7 Don’ts for Discussing Someone’s Addiction With Them

How to not to Talk about Addiction with a loved one

All loved ones of addicts reach the point where they need to discuss the problem with the person directly. In doing so, you have a chance to convince them to get them the help they need. But you also run the risk of pushing them away and further isolating them in their addiction. Learning to talk to your loved one about their addiction in a way that feels safe is the best way to get them the help they need. 

Avoiding saying or doing these important “Don’ts” will help you create a safe space and help get the best possible result for your loved one. 



1. Don’t Berate, Belittle or Blame


Accusatory tactics like these will likely result in your loved one feeling defensive, angry, and even storming out. Addicts are in a fragile state and are quick to emotionally spiral, which typically drives them to use in order to soothe their pain. Avoid these three B’s to maintain a safe and constructive environment. 



2. Don’t Make It All About You


Your experience of their addiction is part of this, of course, but right now the goal is to get your loved one the help they need. Try to make sure you’re focusing on them. Have you noticed they seem unhappy? Do they look different than they used to? Is their health declining? Rather than focusing on how you’ve been treated, focus on them. Your relationship to their addiction can be discussed later, once they are safely in treatment.  



3. Don’t Attempt to Know What They are Feeling or Experiencing


It is best not to talk to your loved one as if you know what it is like to have an addiction (unless of course you actually do). Every addict’s struggle is unique. Instead of trying to assume what they are going through, ask them. Opening the dialogue creates a space for honesty, transparency, vulnerability and ultimately, change. 



4. Don’t Pass Judgement


In creating a safe and open space, you may learn things you didn’t expect. If they are telling you things that make you  feel inclined to judge their behavior. Don’t. Whatever you do, do not judge them. Support them, listen to them, offer to help. Know that addiction is a disease that takes people away from their true selves. Their addict behaviors are not indicative of them as a person. 



5. Don’t Raise Your Voice


This is a surefire way to create a heated argument, which is very unlikely to end in a positive outcome. Sometimes a person in active addiction will feel accused by any discussion of their substance abuse. Keep your voice level, even if your loved one does not. Do not engage with any outbursts, stay calm, and maintain the safe space. 



6. Don’t use this as an opportunity to air all your grievances 


You might be angry or hurt over things that have happened during their active addiction. It’s understandable and ok to feel these things, but now is not the time to raise them. For now, do not criticize, express anger, or bring up the past in a negative way. The only things you should be talking about are your concerns for their safety and wellbeing. Again: safe space. 



7. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal


Keep reminding yourself of the purpose of this conversation: To get your loved one into treatment. Before speaking ask yourself, will what I’m about to say bring us closer to this goal? If the answer is uncertain, don’t say it. 


We hope this helped you learn how not to talk to a loved one about their addiction. However, if you feel you need more help or would like guidance on how best to get your loved one in to treatment, our expert team at Harmony Recovery Group can help. Call us today. We’re here to support you.

Staying Sober During the Holiday: Six Tips

Staying Sober During the Holiday | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, and for people new to recovery, they can be particularly daunting. Expectations are often high, and sometimes people who don’t have a lot of sober time under their belt struggle with the idea of spending time with friends and family, especially those who drink or use drugs.

But, much of the time, it’s not just the mere fact of being around others to use substances—it’s about family dysfunction, past trauma, and other emotional factors that can trigger a relapse. The following are six tips for remaining motivated and maintaining a stable recovery throughout the holiday.

Six Tips for Staying Sober During the Holiday

1. Remember, you can opt out if you have to.

In theory, a person who has developed good coping mechanisms and the ability to avoid succumbing to temptation should be able to navigate all this. However, those who haven’t been sober for very long may not have honed these skills to use in real life, and for this reason, it may be necessary to take a rain check on this year and not place yourself in a situation that may be stressful and scary.

That said, you shouldn’t have to be home alone and miserable and lonely, either. You still need support. You can attend one or more AA meetings, volunteer, or just hang out with another sober person. Many restaurants are open on Chrismas day, as well, and thinking outside the box may be the key to enjoying the holiday without the stress related to family gatherings.

And don’t forget, this is just one year. Next year you would likely be in a much better position to function well within a holiday family environment. Let the people you love know why you have to decline the invitation this year, and hopefully, it will be the last. They should understand.

2. Remember that you are not alone.

You should never have to be left alone with your thoughts and feelings. When a person gets sober, it’s easy for him or her to erroneously believe that they are somewhat “cured” and that now we just need to keep our emotions in balance and not inconvenience others with our problems. But the truth is that no one is ever really cured of this disease, and addiction can have lifelong effects.

Moreover, just because a person gets sober doesn’t mean he or she automatically knows how to keep they emotions stable and make the right decision under any circumstance. Even people who are sober are not perfect.

For the above reasons, it’s vital to share your feelings with loved ones and trusted others and to refuse to suffer in silence. Even if it simply means calling an AA sponsor, talking your feelings out and voicing your concerns and soliciting advice can help immensely and might be the move you need to make to effectively steer clear of relapse before it starts.

Staying Sober During the Holiday | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

3. Remember that the holidays aren’t much different from every other day.

The holidays can be an enjoyable time, but they shouldn’t be placed on a pedestal. People can experience depressing or anxiety-laden problems on these days, even those who are not new to recovery. And yes, they are often different in the sense that people travel, cook large meals, and exchange gifts. But, ultimately, it’s just a day that frankly not everyone even chooses to celebrate.

On any given day, be it a random Wednesday or Christmas Day, we get up, take a shower, eat breakfast, etc. Those in recovery still have to engage in their own rituals, be it exercise, meditation, or whatever therapeutic method they use to cope with life in recovery. It’s important to accept that this day is not an excuse to neglect in self-care, and in 24 hours or less, the day will be over, and people will be back to their normal business.

4. Leave the past behind.

As mentioned, the holidays can take people back to times that you were engaging in drug or alcohol abuse, and may not be the happiest of memories. It’s not uncommon for people, even those without addictions, to drink heavily around Christmas or on New Year’s Eve. Also, most people in recovery can remember at least one time in the past when they got so intoxicated that they were later ashamed or embarrassed.

However, dwelling on the past serves little purpose except to remind ourselves of past mistakes. And this is okay, but avoiding others because of such things isn’t a great way to cope. It’s much better to move forward and show your loved ones and the rest of the world that you’ve got this.

Moreover, although we can utilize past experiences and memories to point out precisely why we got sober, it doesn’t do us any good to relive the pain of our past continually. Recovery is a perfect time to make new memories and to continue to correct your behavior and improve coping skills. It’s also a time to go easy on ourselves and realize we are not our past actions—indeed, we are not even our past selves. If you choose to participate, you should be open to enjoying this year’s holidays as new, sober experiences.

5. Set limitations if you need to.

Staying Sober During the Holiday | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Somewhere between being fully engaged in the holidays and opting out is to place limitations on the time you spend at certain events. You can let the important people at gathering know why you can’t stay as long as you’d like, and quietly excuse yourself. For example, you can plan on staying for dinner only, and then skip out and go to an AA meeting. Doing this can be a great way to structure your day, and feel like it’s less daunting overall and that you have more control.

6. Sobriety is still a priority.

All of these tips should be reemphasizing the critical fact that your sobriety still needs to be a priority and centered in your life. This attitude may sound selfish, but the truth is, your sobriety needs to come before everything that is not a major emergency. If you fail to do this, you lose the sense of accountability and cannot be the best version of yourself. For many, the holidays pose a unique threat to sobriety, and not taking this very seriously can be detrimental to it.

The holidays are rapidly approaching, but there is no reason to be anxious or fearful. You just have to keep sobriety at the top of your checklist and remember that you can get through each day—like you do every other day—just fine.

Getting Help

If you are struggling in recovery or feel you need help with a drug or alcohol abuse problem, effective treatment is available. Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers personalized, comprehensive programs that feature evidence-based therapies, activities, and services that are highly beneficial for the process of recovery.

Addiction is a chronic disease that can last a lifetime, but you don’t have to battle it alone. Contact us today to discuss treatment options and find out how we can help!

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient rehab and professional addiction treatment can help people with substance abuse problems reclaim independence in recovery, build trust and accountability, and develop ongoing skills for maintaining sobriety.

For people who have already undergone more intensive forms of treatment and are now able to maintain sobriety without constant supervision, outpatient treatment is an ideal option for continuing support. Outpatient drug treatment programs can offer a person a variety of choices in terms of scheduling to sustain long-term abstinence and transition back into a healthy, productive life.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

In outpatient treatment, clients can continue to benefit from behavioral therapy, psychiatric services, counseling, and medical care on a scheduled basis. Treatment formats and options fall onto a spectrum that ranges from a rigid, 24/7 hour a day structure to complete independence. Outpatient treatment programs are designed to be less intensive than inpatient or partial hospitalization programs and offer more flexibility and freedom.

Outpatient rehab requires clients to be responsible for managing their sobriety and dealing with triggers on a daily bases. For this reason, the decision to undergo outpatient treatment should be considered with care.

If you have not undergone residential treatment but have been considering getting treatment for a substance abuse problem, outpatient treatment may still be effective for you. In fact, the majority of addiction treatment takes place on an outpatient basis.

If you have a relatively mild addiction, cannot afford to take time off work or school and are highly motivated to recover, this level of treatment may be beneficial for you. However, it is important to consult an addiction treatment specialist or center before making that decision.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) have similar offerings as partial hospitalization programs, in that they are steeped in therapy, counseling, and educational activities. In this level of care, clients often live in private residences off-site, such as sober living homes, which may be located near the outpatient treatment center.

IOPs generally offer several hours of activity per day, usually for several weeks or months. The programs are frequently available in the evenings or on weekends to provide an option for those with family, work, or school obligations. Such programs still keep people in recovery active while allowing for a greater degree of accountability and independence. Clients are also provided with consistent access to psychiatric and medical care as needed.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient programs continue to offer many of the same options as more intensive levels of care but consist of scheduled visits with treatment providers rather than providing them with immediate access. They also offer the most autonomy and flexibility, and usually cost less than other services.

Clients in outpatient rehab live in private residences and come to treatment offices as previously scheduled. For this reason, people in outpatient treatment have nearly complete independence and will be in a position to deal with stressors and triggers in daily life. Therefore, a clinical team must evaluate the potential patient and decide together if outpatient treatment is an appropriate level of care.

Sometimes, but not always, medical detox is an option before entering outpatient treatment. For people with severe addictions, the best course of action is usually to embrace a full continuum of care from residential or partial hospitalization to intensive outpatient and outpatient formats. From there, most people still benefit from ongoing aftercare, including regular visits to therapies, counselors, doctors, and support groups.

If you have decided to undergo treatment, there are several factors to consider that help to determine which level(s) of care are appropriate for you and your needs. Outpatient treatment may be suitable for a person if his or her situation is characterized by the following:

  • Physical, emotional, and residential stability
  • Lack of need for intensive care for either addiction or a mental health condition
  • Willingness and ability to dedicate energy into sustaining recovery, avoiding triggers, and preventing relapse

Components of Outpatient Treatment

The main components of outpatient treatment include the following:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Medical care
  • Medication-assisted therapy
  • Aftercare planning

Aftercare Planning

Aftercare planning, also known as continuing support, continuing care consists of counseling groups and peer support groups, whose objective is to provide people in recovery with an arena to connect with peers and receive ongoing emotional support. These groups also foster accountability and may have sponsors who a person new to sobriety can lean on for advice and support.

Continuing care groups are somewhat structured and led by a licensed therapist, while peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are led by other members of the group.

Aftercare planning specialists will also work with a person and their insurance (if any) to help them locate professional services such as therapists and psychiatrist. These professionals can offer pharmacotherapy options to clients who still need them.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Many people in recovery from various substances benefit significantly from the use of certain medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. These medications, while essential in early recovery, can also continue to help severe addicts maintain sobriety long-term. These medications may include methadone, Suboxone, naltrexone, and a variety of other agents that help keep a person’s mood stable and discourage relapse.

Treatment for Mental Health Conditions

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

A mental health condition, also referred to as a co-occurring condition, that exists alongside a substance use disorder can present additional challenges to sobriety. Unfortunately, mental illness and addiction often go hand in hand and feed into each other. Therefore, it is critical to address all aspects of a person’s mental and emotional well-being to prevent relapse and provide the best chance for lifelong recovery.

Due to the complex nature of the entanglement of multiple health problems, co-occurring conditions are best treated at high levels of care. However, intensive outpatient treatment for these disorders may indeed be effective under the following circumstances:

  • All mental health and substance use disorders have mild to moderate symptoms
  • Psychiatrists or doctors are readily available by appointment
  • The patient is highly motivated to follow a medicinal regime precisely as directed

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

The benefits and potential disadvantages of all levels of care should be considered before deciding on a treatment program with which to start. These, in addition to individual patient needs and the likelihood of success, must all be factored into a treatment plan.

Some of the many benefits of outpatient treatment include the following:

  • Increased levels of independence versus inpatient rehab
  • Greater flexibility in scheduling and treatment program design
  • Ability to live in a comfortable home environment will continue to be engaged in treatment
  • Freedom to attend to responsibility related work, school and family
  • Lower cost than inpatient or partial hospitalization rehab programs
  • Effective treatment of mild to moderate substance use disorders without placing a person in a long-term facility
  • Promotion of personal accountability

Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse

Our center offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs in partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient formats. These programs are designed to meet every person’s individual needs, and various mental, emotional, and medical care options are available.

As you begin to experience the freedom of a life that no longer revolves around drugs or alcohol abuse, our programs can help you sustain sobriety by offering continued support through all phases of your recovery.

If you are ready to end the cycle of addiction, call us today and let us help you find the best treatment option you need to start your journey to recovery and long-lasting wellness!

Inspiring Drug Addiction Quotes

Drug Addiction Quotes | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

The road to recovery is challenging and not always easy to navigate. For this reason, it’s vital to stay motivated and remind oneself of the purpose of this journey. One way to garner inspiration is to read and share inspirational quotes that can help you stay on the right track.

When a person experiences mostly positive thoughts, this can help them eschew thoughts related to depression and negativity. Reading quotes, such as the following, can foster the realization that others out there have had similar feelings and lived through many of the same struggles. And sharing these quotes can help others and elicit discussion that can further serve to keep people in recovery feeling strong, motivated, and hopeful.

Drug Addiction Quotes For Reading and Sharing

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.”

~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.”

~ Demi Lovato

“You can’t defeat the darkness by keeping it caged inside of you.”

~ Seth Adam Smith

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.”

~ Steve Maraboli

“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”

~ Charlotte Brontë

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Drug Addiction Quotes | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

“Rising from the ashes, I am born again, powerful, exultant, majestic through all the pain.”

~ Shannon Perry

“Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.”

~ Chris Bradford

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

~ Mark Twain

“Your best days are ahead of you. The movie starts when the guy gets sober and puts his life back together; it doesn’t end there.”

~ Bucky Sinister

“An over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.”

~ Criss Jami

“No matter how dark the night may get, your light will never burn out.”

~ Jeanette LeBlanc

“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”

~ Drew Barrymore

“Sometimes, you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.”

~ Carrie Fisher

“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”

~ Zen proverb

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

~ Carl Bard

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fail.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

~ Henry Ford

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”

~ Carl Jung

“Fall six times, stand up seven.”

~ Japanese Proverb

Drug Addiction Quotes | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

“Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.”

~ Jean Kilbourne

“At first, addiction is maintained by pleasure, but the intensity of this pleasure gradually diminishes and the addiction is then maintained by the avoidance of pain.”

~ Frank Tallis

“The initial journey towards sobriety is a delicate balance between insight into one’s desire for escape and abstinence from one’s addiction.”

~ Debra L. Kaplan

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

“If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them sorrows know how to swim.”

~ Ann Landers

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Nobody stays recovered unless the life they have created is more rewarding and satisfying than the one they left behind.”

~ Anne Fletcher

“All the suffering, stress and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.”

~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting Help for Addiction

If you are struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, we urge you to seek professional help as soon as possible. Harmony Treatment and Wellness is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers customized, comprehensive programs designed to treat all aspects of our clients’ health and well-being.

Our programs feature evidence-based therapies and services that are beneficial for the process of recovery, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and much, much more.

If you are ready to take the next step and overcome addiction once and for all, contact us today! We are dedicated to helping those who need it most free themselves from the chains of addiction and reclaim the satisfying lives they deserve!

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Cumulative Trauma Disorder and Addiction

Cumulative Trauma Disorder | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) is characterized by injury to the musculoskeletal system, and often affects joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. These injuries are often caused by repetitive stress or overuse while working, playing sports, or engaging in other activities. CTDs are the most significant work-related health problems in the U.S.

CTD is not a disease, but rather, it is an unpleasant response to repeated demands on our body without adequate time to recover before more stress is applied. The purpose of this article is to explain the causes and types of CTDs, as well as how these conditions can lead to drug or alcohol addiction.

Causes of Cumulative Trauma Disorders

CTDs are typically the result of a combination of risk factors, including the following:

  • Repetitive motion, especially those involving pulling, pushing, lifting, or gripping
  • Awkward body positions or postures that are not ergonomically correct
  • Holding the same body position without rest or movement for a prolonged period
  • Mechanical compression of tissues in the hand against hard edges, such as tools that put pressure on the palms, combined with the rapid movement of body parts such as swinging one’s arm
  • Vibration, particularly in cold environments, such as using vibrating hand tools
  • Mental and emotional stress that causes muscles to tighten and restrict blood flow without breaks and days off

Muscle Tension

All parts of the body need access to a constant blood supply abundant in oxygen and nutrients to function efficiently. Reducing the blood supply can result in injury to body tissues. Tense muscles will then pinch off the blood supply that is the source of fuel and energy. 

Muscles can still get energy without oxygen, however, from lactic acid. Unfortunately, lactic acid is very effective at causing pain. As the pain increases, muscles will continue to tighten to protect the injured site, which will reduce the blood supply even further. If nerves don’t receive enough blood and the area is being squeezed by muscle tension, the nerves begin to tingle or go numb.

Repetitive Motion

Injuries related to repetitive motions can lead to tissue damage from repeated trauma, such as typing or painting. In fact, almost any activity that causes repeated small trauma to soft tissue, such as nerves, tendons, and muscles, can result in CTD. The injury is caused by performing the same movement over and over again, rather than by trauma that occurs in a single event.


Continuing to use joints and muscles after they are already worn out increases the risk of injury. When these body parts are overworked, they don’t receive enough rest and are not given a chance to recover fully.

Incorrect or Static Posture

Awkward sitting and standing postures place undue stress on the body and can cause pain and stiffness. Joints are designed to move, and even correct posture, if held for too long, may be considered overuse.

Types of Cumulative Trauma Disorders

Tendon Disorders (Tendonitis)

Cumulative Trauma Disorder | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

CTDs are primarily disorders of tendons, which are flexible but inelastic cords of robust, fibrous collagen tissue that attach a muscle to a bone. Tendon disorder can also affect a tendon’s protective coverings (synovial sheaths). Symptoms may include the following:

  • Dull ache around the injured tendon
  • Tenderness in the area when touched
  • Discomfort or stiffness associated with certain movements
  • Incapacitating pain from repeated injuries if left untreated
  • Common types of tendon disorders include tenosynovitis,
  • Golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, bursitis, and tendonitis of the rotator cuff, ankle, or bicep.

Nerve Disorders

In addition to trauma to the tendons, stress on the nerves caused by repeated pressing against the hard edges of work surfaces, tools, or nearby bones can lead to nerve CTDs. Common types of nerve CTDs caused in the workplace include carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, and Raynaud’s disease.

How Cumulative Trauma Disorder May Cause Addiction

Chronic pain is a common reason why people turn to substance abuse. Opioids are painkilling drugs that are often the go-to self-medication of choice, and they can be obtained in a variety of ways. Although they are not generally recommended for long-term use, they are nonetheless sometimes prescribed for it. Prescription opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, can also be purchased on the black market as a product of drug diversion.

Some people may eventually turn to heroin or illicit fentanyl if they develop a high tolerance for prescription opioids or can no longer afford or obtain them. These drugs are incredibly powerful, addictive, and dangerous. Heroin addiction is notoriously difficult to beat and can develop rapidly. 

Alcohol is another popular choice for those who are seeking to numb pain and discomfort. When used in excess, drinkers may indeed experience some pain relief. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse can lead to a dependence that, like heroin, can be challenging to overcome. 

In conjunction with opioids or alcohol, it is not uncommon for people to also use or abuse muscle relaxers, nerve pain medication such as gabapentin, and sleeping pills. The use of multiple substances with depressant effects is extremely risky and can cause life-threatening central nervous system depression and death.

Chronic pain is something in which millions of Americans must deal. Many of these issues are related to work practices and certain repetitive activities. However, in most cases, the use of addictive substances is not the best answer to the problem. Once a dependence on drugs or alcohol has developed, a person is at risk for far more emotional and physical health problems, including more pain and suffering.

Healthy Treatments for CTD

Cumulative Trauma Disorder | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

If you have a CTD, there are many traditional, non-surgical treatments available that can relieve some pain and discomfort without the use of addictive substances. Anti-inflammatory medications are often used in combination with physical or occupational therapy, ice packs, or electrical stimulation. Special exercises may also help, and in some cases, chiropractic services may be beneficial.

A person suffering from CTD should assess his or her work and recreational activities to determine factors that are contributing to the problem. Note that tension restricts blood flow and can result in a lack of oxygen and nutrients to nerves and muscles. This effect can exacerbate CTD symptoms, but resting the injured area while at work or during other activities can relieve tension and promote recovery.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers an integrated, individualized approach to addiction treatment that is designed to address all aspects of a person’s emotional and physical well-being. For those with CTD or other physical problems, this can be vital to prevent relapse and ensure that a person is as comfortable as possible throughout the recovery process.

Our caring medical and mental health professionals are highly-skilled and administer services to our patients with compassion and expertise. We believe that each individual, regardless of their past, is entitled to receive the very best care available. Our programs feature evidence-based therapies and activities, including psychotherapy and group support, clinically-proven to be beneficial for recovery. 

If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic pain and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact us today and find out how we can help!

What Is Holistic Therapy for Addiction Treatment?

What Is Holistic Therapy? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Holistic therapies are non-traditional recovery methods employed to complement more conventional treatment approaches. Holistic recovery is intended to bring the mind, body, and spirit into balance. Holistic therapy concentrates on improving the person’s overall well-being while also addressing the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Holistic therapies may include the following:

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Reiki
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Adventure therapy

What Is Holistic Therapy?

Holistic therapy programs offer personalized techniques that treat the whole individual and all aspects of mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. Holistic therapists aim to address the symptoms of addiction as well as emotional and nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. Sleep disturbances, poor diet, and stress are all obstacles that holistic therapy can help a person in recovery lessen or even overcome. 

Some of the primary goals of holistic therapy include the following:

  • Identifying the underlying causes of addiction
  • Increasing resistance to drug or alcohol cravings
  • Encouraging physical fitness
  • Boosting self-confidence
  • Decreasing the allure of substance use

Types of Holistic Addiction Therapies

Holistic therapy is comprised of several different aspects of healthy living. Some of the most common therapies include the following:

Nutritional Therapy

Having a healthy body is a vital aspect of addiction recovery. Helping individuals focus on and receive proper nutrition promotes healing on many levels. Those in recovery get a fresh start by providing their bodies with the nutrition they need to feel better and end their addictive behaviors.

Exercise Therapy

Daily exercise can help a person get into a healthy routine, reduce stress, and strengthen both the body and mind. Exercise is an essential part of many holistic treatment programs. 

It’s a well-known fact that exercise is generally a positive experience and beneficial for a person’s overall well-being, but summoning the motivation to workout can be difficult. For those with addiction, it’s often especially challenging, as physical activity tends to be neglected in place of substance abuse. But research has shown, however, that regular exercise can induce a natural high similar to the chemical one that drugs and alcohol provides.

What Is Holistic Therapy? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness


To overcome addiction, a person in recovery must have a clear mind and be able to focus on the moment. For this reason, meditation is a vital addition to many comprehensive treatment programs.

Unfortunately, many people dismiss meditation in the belief that it’s some new age practice that isn’t evidence-based. However, the science behind meditation is there. 

Regular meditation can help individuals learn to be more present in their daily lives and meticulously examine their thoughts and feelings. Meditation has been shown to help with emotional regulation, alleviate pain, cope with stress, reduce depression, and foster a positive mood. These are all outcomes that can offer extraordinary benefits to a person in recovery.

Art Therapy

Art therapy involves using art and a creative process to promote a therapeutic experience. By creating art and appreciating that which is created by others, a person in recovery is allowed to express themselves when words cannot. This approach is frequently used in addiction treatment as a means to relieve anxiety, address conflicts, and foster self-confidence and self-awareness. 

Music Therapy

Music therapy is distinctly different from listening or playing music for mere entertainment. It is an evidence-based practice that uses music to help accomplish an individual’s goals within a therapy program. Each client’s music therapy experience is explicitly designed to meet their needs and likings.

Music therapy offers physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits. It is helpful in a variety of ways for persons who are suffering from addiction and other forms of mental illness.

Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy promotes recovery, growth, development, and enrichment of a person’s overall well-being through the use of structured activities that involve direct experience with nature. Adventure therapy includes the facilitation of enjoyable outdoor expeditions, also supported by traditional talk therapy. 

Adventure therapy is usually conducted in a group or family setting. It takes advantage of the environment to evoke change by making use of cooperative games, trust-building activities and problem-solving initiatives, outdoor adventures, and wilderness excursions.

Getting Help for Addiction

The most effective holistic programs are used in combination with conventional addiction treatment approaches. The philosophy that underpins holistic therapy, which is achieving and maintaining balance in all areas of life, fits well with and complements most modern addiction treatment programs.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers a comprehensive treatment program that includes evidence-based services, such as behavioral therapy and counseling. These pair well with meditation and other holistic practices and teach recovering addicts how to better cope with stress. By learning to deal with emotional difficulties in a healthier way, an individual in recovery can more effectively prevent relapse.

People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol often feel helpless and have great difficulty imagining a life that is happy and fulfilling. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and reclaim the life you deserve. 

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, contact us today to discuss treatment options!

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Group Therapy Activities for Addiction Treatment

Group Therapy Activities | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Group therapy activities offer a space for people in recovery to examine themselves and their addictive behaviors in a safe and welcoming environment. Those who participate find that these activities can provide them with new insights and meaningful experiences.

Indeed, such activities can be an invaluable way for people to remind themselves that they are not alone in this. In fact, it’s a vital part of recovery due to the bonding and sharing between peers that occurs. SAMHSA states that “because human beings by nature are social beings, group therapy is a powerful therapeutic tool that is effective in treating substance abuse.”

The Purpose of Group Therapy Activities

Isolation, guilt, and shame are often significant issues for those struggling with substance abuse. Group therapy activities allow participants to connect with others who understand what it’s like to suffer from addiction and are there to offer support. It can help people who are apprehensive about therapy get a feel for how it works, and how prepared they are to examine and process their experiences.

Group therapy activities for those who have struggled with addiction can offer a unique atmosphere that fosters insight, connection with others, and problem-solving skills. The inclusion of group therapy activities can greatly complement any addiction treatment program and is usually considered to be an integral part of the treatment process.

Who Leads Group Therapy?

Therapy groups should be lead by a trained group leader who promotes discussion and encourages each individual to participate actively. Other than mindfully guiding the conversation, the group leader is responsible for identifying participants’ issues that arise during group therapy as well as in daily life.

Participants will often react in group therapy sessions in a way that represents their habitual patterns and thought processes, unaware that they are doing so. For instance, a person who is a “people pleaser” might frequently validate the statements of others, yet keep their own experiences or opinions to themselves to avoid causing conflict.

These situations are opportunities for the group leader to make suggestions and offer insight into habits that might need to be changed. By observing participants in a group setting, therapists can provide a different perspective that allows them to improve the quality of care rendered to the clients.

Types of Group Therapy Activities

So, what type of activities do participants in group therapy engage in? Teaching individuals what to anticipate is an essential part of helping them become more open to the idea of recovery. It also helps to ease their worries and fears about the treatment process and how uncomfortable they have presumed it would be.

Discuss Common Triggers

Being able to identify triggers is a skill that is a crucial focus of all addiction treatment programs. Sometimes, working in a group setting can help individuals identify these triggers. Also, it makes it possible for people to discuss them in-depth. Understanding that they aren’t the only ones who encounter these triggers is beneficial for most people in recovery.

Group Therapy Activities | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Examine Gender Roles

Often, it’s easy to overlook the fact that gender roles play a part in how people respond to certain situations. Regrettably, gender stereotypes can drive people to suppress their feelings and avoid sharing them with others. Group therapy activities can help them break free from these stereotypes and share their thoughts and feelings more honestly and openly.

Discuss Relapse

Many group therapy activities place a focus on relapse prevention. It can be useful for people to talk about relapse openly without judgment. It can help them to remember the many adverse consequences of using drugs or abusing alcohol. In a group environment, participants can also encourage each other to avoid relapse and discuss ways of doing so.

Practice Communication

Of the many beneficial aspects of group therapy, engaging in open communication is one of the most vital. A person in recovery must know how to express himself or herself in a way that is clear and decisive. Many group therapy activities include communication-building games to show people the value of productive communication.

For instance, one such game involves participants sitting in a circle. Each person receives a message that he or she must pass on to the individual on their left. Eventually, the message makes it’s way around the room and back to the original participant. The aim is to get the same message back to the person at the end of the circle.

Discuss Role Models

Many people have role models that are people they know personally or professionally. However, some may be celebrities, athletes, or people who are highly intelligent or have achieved great success in life. Regardless, it’s critical to discuss role models in a group environment. Sometimes, people begin to learn that perhaps their previous role models aren’t really the best people to admire or aspire to imitate.

Discuss the Importance of Self-Care

Discussing the importance in several areas of one’s life can help participants understand that these practices are vital for sustaining long-term recovery. These include healthy habits, such as eating properly, exercising, and engaging in a regular and restful sleeping routine.

Participants can discuss nutritional goals and what they are currently doing to achieve those goals. They can also examine their relationship with food and identify habits that they should adopt or abandon.

Similarly, by discussing exercise, participants can identify fitness goals and how they can accomplish them. They can examine their exercise regime and determine if it’s healthy or more work needs to be done.

Finally, by discussing the importance of sleep, participants can develop a sleep routine conducive to recovery. They can also determine if they have a healthy sleep pattern, and if not, what they can do to remedy this problem.

Group Therapy Activities | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Discussing Best and Worst Moments

Therapists seek to communicate the fact that value judgments are very subjective and can be interpreted in different ways. Another activity commonly used by therapists to achieve this is to ask participants to list what they consider to be the best and worst moments of their lives.

Therapists and other participants will then ask them why these moments, in particular, were either good or bad, and if they can identify any similarities or patterns between these experiences. People engaging in this exercise often realize that there are rarely any moments that are “all good” or “all bad.”

This sometimes startling revelation can help an individual see how similar the “good” and “bad” occurrences in their lives can be, and that their value judgment has been made subjectively. As a result, they understand that they may have been using faulty judgment and have, in some cases, been too hard on themselves.

These are just a few of the countless activities that group leaders can facilitate. These activities can encourage people to share their thoughts and feelings and learn new ways of addressing the pitfalls of addiction and recovery alike.

Start Group Therapy and Addiction Treatment Today

Harmony Treatment and Wellness understands the importance of group therapy as part of a broader, comprehensive addiction treatment program. In addition to group therapy, we also offer other essential services, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Health and wellness education
  • Substance abuse education
  • Art and music therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Aftercare planning

You don’t have to try to overcome addiction alone. Using group therapy and other therapeutic techniques, we can help you develop the coping skills you need to foster long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

Contact us today if you are ready to end the cycle of addiction! We are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the very best care available, and receive the tools and support they need to reclaim healthy, more fulfilling lives!

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What Is Art Therapy?

What Is Art Therapy? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

When a person decides to seek professional help for substance abuse, there are multiple options for what type of treatment he or she can undergo. Many addiction treatment centers offer clients different therapies, including individual, group, family, relapse prevention, music, and art therapy. These types of treatment are often used in conjunction to afford the person various methods of creative expression and healing.

Types of Art Therapy

In art therapy, the person uses creativity and imagination to create art that expresses him or herself positively and productively. The objective of art therapy is for the person to increase methods of communication to convey his or her experiences fully.

The kinds of creative forms typically used in art therapy include:

  • Acting
  • Dancing
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • Sculpting

Art therapy is a form of expressive group therapy that can help people to communicate thoughts and feelings that they feel unable to express with words. This therapy is particularly beneficial for those who have underlying psychological conditions related to their addiction, such as childhood trauma or mental illness.

Creating art is often a nonverbal process that increases the ways a person can express ideas and emotions. Thus, art therapy offers an opportunity to examine, understand, and solve problems in a person’s life that he or she may not feel comfortable discussing in a normal conversation. Moreover, art therapy uses multiple expressive forms to encourage patients to talk about their experiences to achieve insight and meaning.

Benefits of Art Therapy

It is not necessary to have artistic talent to engage in art therapy. A person only needs to be open to the experience and to participate actively to benefit from these sessions. Many people find that art therapy is a relaxing and fun way to confront some of the more complicated aspects of recovery.

The creative activity offers a means to process negative emotions and anxieties that can arise during treatment. After rehab, activities such as painting or drawing can be practiced throughout the person’s life as a venue to express feelings, explore further creativity, and relieve stress.

According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), art therapy is a mental health technique that can help the person in a variety of essential ways, such as the following:

  • Resolving emotional struggles
  • Building self-confidence
  • Encouraging self-awareness
  • Relieving anxiety
  • Developing social skills

Socially, art therapy sessions can work as a form of group therapy and promote bonds among peers. As clients work together on guided projects, they can learn new methods of coping, share their responses to treatment, and practice their collaborative skills. Generally, art therapy can act as an initiation to the enjoyment of creative projects.

What Is Art Therapy? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Art Therapy Techniques

There are three main techniques that art therapy commonly uses:

Gestalt Methods

In Gestalt techniques, the therapist helps the person work through his or her current emotions and experiences. The artwork might be employed as an initiation into a more profound conversation, or as a tool for the person to describe their thoughts by having them explain the artwork’s meaning from their own point of view.

Active Imagination

Using one’s artwork as a starting point, the person allows his or her mind to wander in spontaneous free associations, which opens the door to self-examination and discussion about feelings.

Third-Hand Approach

The third-hand technique includes help from the therapist. The person is in control of the overall creative vision, but the therapist aids with the creation of the art.

Using Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Recovery from addiction involves much more than detox and abstaining from the use of drugs or alcohol. Overcoming the disease of addiction demands an understanding of the factors that contribute to substance abuse and the reasons for resistance to healing.

Art therapy is beneficial for people undergoing substance abuse treatment because it offers them ways to understand and deal with their thoughts, feelings, and addiction. Both art and traditional therapies concentrate on helping a person exercise introspection and healthy coping skills. However, art therapy can be an excellent way for a person to investigate aspects of life that he or she might not be able to describe in a conversational manner.

When performed in a group setting, art therapy can also help people undergoing addiction treatment become closer and better understand one another’s feelings and experiences.

Getting Help for Addiction

Art therapy can be a wonderful way for a person to work through the emotions and issues that have caused or worsened his or her mental health and addiction. It provides them a safe venue to express ideas and feelings without using conventional talk-focused methods. Therefore, it can be an essential change for a person who is looking for something different than usual conversational therapy.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers comprehensive programs for the treatment of addiction that feature holistic approaches, including art therapy. Our services also include, but are not limited to, the following:

If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, contact us today! We are committed to helping those who need it most break the cycle of addiction and reclaim the healthy, fulfilling lives they deserve!

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What Is a Sober Companion?

Sober Companion | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

What Is a Sober Companion? – Completing an addiction treatment program and returning to the real world can be terrifying. Many people in treatment fear going from a secure and well-supported environment back into the same circumstances they were in when they became addicted to drugs or alcohol in the first place.

Sober companions, sometimes referred to as recovery coaches, are used by many to facilitate the transition process between rehab and readjusting back into their lives. Although sober companions may not be right for everyone, they can be incredibly helpful for many people in recovery.

What Does a Sober Companion Do?

A sober companion is a person who helps those in recovery reacclimate to life, and works to keep them sober by providing both emotional and physical support. Their job is to prevent a person from relapsing during this critical and challenging period. For some, a person who fosters this level of accountability may be vital to keep them on the right path in the weeks or months following rehab.


Sober companions may be ideal for those who live alone, are estranged from friends or family, or who would otherwise lack emotional support out in the world. A sober companion will have meaningful conversations with you about your current mental health status, help you through cravings, and offer companionship. This also includes emotional support when you encounter triggers and stressors, as well as advice when you need it most.

Relapse Prevention

Sober companions also actively work to help you avoid relapse. This may include monitoring your home and surrounding or drugs, alcohol, or potential triggers. It may also entail accompanying you when you go out to prevent you from buying substances.

Sober companions may also accompany you to 12-step meetings and will help you say no when conditions that may facilitate relapse are present. For the most part, a sober companion will remain by your side and work to prevent you from relapsing. They will take you to meetings, to see counselors, and generally act as a valuable friend and supporter.

Types of Sober Companions

Sober Companion | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

There are three main types of sober companions to choose from, which include the following:


Live-in companions move into your residence or sober living home with you as you leave inpatient care and/or begin outpatient care. Your sober companion will immediately search your home for substances and dispose of any if found.

Depending on the companion, they may offer additional services. A companion may create a personalized daily schedule for you that includes nutrition, exercise, meditation, and self-care, which they will help you to develop into a habit.


Some people are not able to have a live-in companion due to time, money, insurance, room, or other constraints. Others may not want to have someone in their business 24/7, regardless of whether it would be best for them or not. For these reasons, on-call companions are also an option.

On-call companions are available on-demand, and you can contact them to request that they talk to you or visit you. This kind of sober companion may be ideal if you mostly need help coping with occasional cravings or triggers but don’t necessarily need someone sharing your personal living space.


Escort-based sober companions mainly serve to prevent people from buying substances as they travel for work-related business, vacation, social gatherings, etc. This type of sober companion is excellent if you do not trust yourself not to relapse if left to your own devices but also don’t really require support outside of your friends and family.

12-Step and Other Sober Companions

If you are participating in a 12-step program, you may be able to find a sober companion that is a member of your fellowship. In this case, your sober companion will be clean and sober, will help you to integrate into the group, and escort you to and from meetings. Other sober companions outside of 12-step programs are more likely to be associated with a rehab center or halfway house.

Benefits of Obtaining a Sober Companion

Sober companion companies can offer many benefits and help you to recover faster by preventing relapse. However, services provided by your sober companion may vary significantly depending on the person, as will their training, skill level, and qualifications for the role.

You can rely on a sober companion for:

Emotional Support

Receiving emotional support is a crucial part of feeling motivated and willing to push through difficulties such as cravings and triggers. By having someone to talk to who can listen in a non-judgmental way can considerably improve your outlook and ability to overcome temptation when things are difficult. Sober companions can serve this role well, and many will be qualified to offer basic counseling or psychoemotional support.

Social Accountability

Sober Companion | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

A sober companion will hold you accountable for staying clean. They may stay with you for up to 30 days and sometimes longer, and will often become a true friend. This connection will make relapse harder, simply because you will feel accountable and likely guilty if you relapse. You will, therefore, have increased motivation to stay sober.

Accountability is an essential factor of recovery, and one of the reasons 12-step programs are successful. Being accountable for sharing your results motivates individuals to stay on the up-and-up not just for themselves, but also for others who have worked hard to keep them sober.

Preventing Drug Use

Sober companions may offer physical support as well. This kind of support can range from confiscating drugs and alcohol to providing an escort when you leave the house. Overall, this makes relapse less likely.

Sober companions are often used when recovering patients do not have much real motivation of their own to recover. Most importantly, you should choose and/or hire your sober companion with care. Make sure you find a person who is qualified and who will offer you whatever assistance you need to recover.

Note About Insurance
Your insurance may not cover the cost of a sober companion. You should call your insurance company in advance to determine which rehab facilities are in-network or ask your treatment center for assistance.

Level of Service

Sober companions can offer anything from full maid and cooking services to very basic and minimal support. You should look for a solution that meets your individual needs while permitting you to grow and progress through your recovery somewhat on your own.

A sober companion can help tremendously during the transition between first getting sober and going back to your life. He or she can also be crucial in preventing relapse during outpatient treatment.

Importantly, you must realize that sober companions are never a replacement for professional treatment. A good companion will offer emotional support and help you to stay clean while you adjust, learn to deal with everyday life again, and continue your journey into recovery and beyond.

Getting Treatment

The first step to sobriety for many is professional treatment in a rehab facility. At Harmony Treatment and Wellness, our center offers comprehensive care and programs that feature evidence-based services, including psychotherapy, counseling, and group support. We aim to address all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health as well as their addiction(s).

Contact us today if you are ready to break free from the shackles of addiction and reclaim the healthy and fulfilling life you deserve!

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What Is Pink Clouds Syndrome?

What Is Pink Clouds Syndrome? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

What Is Pink Clouds Syndrome? – “Pink clouds syndrome” is an event common among those in early recovery that is characterized by feelings of euphoria. After the successful completion of a recovery program, people are then able to return to their former lives. However, they often see the world through a new lens, so to speak, now that they are no longer under the influence of substances.

The pink clouds period is temporary, however, and overconfidence and complacency can lead to relapse. When a person enters recovery, they establish new goals to achieve. But setting one’s sights too high can lead to disappointment. When this occurs, the desire to use drugs and alcohol suddenly reemerges.

Dangers of Pink Clouds Syndrome

In recovery, pink clouds syndrome is common, and it can result in unrealistic expectations. Although these feelings of joy can foster hope, they do have a dark side. Indeed, they often end up being mechanisms that prevent people from seeing their existing problems. This illusion can lead to overconfidence and dissatisfaction when things don’t turn out as rosy as predicted.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with feeling optimistic about the future, but this optimism has to be realistic. Having a cocksure attitude will only work for so long. Eventually, those high on life will encounter setbacks and stress. If emotionally unprepared, a breakdown in fortitude can occur, resulting in relapse.

Remaining hopeful during recovery is a good feeling and can have positive outcomes. But pink clouds syndrome is used primarily as a negative term. Many who are trying to stay sober are still exposed to life’s extreme moments—up and downs, highs and lows, peace and drama.

Pink clouds syndrome can sometimes involve a sort of detachment from reality. People become immersed in good feelings and forget about the long journey to come. The pink cloud can be thought of as a kind of natural high as well as a psychological defense mechanism. People may rely too heavily on the positive feelings of accomplishment and ignore all the pressing family, legal, and financial issues that require coping skills and patience.

An individual in recovery often experiences a roller coaster of emotions. Indeed, these are the same exact emotions that lead to addiction in the first place. The ride is turbulent, and it’s not possible to stay perfectly happy all the time. Eventually, the downs that follow the ups can cause too much disappointment and stress to manage.

Many experts believe that experiencing pink clouds syndrome is risky because being unrealistic is a significant obstacle to addiction recovery.

Getting Back to Reality

What Is Pink Clouds Syndrome? | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Pink clouds syndrome is a unique process for each person, and the length of time it persists varies between individuals. Some who have lost everything may ride the pink cloud for months or even years during recovery. Others will return to reality shortly following detox and treatment.

The problem, however, is not the duration of these feelings, but the consequences that these feelings can cause. For many, the unrealistic euphoria is a condition that can be described as a loss of memory regarding their past pain and the devastating results their addiction has had on their lives and the lives of others.

Many people in early recovery think that they can avoid reencountering pain because they are “cured.” They can feel too confident and start to believe that they hold the key to recovery. They forget that recovery is a life-long process and that addiction is a chronic disease. It is not merely a temporary problem that can be switched off like a light.

Addiction is a war. Those with pink clouds syndrome have only won a single battle, and the vain celebration of this victory could ultimately spell their defeat.

Many popular 12-step support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, will teach new members about the concept of the pink cloud. The major shortcoming to this, however, is that it could make an individual feel guilty and overly wary about their newfound happiness in recovery.

The best way a person can avoid this dilemma is to be proactive and set realistic expectations. They should continue to apply the new skills they’ve learned in treatment and regularly attend support group meetings. In some cases, they also benefit from seeing a counselor or therapist.

Seeking the companionship of a recovery coach or a sponsor can also be an effective measure to avoid pink clouds syndrome. A companion in recovery can help foster accountability and share their wealth of experience in these matters, providing support and sound advice.

Treatment for Addiction

Even before you seek treatment, it’s a good idea to begin thinking in realistic terms. You can be hopeful and positive; just remember that becoming sober won’t fix all your problems. Recovery will prevent more issues related to addiction from occurring, but it is not an instant cure. It will not make all the things that led to addiction in the first place vanish.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers comprehensive programs that include services vital to the process of recovery, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare planning. If you are ready to make a change, contact us today! We are committed to helping people achieve their recovery goals and break the cycle of addiction for life!

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