In this stage, the patient is guided through the process of detoxification. This may be done with or without the use of medications but for the most part the former is more common. Also part of stabilization is explaining to the patient what to expect during treatment and the recovery process. Where appropriate, people close to the addict are brought in at this time to become involved and show support.
La Ventana’s clinicians walk clients and their loved ones through a three-day intensive trust building experiential called the Family Immersion Program. When families face addiction and mental illness, the family unit transforms and honest communication breaks down as loved ones struggle to cope with the pain of the disease. Open dialogue ceases between family and friends, leaving no room to listen to one another, often walking on eggshells and keeping secrets in an effort to shield themselves from further damage. Through educational presentations and experiential sessions, participants learn about the nature of addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses, and the importance of therapy for all family members, not just the identified patient who presents with addiction issues. Some of the topics discussed are families in crisis and families in recovery, how to support a loved one in recovery from addiction and other mental health issues, setting realistic goals and expectations after treatment, and how to identify and prevent relapse. In a safe and nurturing environment, participants learn more effective ways of communicating, expressing their feelings and speaking their truth. They learn how to talk and listen without judgement so that each participant is honored. La Ventana’s role is to bring education, support, and deep change to clients and their families through all stages of the recovery process. “Family” is defined by the clients, and might include biological parents, siblings, and relatives, as well as significant others, friends, and those close to their hearts in recovery.