ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fixing the whole person

Updated on September 2, 2014

Having worked in a treatment environment for more than 17 years; I have learned much from the clients. It has made me take a completely different look at not only them but family , friends and people with addictions in general. It seemed pretty simple in the beginning . I thought if it's not good for you then just don't do it.If it was that simple, most of them would not be where they are in their lives. This more times than not is repeated jail and Prison.

When alcohol and drug use starts early in life,(as young as 9 is not uncommon), they mentally stop maturing. When treatment begins you will be dealing with a very "young" individual mentally and emotionally no matter what their age. Besides starting treatment you now have to provide an environment for them to mature to their biological age.

These people have missed many steps of growing up.Their social skills lack adult levels of problem solving, good community skills, as well as lacking "brothers keeper" concept. These skills which are weak down to non existent ,cause continuous failure each time they go back into the community . It is a revolving door for many. Until the whole person is treated it will be a never- ending cycle.

The general public, the victims of the addicted and the communities these people come from only see them as criminals, victimizers of family and friends and a menace to the community. The idea of consequences is a part of what is expected, however most of the time these individuals will end up being sent out after serving time with no better idea of what they need to do than when they came in . Where do they go? Right back to our neighborhoods of course.

So lets look at the big picture for a moment. What really is the root of their crimes, drug use, selling drugs, theft, ect? . Most offenders have some history of drug and alcoholic use and addictions. If we incarcerate these men and women which then takes them away from their using,( not always, but that is another topic) for months and possibly years, have we really done them justice? You hear people say: lock them up and throw away the key ! Most will return to society.You hear people say: why spend money on treatment? Why? Because the money is better sent to try to rehabilitate them. More money is spent with repeat incarcerations than treatment if it is successful. Humans learn very little by being locked up without addressing the issues that a got them there. What got them to this point goes much deeper than just bad choices.

Each person has individual needs. Each persons treatment should be tailor- made after evaluation. Short term treatment really doesn't allow enough time to treat the whole person. Years of issues must be addressed . Aftercare will raise the level of success . Treatment is ongoing as falling back into old habits is a sad reality.

After over 17 years of working in a treatment environment and hearing honest accounts by the clients; they all seem to know what it is they need after working toward recovery.Those who have finally come to the realization that change is necessary for survival have shared these thoughts over the years with me.

#1 Sharing with others openly. Stop running from the monster, whether it be drugs or alcohol.

#2 admitting they have a problem.

#3 Digging deep into themselves to find what led them down the path to this dangerous life.

#4 Commit to changes upon release . These changes include, different friends, a different neighborhood, and sometimes distance from relatives.

#5 Treating the whole person must include (when Appliable):

. Parenting classes

. Accepting their list of victims

. Not taking the "victims stance"

. Learning to be a good "Brothers Keeper" not thinking of just their needs and wants

. Learning to be prompt and responsible

. Good work ethic ( some clients have never even had jobs)

. Good self care, hygiene , and eating habits

. Living a healthy life and taking care of themselves so they can be able to take care of a family if that is in their future

. Addicts are very self-centered; wanting immediate gratification and wanting everything when and how they want it

They want ot skip the process that a successful person works through to have the things that are on their goal list

#6 Respecting themselves and others

#7Recognizing social norms The social norm that makes up communities is something most of us think is just understood. It is a learned process that they must be exposed to on a daily basis long term.

#8 Anger management is needed by many and healthy ways to deal with something all of us experience in this busy hectic world. They need to learn acceptable outlets and be given tools to be able to self check when anger arises and learn to apply these tools.

#9 Education/GED is a very important factor to get employment. Unemployed bored individuals relapse.

#10 Acceptance, accountability , and patience.

* Relapse; By addressing the whole person and life issues they have the best chance at succeeding.

These items are not in order of importance or need. For each individual this could be different. All do not apply to everyone.

Last I would like to say I am not an expert in this field. I do work in a treatment/corrections setting.I am in no way connecting this to my place of employment which I am not at liberty to disclose. These are observations I have made along the way.

Helping each other achive sobriety
Helping each other achive sobriety


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm a recovering addict from opioid abuse. But one thing that I really want is for Marijuana to be legal, because it treated a lot of my problems; it helped my pain from fibromyalgia, arthritis, and scoliosis. I had to quit smoking weed once my dad found out and for two years I had to distance myself from my best friends. He didn't make me do this, but I figured it would be the best thing to do. Opioids were the only things that I had access to that would seemingly help. I never had withdrawal problems from weed, and I would take a three day break from smoking it, and I would feel good and happy in those three days. I wasn't high in those three days.

      But I do agree with this whole Hub, as treatment should be given to those who want it, rather than giving them mandatory treatment or worse, incarceration! Only if they are being responsible with it that is, but if they go out stealing and hurting people, then they should be committed for their violent crimes. I'm glad to know that you have done so much good for those who needed it. I don't know if anybody could replace you for your knowledge and well-being, even if these are just observations.

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Thank you so much. I take this so seriously, and I am about to retire. I hope to be aable to use my knowledge as I travel around the country. Great job on your recovery! Never fear after care if the need arrises. Blessing

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent! I am eight years sober now, and I can tell anyone reading this that you speak the truth. God bless you for the work you do.

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Yes, many have mental issues as well as substance abuse. Either way in treatment addresses this as it usually has played a role somehow or could upon release. Many think treatment to be substance abuse treatment. In a solid well rounded program treatment means treatment of the whole self, each program is taylor made to address that Offenders issues that they must finally face, having reached a dead end. They could be victims of child abuse, a child of a substanace abuser, mental illness, the list goes on. This is why sucess relies on treating the who person, aftercare, and life skills they have missed. One very important issue is addessing they have victimized others, and they work to make ammends with them when possible. This is a very detailed emotional realization for them. I am PRO treatment.

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 

      5 years ago

      It seems that most of the comments address drug use, but we need to keep in mind that not all offenders are drug users.

      It's not unlikely many of them may have some type of mental issue(s) that could have stemmed from genetics or a traumatic childhood.

      Either way, I do believe more funding should go into helping those who suffer address thier issues and find ways to resolve it or live healthily with in.

      This is the first article I've read on hubpages addressing that issue and I look forward to reading more in the future.

      God bless you.

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Thanks. After care is part of our clients terms of release. There is not enough time during treatment for every issue. Once released the huge challenge is practicing what they have learned and trying out their new clean self.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Penny, welcome to Hub Pages. This is a good hub and a very interesting subject. I agree it is important to fix the whole person, and as you say their mental age is stunted at the time of addiction so measures need to be taken to address that and help them grow up mentally after the habit is broken. The problem is such a huge percentage are not given or don't have access to appropriate support after they are released and they reoffend and end up back inside. Most need a totally new environment to be able to change their life but that is often easier said than done. Voted up.

    • Sparklea profile image


      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Penny G...I see good in him, we do not know why he gets kicked out of rehab...he and my grand daughter will not say...but that is not the issue. The issue is that he gets clean and well. As far as I know he is clean at this time...I pray for them all every single day and I keep in constant touch with my daughter. God bless.

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      Still in 2014 people are not aware of the connection to drinking parents and Fetal Alcohol effects and Syndrome as well. I did lots of personal research on this, the information is hard to believe for some, and for those in denial. This is information I want to share as well as I adopted a new born with fetal alcohol effects. It is devastating.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      This is really good. My husband works in an addictions treatment center. I also am a friend to someone who is in the prison process who she fails t see anything as her problem or doings. It is very difficult to get to the inner person of these types of people. Now I do not know for a fact that the girl (woman now that she is 22 years old now) has had a drug or alcohol problem but her mother who has been in and out of prison many times does. Oh it is a family affair for sure. It is just hard to help them. Thanks for the article.

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      In treatment we never give up on these people. It is not abnormal for it to take two three and even more attempts at treatment. Recovery in most of the people I work with is a long time coming. One day it just may click! Keep the hope in him every single human deserves that. Remember you and your daughter may be all that feel that way. Blessing.

    • Sparklea profile image


      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Penny G: This is an excellent write and extremely informative. My grand daughter is in love with a client - I hate to call them 'drug addicts' who just got kicked out of rehab. This is the second or third time this has occurred. He went back to jail 2 days ago. (has been in jail before). They also have a son, who will be two years old in September.

      It is good to see someone like you share this great hub, as it helps give the reader perspective into what these people are going through.

      I personally do not dislike my grand daughter's boy friend...but my daughter cannot stand him. I believe he is a Christian, and he has the potential to really do something with his life. I cannot even go into detail the fights my daughter has had with my grand daughter over this situation. She and her little boy live with my daughter, and it has been very stressful. A lot of contention.

      Thank you for posting this information...I think it is much needed in this day and age. Voted up, useful and interesting. God bless, Sparklea

    • Penny G profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Godfirnon 

      5 years ago from Southern Iowa

      I do understand your ideas, but in the real world many do not understand that for them to involve themselves with what you refer to as lessons, in the criminal world, what they call roll over, rat out, act is a death sentence for them. they could never live in a life of freedom after that. You see if they help Catch one criminal, then the rest of their friends, gang members act are still free. See what I mean. Even in prison they would not be safe, they have connections everywhere. As for punishment, aww we do not punish. The term consequences would be more suitable. Times have changed. Oh they know the true picture too well. Many have a long family history of it. Self worth, change, and true happiness comes from the change within themselves,acceptance and confronts himself and stops running will he/she change. Treatment addressing the whole person with others who walk the same road is their biggest hope. Then in this situation they can help each other, hold each other accountable. It is best heard from someone who's walking the same path.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Wonderful post :) You are right, imprisoning them only make their resentment grow. When they are released back into society, they go straight back to where they came from and things just become worse.

      As part of punishment, these perpetrators should be given effective lessons on why they were wrong, by showing them the true picture. As rehabilitation measures, they can be recruited by lawmakers to crack down and rescue other similar offenders, that way they will get to see what pathetic state they themselves had been.

      Making them busy with such rescue operations will also make them feel valued and happy about themselves. The need to improve ultimately comes from self-worth. Thank you for this post!

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      5 years ago from On Planet Earth

      Email me @ absonlinework@live.oom want to talk to you privately. Please put your name as peggy.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      5 years ago from On Planet Earth

      Hi Peggy how are you interesting hub :) Hope all is well by God's help


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)