The grim traces of past day treatments
Previous residential treatments left deep marks and scars on addicts
Many alcoholics and drug addicts have experienced residential treatment that has damaged them for life with humiliation and shame – it’s just unfortunately still a taboo that no one dares to speak out about.
But the deep scars, as we know, never disappear…
“I didn’t think day care could be like this,” he says, his voice cracking.
His eyes suddenly go completely blank. We call him Claus, and Claus, is clearly touched. He sits on the bench in the courtyard of the Alfa residential treatment centre in Fredensborg and smokes a cigarette,
The man behind the abuse
His story, in short, is a success.
Claus is married to someone he loves, they have children together, a house and even a house abroad. He has a job and a boss who appreciates him and whom he also likes.
In other words:
- Claus has done well.
- Claus is doing well.
- And Claus really likes drinking alcohol.
Humiliating and debilitating day treatment
The first time Claus was in residential treatment was ten years ago somewhere in Jutland. The experience may have sobered him up, but it also left a deep mark on him.
“Talking about it, I can feel that I am injured from that time. It was so humiliating and devastating,” he explains as tears well up in his thoughtful eyes.
Settlement of the Minnesota treatment
This form of treatment harks back to the Minnesota treatment that many have heard of or seen featured in American films. It is known for its 12 steps and surrender to something divine.
The divine is perceived as greater than oneself and from which one must seek help and support through treatment. Therefore, the addict also has to acknowledge that as an addict he or she could not cope with his or her own life.
The Minnesota treatment has been the most widely used in the Nordic countries, but in recent years it has been under development and even phased out in several places. Times have changed and so, of course, must addiction treatment.
Stress-free addiction treatment
At Alfa, we have never cultivated the Minnesota model, but over the years we have gained a lot of experience. As a result, we are now the only addiction treatment centre in the country to have adopted the HB model.
HB is an acronym for Heart and Brain. We believe that in every encounter with people, the focus should be on the whole person.
The key feature of this model is that it is based on the belief that the addict knows what their greatest challenges and needs are.
The HB model is based on the trust that the addict is an expert on his or her own life, opportunities and challenges.
Sobriety is a choice
“Yesterday I said I’d rather go for a walk than take part in the activities and they just said okay,” Claus explains, flapping his arms.
He is clearly puzzled.
Imagine, an adult man is pleasantly surprised because he gets to go for a walk. Because he is trusted to be in residential treatment and to maintain his sobriety.
What else would he be doing there, one is tempted to say, but the obvious question is not obvious in much of addiction treatment.
Injunctions, points and punishment in residential treatment
To an outsider this sounds absurd, but addiction treatment has historically never trusted the addict. Therefore, the treatment has been characterised by injunctions, rules, fixed days and punishment.
In some places, you earned/earned points which meant, for example, that you might not be allowed to have a visit from your family on the day of the visit.
Doors without locks in addiction centres
It has also been quite common that there were no locks on the room doors in the residential treatment facilities.
They monitored, approached abusers with scepticism and instructed them in what they could and could not do.
Cut to the chase – shame, with shame on.
Yoga, safety and courage
“Of course they have rules here at Alfa, you have to be sober and drug free, of course, but they listen to you. For example, I’m one of the oldest, so I don’t bother with as much of the social stuff as the young people with football and stuff. On the other hand, I have tried yoga and I think it’s really cool. I never thought I would,” says Claus while smiling.
Claus is safe here. It is a prerequisite for building the courage and strength required when he has decided to change his life.
The good day care
Change, as you know, starts with you and the choices you make.
Therefore, the HB model is based on a trust in the individual. You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself.
Claus is in full swing – and this time the residential treatment is a place that helps him find his way back to who he is.
Get help now
Do you need help for yourself or someone close to you?
The phone is open around the clock and you can always write to us here.