YOU MAY WONDER IF ADDICTION RECOVERY IS REALLY POSSIBLE
WE BELIEVE ADDICTION IS A DISEASE OF THE BRAIN, ONE THAT IS CURABLE
Emerging treatments make it possible to eliminate addictive cravings, heal psychological trauma, build flourishing relationships, and live a life full of meaning.
Life and the human experience are complicated and comprised of many different influences – our bodies, minds and thoughts, relationships and environments, and our spiritual beliefs. Each of these elements is distinct but interrelated. Our physical health is affected by our thoughts, relationships, and spirituality. Our mental health is affected by our physical activity and what we eat. When we effectively address these areas in concert with one another, remarkable and lasting healing takes place. Brain systems are restored to proper functioning resulting in healthy emotions and the absence of addictive cravings. Mistakes, adversity, and pain can be replaced with wisdom, strength, love, and forgiveness.
OUR HOLISTIC APPROACH
"PRE-HAB": PREPARING TO HEAL
- Health and psychological evaluation
- Comprehensive health history
- Blood work and genetic testing
- Nutritional assessment
RESTORING THE BRAIN
- 10-day IV amino acid treatment
- Personalized fitness and nutrition regimen
- Sleep training
- Nature therapy
- Amino acid supplements
CHANGING ADDICTIVE THINKING & BEHAVIORS
- Intensive positive psychological program
- Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy
- Individual, family, and group therapy
- Lifestyle and health education
- Meditation and reflection
- Multi-sensory experiences to discover meanin
Transitioning to a healthy & meaningful life
- One-year Forum Health membership for health coaching and medical consultations
- Follow-up therapy with Riverwoods Behavioral Health
- Ampelis Meraki System to implement principles of meaning living
- Case management
- Areté Program to build character strengths and skills
- Alumni and family network and Family event
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10-day IV Amino Acid Treatment
Amino acids are compounds that are produced by the body and found in the foods we eat. These acids combine in unique ways to make proteins that help the body build muscles, transport nutrients, prevent illness, and carry out other critical functions. They also enhance the brain’s ability to produce and use dopamine correctly.
Ampelis’ Amino Acid Therapy is a 10-day intravenously-administered program regulating and helping to reset the imbalance of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. With adequate neurotransmitters in place, two things happen: (1) the healthy cycle of message transmission resumes, and (2) the number of receptors goes back to normal. In effect, amino acid therapy helps the brain to work correctly again. Feelings of pleasure and joy are experienced at normal levels, thus significantly reducing or eliminating the uncontrollable urge to use drugs or pursue the addictive behavior.
Positive Psychology and the 10 Principles of Recovery
Our program focuses on an individual’s positive attributes and strengths instead of weaknesses – who and what they are instead of what they’re not. We emphasize solutions and not the addiction itself. We help our clients see that they amount to much more than, and shouldn’t be defined by, a diagnosis, or a medication. This new mindset motivates change. Our therapeutic approach consists of taking our clients and their loved ones through the 10 Principles of Recovery, developed by evidence-based positive psychological ideologies. These 10 Principles are emphasized throughout the treatment process and promote a positive, strengths-based approach to recovery.
Historically, psychology has focused on mental illness and the negatives in human behavior. This has been especially true in the addiction world, as evidenced by the wide use of the label “addict”. In recent years, interest in human potential and well-being has grown. In part, this interest was due to the positive psychology movement led by prominent scholars/psychologists such as Martin Seligman, Ed Deiner, and others. These scholars and psychologists focused on the study of human strengths. Specifically, they researched inner traits and characteristics that most cultures, religions, and philosophies have highlighted as contributing to the well-being of the individual and the world.
Positive psychology focuses more on strengths than on weaknesses, on building the best things in life rather than becoming fixated on the worst, and on those things that contribute to human health rather than perpetually digging at wounds and taking identity from sickness.
An entrenched identity also comes from labeling oneself. Our positive-psychological methodology seeks to understand, intervene, and change the negative self-perception or negative labeling to improve a person’s life satisfaction and happiness.
10 Principles of Recovery
- TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR LIFE – Examine yourself with honesty and responsibility
- DISCOVER PURPOSE – Identify what gives your life meaning
- CULTIVATE HOPE – Look for possibilities and be optimistic
- PRACTICE GRATITUDE – Be aware of who and what provides goodness in your life and show your thanks
- DEFINE & STRENGTHEN YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF – Connect with your higher power
- FIND YOUR IDENTITY & NURTURE SELF WORTH – Live from the inside out and not the outside in
- CONQUER WITH COURAGE – Use resilience to overcome weaknesses, setbacks, and obstacles
- FORGIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS – Release yourself from the past
- SERVE OTHERS – Enrich lives with your good works
- LIVE WITH INTEGRITY – Move forward with authenticity and determination
Addiction exerts a powerful influence on the brain that shows up in three distinct ways:
(1) craving for the object of addiction,
(2) loss of control over its use, and
(3) continued use despite the many adverse consequences that accompany it. Those adverse consequences often involve the relationships that matter most to our clients. Trust is damaged, pain is deep, and sometimes unhealthy coping mechanisms are developed to deal with the trauma of it all.
Occasionally, well-intended family members inadvertently contribute to or enable addictive behaviors. When this occurs, family members often need assistance to recognize enabling behaviors and make appropriate changes.
The presence of good relationships and the absence of unhealthy relationships play a critical role in a person’s ability to overcome addiction. This is especially true of family relationships. That’s why family support is an integral part of our program.
Family members are active participants in the Ampelis Recovery process. On the first day, family members receive training and education on co-dependency and how to cultivate self-love that is essential to helping a loved one through recovery.
Other elements of the family support model include:
▪ Weekly virtual co-dependency training during the residential portion of the program
▪ Weekly family therapy sessions
▪ Summaries of educational modules to learn the principles being taught to loved ones in treatment
▪ Nutrition and dietary support materials and experiences
▪ Ongoing participation in health coaching sessions to support healthy living and nutrition after the residential experience
▪ Participation in semi-annual alumni and family experiences to reinforce principles of recovery and meaningful living
With the ongoing support, processing, and training provided by Ampelis Recovery, families can overcome the trauma caused by addiction, and relationships can be renewed. Adversity and pain can be replaced with wisdom, strength, love, and forgiveness.
Recovery from drug abuse and addiction does not stop when the 26-day treatment period ends. While the treatment modalities used at Ampelis Recovery can literally heal the brain and prepare a person for sustained recovery, without implementing other changes, clients may return to the same environment, the same stressors, the same relationships, and ultimately the same habits. For that reason, our program doesn’t end after the residential experience; instead, it is designed to be a year-long program followed by a lifetime of connection and community.
All clients will receive a 12-month medical membership that includes medical consultations, a health coach, and ongoing monitoring of various diagnostics. In the event of relapse, Ampelis recovery will provide follow up ketamine-assisted psychotherapy sessions to reinforce changes made during the residential experience. Additionally, clients will be equipped with ongoing training and personal tools (digital and physical) to help them live each day with intentionality.
Community is an essential part of recovery and accountability. The shared experiences of clients and their families create bonds that strengthen and enrich each community member. These relationships are cultivated and extended through weekly video or telephone conference calls and semi-annual alumni events centered around a strengths-based and skill-acquisition curriculum called “Areté”. This is designed to support our clients and their families in continued growth toward healthy and meaningful lives.
The semi-annual alumni and family experiences will typically be two nights and three days. These are immersive adventure experiences designed to help clients and families connect and cultivate principles and habits developed during the residential experience.
Each client will have a designated case manager, called an “Areté Guide”, for 12 months. The Areté Guide will regularly connect with them to offer support and assistance as they navigate ongoing recovery.
Additionally, the Areté Guide will utilize an app that allows community members to track their recovery and create accountability with lifestyle habits that support a life of meaning.
Health, Nutrition, & Fitness
The Ampelis Recovery program includes an initial comprehensive physical exam (including extensive blood tests) to provide information about body systems that may not be functioning correctly and how to improve them. To overcome addiction issues, it is imperative that the body properly works. Principles of proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and creating a healthy mind to optimize overall well-being and health will be taught and experienced.
Nutrition and diet play a significant role in how we feel. This is always true but is especially relevant in addiction recovery. Headaches, lack of energy, sadness, anger, depression, and other ailments can inhibit successful recovery; these issues are induced and more pronounced without proper nutrition. A pro-recovery diet is a critical part of optimal recovery. Giving our bodies the right amount and the right kinds of nutrients impact our ability to produce hormones that make us feel good
During the residential experience, our chef will prepare foods according to a pro-recovery meal plan designed by our nutritionist and dietician. Many foods used in these meals will be grown on our property, the plants nurtured by clients during their time with us.
After leaving the residential treatment setting, each client is paired with a health coach for ongoing nutritional consultations for 12 months.
Physical activity is an equally important part of tapping into the body’s natural abilities to heal and restore proper brain functioning in addiction recovery. A healthy exercise routine reduces stress, improves mental health and self-esteem, prevents weight gain, contributes to enhanced sleep, and reduces addictive cravings.
During the residential portion of our program, clients will have regular access to a fitness coach who will help them design a program for their specific fitness level.
Physical activity impacts the brain in a variety of ways helpful to recovery:
(1) increasing the volume of the hippocampus which affects our ability to learn and create memories;
(2) increasing the amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which supports the development and maturation of new nerve cells essential to restoring proper brain functioning; and
(3) promoting a more significant number of dopamine receptors allowing us to experience natural feelings of pleasure and reward.
Multi-Sensory Experiential Learning
We use Experiential Learning throughout the client’s time at Ampelis Recovery. The Ampelis model of meaningful living includes:
(1) development of self,
(2) relationships with others, and
(3) connection with the divine – which is often found in spiritual practices such as time spent in nature, reflective writing and journaling, reading, meditation, yoga, music, and art.
The unique mountain setting at Hobble Creek Canyon allows us to design learning moments enhanced by the therapeutic benefits. Gardening, hiking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, equine therapy, woodworking, leatherwork, and other events will be part of the multi-sensory experience at Ampelis Recovery to impart and emphasize principles of recovery and health.
As the brain’s neurotransmitters reset, the doctors and therapists at Ampelis Recovery administer the Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy. Ketamine, a safe medication that produces a temporary sense of disconnection between mind and body, is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as one of the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. Ketamine works by temporarily taking over or blocking specific chemical receptors. At lower doses, it eases pain and helps sedatives to work more effectively.
Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness as a rapid-acting antidepressant and its usefulness in decreasing or eliminating thoughts of suicide. A single low dose of ketamine can reduce depression for several weeks. The discovery of ketamine’s rapid-acting and robust antidepressant effects has been hailed as “arguably the most important discovery [in neuropsychiatric research] in half a century.”
Recent research indicates that it is also useful in treating substance abuse – specifically cocaine, opioids, and alcohol. John Abenstein, MD, and president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists says, “In the right hands, [ketamine] is a miracle.”
Like the amino acid therapy, ketamine is intravenously administered and coupled with psychotherapy – the combination of the two is much more effective than either on its own.
Psychotherapy, combined with ketamine administration, creates a relaxed state that promotes openness and vulnerability and helps the client explore limiting thought patterns and conditions that may be keeping him/her “stuck”. Each psychotherapy session builds a sense of connection and trust and helps clients understand their addiction better. Each client’s experience is unique, and each of his/her ketamine sessions will be different. There is no “right” way of being during the session. Each client will feel improvement in his/her emotional state and reduce symptoms such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.
Cohort Admissions Model
Relationships impact success rates in overcoming addiction – for good and bad. At Ampelis Recovery, we utilize a cohort model designed for working professionals over the age of 35. Cohorts start and advance through treatment together, resulting in greater trust, friendship, and community during the healing process.
We define a cohort as “a group of people banded together”. Creating peer groups with professional or family backgrounds in common contributes to relationships that bond quickly and deeply. This contrast with other recovery communities that utilize a rolling admissions model and serve a more comprehensive age range. Our clients learn to trust and support each other at levels not realized as predictably with a rolling admissions model.
Electing to utilize a cohort model is just one example of how Ampelis Recovery challenges the status quo to identify better solutions for our clients and their families.
“The program that has been put together here works so well. From the great staff, the nutrition, the experiences, the education and therapy – it’s a great program.”