfulness and meditation, creative group therapy, and movement-based therapies. 

Integrative Care Model

To create a positive and supportive environment, rejecting toxicity an individual may be familiar with, Roots works with an integrative care model. Here, everyone is involved in a person’s care to create a caring treatment team and productive treatment plan. 

In this positive environment, the treatment team works with clients to develop healthy relationships with themselves without needing alcohol or substances. Alongside this, our team encourages clients to perceive their life in a positive manner. We work to help individuals redefine their life’s purpose and find a healthier, positive meaning in life. 

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Roots Recovery also works with clients to develop and maintain healthy coping mechanisms and outlets to rely on to prevent relapse. One of these programs is our mindfulness-based relapse prevention program which works to help clients grow awareness and steer away from substances. They can do this by growing a deeper connection with the self. 

How Does The Myth of Normal Apply?

Implementing aftercare and a supportive environment for clients helps reduce the stress of the toxic, modern world. It can be an overwhelming transition, leading to relapse or other mental health disorders. Implementing a supportive environment the treatment team at Roots Recovery curates for each client is the first step. 

With this support system in place alongside programs, services, and learned coping mechanisms available after treatment, Mate’s compassionate inquiry is able to surface. Learning how to heal in a toxic environment is difficult. However, when surrounded by compassion, support, and care, health and happiness are possible.  

Here at Roots Recovery, we emphasize the importance of community both during and after treatment. In our programs, we implement a treatment team specific to each client’s needs. We work to create a supportive, positive, and compassionate community that you can rely on outside of our services and programs. We use Gabor Mate’s model of compassionate inquiry to guide our team and how we interact with our clients. Both during and after treatment, we place focus on a positive environment compared to the toxic one you may transition back into. Rather than being surrounded by negativity or toxicity, we create a supportive group to encourage relapse prevention and overall happiness. Call us at (562) 473-0827 to learn more. 

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