Mike’s 3½ months of addiction treatment

“I had both the drug problems and the psychological problems treated in my addiction treatment at Alfa. That made the difference.”

In May 2014, Mike El-Hajj was granted addiction treatment and subsequently driven to Alfa in Fredensborg. The summer was to be spent getting clean after more than 25 years of addiction. Today, over two years later, Mike is still free of drugs and alcohol. Instead, he is now an active part of a drug-free community in Fredericia, as well as a board member of a shelter and other volunteer work. He has been declared fit for work, and he feels that way for the first time in many years.

The reason it’s all possible, he believes, is Mike’s indomitable will combined with a stay at Alfa. At Alfa he became drug-free, here he gained theoretical insight into abuse and addiction, and not least he gained insight into himself and why he has done what he has done throughout his life.

“Other treatment centres I’ve been to have focused solely on the addiction. At Alfa I gained both theoretical knowledge about addiction and abuse and a deeper insight into myself, my feelings and my actions. That combination made me more clear about my addiction than I had been before, and about what had been tricking me. Elsewhere, they have not had professionals involved to the same extent as in the addiction treatment at Alfa. It allows them to deal with both the addiction and the mental health and that makes a huge difference.”

Freedom and personal responsibility

Freedom under responsibility, which is a motto at Alfa, was also something that suited Mike. If you take care of your addiction treatment, embrace your new knowledge and keep your appointments with others and yourself, you will quickly achieve a high degree of freedom and self-determination. Many conversations are therefore about finding positive ways to use freedom and self-determination. How to tackle the fact that responsibility is also commitment.

“The stay at Alfa gave me the strength and freedom to take responsibility for my life with the opportunities I had. It gave me the courage to choose life rather than remain passive and deal with the chaos and confusion that comes with doing nothing. That way I came the right way. There was an appropriate balance between addiction treatment, psychology, pedagogy and self-testing. They made you aware of what it means to take responsibility for your own life, right down to the small everyday things.”

After the many years of abuse, and with his background as a refugee and foreigner as challenges on top of the abuse, caring is another key word for Mike when he talks about Alpha.

“As a foreigner, it meant a lot to me that all the staff cared for us in the treatment, respecting each individual regardless of their background. They always had time for a chat or a hug, or just a smile and an encouragement, It meant a lot to me that I succeeded in addiction treatment and got courage for life, that someone treated me lovingly.”

Read about: Residential treatment at Alfa Fredensborg

See also: Effective drug treatment