Healing Our Community for Over 20 Years

Healing Our Community for Over 20 Years

For any industry with a mission to serve, community inclusion and service are crucial to success and sustainability. Creating space for community members in need and offering something different to fulfill those needs is critical. Enlightened Solutions has accomplished this and more by finding creative ways to promote healing within the community.

For over two decades, the Enlightened Solutions family, rooted in the Hansen Foundation, has been immersed in the community through various events and hosting activities open to the public. By doing so, awareness of the services offered and the potential for community change and treatment through Enlightened's unique treatment approaches has increased.

Our Founder

Jennifer Hansen is the founder of Enlightened Solutions and the well-known non-profit The Hansen Foundation. She created The Hansen Foundation approximately two decades ago to fund sober living facilities for men and women in South Jersey after entering recovery herself. After this success, Jennifer founded Enlightened Solutions to continue helping others who were impacted by substance abuse. Jennifer has dedicated herself to healing and restoring the community over the last two decades.

Jennifer lives a holistic lifestyle and believes in the value it can bring to community members and those in treatment and recovery. A yoga instructor herself, she incorporates yoga into the treatment programs offered at Enlightened Solutions. Through yoga, clients and community members can experience healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Specialized yoga classes tieing in the 12-Step process have been proven especially beneficial for those in treatment. Each of the Twelve Steps is associated with a unique yoga pose, allowing for a physical connection to that step.

Jennifer finds great value in consuming organic, nutritious foods and feels strongly about protecting and nurturing the earth that provides them. You will find that the menu at Enlightened Solutions sites is composed of locally grown fresh foods to promote healing from the inside out.

The Enlightened Farm

The Enlightened Farm serves as somewhat of a focal point and produces the nutrient-rich, organic foods that Enlightened Solutions offers its clients. Horticulture programs at the farm aim to bring together those battling addiction, those in recovery, and those who strive for holistic wellness.

Through the Regenerative Agriculture Program, organic vegetables, eggs, herbs, and flowers are produced and provided to the various Enlightened campuses and Serenity Houses in South Jersey. Things such as soil health, companion planting, and integration with wildlife are prioritized. The farm's Sustainability Program involves transferring all food scraps from the various kitchen sites weekly to be used as compost creating organic fertilizer and topsoil.

The farm also hosts horticulture therapy. This allows clients to experience various natural mediums to promote healing, overall wellness, and environmental awareness. Sessions are offered to clients twice a week, and families are welcome to attend monthly to encourage reintegration. This alternative therapy is one of many offered by Enlightened Solutions.

The Enlightened Farm also provides opportunities for community service, volunteering, and employment. This can be a huge area of need for those in treatment or recovery. The Growing Gratitude Program offers weekly opportunities to serve the community through service at the farm.

The Enlightened Volunteer Program is a community-inclusive activity and is open to anyone interested in learning to care for a farm or wanting to contribute to the overall mission. Alumni, community members, and members of local organizations and businesses are welcome to participate.

By hosting Community Volunteer Day open to the public twice per month, community members are able to get involved and learn more about what Enlightened has to offer. Participating members are offered a free recreational class in appreciation for their efforts.

Seeking and securing employment can be difficult following treatment and during recovery. Enlightened Farm offers a Solid Roots Employment Program that assists those new to recovery in transitioning back into the work world. Benefits include job training, skill development, and positive socialization and fellowship.

Community Events

In addition to recurring offerings at the farm, Enlightened Solutions hosts a variety of events each year designed to serve and involve the community. Examples include a Charity Golf Tournament, Fluke Tournament, and drug and alcohol-free music festivals. By offering such events, the community becomes more aware of the mission and more inclined to consider getting involved.

Enlightened Solutions makes every effort to remain integrated into the community and extend its knowledge and belief in holistic healing. By offering programs and activities at the farm and hosting large events for the community, Enlightened continues to reach and positively impact more community members each year. Consider stopping by the farm or attending the next open event to experience the power of community healing for yourself.

Enlightened Solutions is unique in a variety of ways. In addition to our various holistic treatment modalities offered and whole-person healing objectives, we aim to serve and involve the community as much as possible. We believe in helping the community become healthier, more informed, and live more sustainably. The Enlightened Farm offers many programs to meet the needs of those in treatment, in recovery, or who want to learn more about farming or our mission. By providing opportunities for community service, volunteering, and employment, the farm can serve as a stepping stone for those in treatment or new to recovery as they regain their footing and prepare to re-enter the workforce. By involving the community in farm activities and local events, Enlightened Solutions touches lives and spreads the mission of the organization well beyond the facility doors. If you are in need of treatment, call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.


How to Find Your Community in Treatment and Recovery

How to Find Your Community in Treatment and Recovery

Everyone wants to feel like they belong. Feeling as though you are a part of something can be very encouraging and motivating. Having a close network of friends or supporters is so important when it comes to a good quality of life.

Finding and feeling a sense of community is critical when it comes to treatment and recovery. Typically, following addiction, you will have a very different group of friends with whom you spend your time. Many may find themselves feeling isolated and alone as they enter treatment and begin recovery. Enlightened Solutions facilitates many opportunities to meet like-minded people and integrate into the recovery community.

We understand how important it is to feel like you belong and serve as a part of something bigger than just yourself. We encourage you to make healthy connections and engage with other clients, alumni, and community members during treatment and your recovery.

Group Learning

One of the ways in which Enlightened Solutions creates a sense of community is by encouraging group learning when it comes to wellness and nutrition. We place a significant emphasis on health and wellness during the treatment process. We do this because we know the importance of holistic health and how feeling good physically and mentally aids in your recovery.

We find that when it comes to health and wellness, people tend to learn better in groups. This allows for exchanging ideas, brainstorming, and providing encouragement to one another as you discover new strengths, interests, and ways of life.

Enlightened Solutions offers various health and wellness groups and activities, such as yoga and meditation in group settings. These activities can be very beneficial in establishing a mind and body connection that is essential to good mental and physical health.

We also offer food-based activities such as gardening in the form of horticulture therapy at our Enlightened Farm. This allows you to understand the value of organic, nutritious foods. It also allows you to explore the benefits of fresh herbs and fresh fruits and vegetables when it comes to healing.

Group Therapy

In addition to the food and exercise focus group activities, Enlightened Solutions offers many experiential therapies that promote teamwork and a sense of community among our clients. These activities often encourage sharing personal experiences, struggles, and feelings in the form of art, music, poetry, and more. Allowing you to express yourself in creative ways can be extremely healing and can encourage and facilitate peer connections.

We also offer a variety of therapy groups. We know that there are tremendous benefits when it comes to group therapy for substance-abuse treatment. We also understand that there are advantages to both coed and gender-specific environments. Often, gender-specific therapy can be beneficial in the beginning stages of treatment. This is a time when you are just learning to become comfortable sharing your experiences and struggles aloud. Creating a space of same-gender peers can often make you feel a little more comfortable sharing. This provides a sense of safety, belonging, and relatability within the group.

Community Involvement

Enlightened Solutions makes many efforts to remain connected to the community and allow alumni clients to continue to stay engaged. One of the ways in which we do this is through the Enlightened Farm. Our farm serves many functions, one of which is community engagement. The farm hosts volunteer days, which always pull in community members and provide opportunities to learn more about our recovery-based organization. This allows you to stay connected with Enlightened Solutions programs and helps other supportive community members to get involved.

Forming connections and building your community in treatment and recovery is essential. Having a good support network can help hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and allow you to stay on track and avoid relapse. In order to build relationships and connections, you have to know how to communicate and network within your community. Through our programs at Enlightened Solutions, you will learn how to communicate better, form quality relationships, and maintain those connections that are healthy and serve you well. We offer a variety of classes to help you develop these skills and facilitate daily opportunities to practice them during your time in treatment with us.

Surrounding yourself with other supportive, like-minded people is key to success in recovery from addiction long-term. At Enlightened Solutions, we create a safe and welcoming environment that encourages healing and growth for everyone. By beginning to build your connections and support network in treatment, you are sure to feel a sense of belonging and community in recovery.

Feeling a sense of community is critical for everyone. No one enjoys feeling isolated and alone. The truth is, recovery and treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can be a little isolating and leave you feeling like others may not understand or be able to relate. At Enlightened Solutions, we understand the importance of belonging. We help clients form positive relationships and learn to develop and maintain a good support network in and after treatment. We offer a variety of group therapy styles and learning experiences throughout treatment that will help you begin to build your community in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help them heal and find their sense of community in recovery. If you need help, please call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE. Our caring team is here for you. 


How Can I Have a Healthy Relationship With Food?

How Can I Have a Healthy Relationship With Food?

How do you view food? Are you someone who is constantly on the go and just grabs whatever is quick and convenient? Maybe you’re someone who carefully plans each and every meal and prepares ahead of time when possible. Or, maybe you are somebody who tries your best to eat a healthy and balanced diet but occasionally gives in to cravings for brownies or junk food from time to time.

Establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with food is important to your health. Sure, treating yourself on occasion is absolutely alright. Sometimes, tough times or stress can distract us from prioritizing healthy eating. However, consuming a balanced and healthy diet is essential to good mental and physical health and can aid in addiction recovery.

Addiction and Appetite

Addiction can impact your appetite and the way you eat. Some people find themselves eating very little while they are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Food becomes a lesser priority than drugs or alcohol and can often be pushed aside or forgotten. Others may find themselves consuming way too much food or all the wrong types of food during their addiction. Certain substances can encourage you to eat more while others can suppress your appetite leading you to eat less or not enough.

Whether your addiction is to benzos, heroin, or other substances, you are likely to possess some poor eating habits. This being the case, you may find yourself either gaining weight or losing weight during the treatment process. During treatment, your body has the opportunity to heal as it learns to function again without drugs or alcohol. By removing these toxins, your body can reset and begin to absorb the benefits of eating good, nutritious food again.

Food should serve as a source of energy, nutrition, and fuel for everyday functioning. You will see and feel your body change as you start to incorporate healthy foods in healthy amounts into your diet. You will sleep better, have better focus, and feel better overall.

Food and You

So, how do you establish a good relationship with food? This can certainly be easier said than done, especially after developing poor habits as a result of your addiction. It’s important to change your perspective on food. Whether you viewed food as an obligation to survive or eagerly awaited each meal, allowing food to serve as a motivator or comfort, it’s time to change how you view it.

As previously stated, food should serve as fuel for your body. In order to utilize food for its intended purpose, you must select the correct foods to ensure you are getting proper nutrition. When you adjust your perspective to consider food as something that should be working for you and not against you, you can begin to alter what you choose to put in your body and the portions you choose to consume.

It’s important to acknowledge when you’re full. It is equally important to acknowledge when you’re hungry. Learning to listen to your body and its cues can help in creating a healthy relationship with food. Our body has a way of communicating with us and letting us know what it needs. By cleansing your body of substances, you are better able to identify these cues, and your body can clearly communicate them.

Organic Eating

You have probably heard the hype about choosing organic foods. There’s hype around this topic for a good reason. Organic foods are free of pesticides and harmful chemicals that often exist in non-organic foods and are often more nutrient-dense and ethically grown.

Organic eating can be more simple than you might think. Growing your own organic produce and herbs could be a great way to ensure you always have a selection easily accessible and available to you. Here at Enlightened Solutions, we grow our own local produce at our farm to create a menu full of nutritious and healthy meals for our clients. We understand the value of eating well and want to share that with those in our care.

In what ways could you change your relationship with food during recovery? Here are a few key takeaways:

  • View food as fuel
  • Listen to your body
  • Choose organic

By keeping these tips in mind, you can successfully change your viewpoint and perspective on food and will be able to make better decisions when it comes to what you put into your body. Healthy eating is essential to your wellness and can support your efforts to maintain good health throughout treatment and addiction recovery.

Food should serve as fuel for your body, providing essential vitamins and nutrients for good health and optimal functioning. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can cause you to develop unhealthy eating habits. At Enlightened Solutions, we prioritize healthy and organic eating and incorporate this value into our treatment program. At our farm, we grow organic produce and herbs that you as a resident can take part in. You will learn about the growing process, participate in giving back to the community, and come to understand how good nutrition can support you in healing your body and mind after battling substance abuse. If you or someone you care about could benefit from our holistic approach to treatment, please reach out. We would love to help you heal mentally, physically, and spiritually and live the life you deserve free of drugs and alcohol. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Can Trying New Things Help Me in Recovery?

Can Trying New Things Help Me in Recovery?

It is no secret that addiction can cause you to lose touch with yourself and the things that you really enjoy. Addiction has a way of stripping you of everything that adds value to your life, forcing you to focus solely on getting the next fix. Many will stop participating in activities they used to really love and lose interest in hobbies altogether.

Treatment often offers opportunities to try new things. Taking advantage of these opportunities is a great idea, as you are likely to need new things to spend time and energy on as you enter recovery. It’s important to stay busy and devote energy to meaningful things. Keeping your mind and body busy and intentional can help reduce the risk of relapse and keep you on track.

Trying new things can often be very empowering and motivating. You may discover that you have skills in certain areas that you were not aware of. Imagine trying something for the first time, such as gardening or paddleboarding, and finding that you really have a talent for it. It can happen!

Some new things that you may try during treatment could be optional, while others may be required as part of your treatment plan and program. Have an open mind. Therapy, group education, and wellness and nutrition groups are incorporated into treatment programs for a reason. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of activities to our clients to promote skill building, peer interaction, and healing. We encourage certain activities and programs for our clients that we feel may benefit them and enhance their progress.

New Activities During Treatment

Make an effort to try activities that maybe you otherwise would not have. Give an art group a try, or consider trying yoga for the first time. Activities that incorporate a mind and body connection, such as yoga, can have tremendous benefits during treatment and recovery.

Engaging in art or horticulture therapy can be new to many and will often serve as an outlet for stress and anxiety during treatment and recovery. Art therapy promotes healing and relaxation and can bring out creative abilities and skills that you may not have even been aware of. Horticulture therapy offers opportunities to interact with various plants and herbs. Even if you aren’t a plant person, you may be surprised by what you gain from spending some time working in a garden or enjoying nature. Trying new things can be a huge confidence booster.

Group therapy can be a new experience for many. Studies show that there are many benefits to group therapy experiences. Many develop connections and find a sense of community as a result of group meetings during treatment and recovery. Learn more about the benefits of group therapy here.

Self Discovery

How do you know if you’re good at something without trying it? You don’t! You may find that after learning to surf or paddleboard during treatment, you’re actually quite good at it. By picking up a paintbrush for the first time and learning to express feelings and emotions through art, you may discover that you have quite the artistic streak.

By trying new activities during treatment, you can really explore who you are without drugs or alcohol. It can be easy to forget and lose touch with yourself as a result of addiction. Trying new things and discovering new talents and preferences can really boost your confidence and leave you feeling prepared as you exit treatment.

There is nothing worse than feeling unable to answer the question of what’s next. By discovering new interests, hobbies, and goals throughout treatment, you can enter recovery with peace of mind and a plan for how to structure your days outside of residential living.

Life After Treatment

Keep in mind just how much your new hobbies and preferred activities helped you during treatment, and consider bringing them with you as you enter recovery. Of course, after exiting residential care you are likely to resume more of your daily living tasks and responsibilities such as work, school, taking care of family, etc. Don’t let these things distract you from continuing to prioritize your new hobbies and interests.

Continue to try new things throughout recovery as well. Just as you gain confidence, purpose, and joy from exploring new hobbies throughout treatment, you will reap the same benefits from trying new things during recovery.

Consider taking that ceramics class or joining a book club. Take some guitar lessons or try out a new form of exercise. By keeping yourself engaged in positive and meaningful activities, you are less likely to give in to cravings and can focus your thoughts and energy on something positive.

Trying new things takes courage. How often, though, do you regret trying new things? When it comes to exploring hobbies and healthy activities, you are not likely to regret the experience. During treatment, giving new forms of exercise, therapy, and entertainment a try is a great idea. At Enlightened Solutions, we like to introduce our clients to activities that promote healing and growth during and beyond treatment. We place great value in group learning and organic eating and encourage clients to take part in the farming process. This is one example of our many programs and activities designed to introduce clients to fun and therapeutic outlets to practice in recovery. Other examples include art, yoga, fishing, and more. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, let us help. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

How do you take care of yourself? Self-care refers to being aware of your needs and making consistent efforts to meet them. For example, self-care could involve meditating or taking a hot bath to unwind and relax if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. To be able to serve others, take care of your responsibilities, and even function at your best, you must prioritize taking care of yourself.

Self-care can look different for everyone. For some, self-care may involve scheduling some quiet time to read a good book. For others, it might mean a daily walk at the park or some time spent playing an instrument or listening to music. Whatever your preferred activity is for self-care, it’s important that you make time to do it.

Self-Care, Addiction, and Treatment

Following active addiction and throughout your recovery journey, it's incredibly important to engage in self-care. Addiction takes a huge toll on your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. Whether your addiction was to alcohol, benzos, opioids, or other substances, using likely caused damage in each of these areas. As you begin the treatment process and start to heal, it is critical to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to maintain the healing and progress that you’ve made. Practicing and prioritizing self-care in recovery can help.

Self-care helps us better manage stress, cope with conflict, and perform at our best. Throughout recovery, the way in which you respond to stressors and adversity can make all the difference. Stress can be a huge reason for relapse, so being well equipped to handle any issues that may arise is essential.

Self-Care in Treatment

What might self-care look like during treatment? Again, self-care can be different for everyone. Throughout your treatment experience at Enlightened Solutions, you may find yourself discovering new hobbies, creative outlets, or interests that you may choose to carry with you throughout recovery. These activities could include new methods of exercise, a new interest in painting, or even yoga and meditation.

Treatment helps you incorporate a variety of activities that benefit you physically, mentally, and spiritually throughout your treatment and recovery experience. By engaging in these activities, you are not only exploring new interests and adding value to your life, but you may find that some of these new hobbies can be very therapeutic. They also may be a great activity for self-care after you return to life following treatment.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation have countless advantages. Research supports all the different ways in which yoga and meditation can benefit you physically and mentally. Many find yoga and meditation to be relaxing and calming and find that they can be great stress relievers. As a result of these effects, yoga and meditation can serve as excellent forms of self-care.

Outdoor Activities

Trying new outdoor activities during treatment can enlighten you to many hobbies and interests that you may not have discovered otherwise. If you live near the water, surfing, fishing, or paddle boarding can be an excellent escape from the stressors of everyday life. At Enlightened Solutions, we love to take advantage of the earth around us. By engaging in these activities during treatment, you may find that you really enjoy them. Getting lost in nature and enjoying the sounds of the waves and the fresh air can tremendously impact your mental health. Any of these activities could serve as an excellent form of self-care during and following treatment.

Music and Art

Exploring activities that foster your creativity can be very beneficial during treatment and throughout recovery. You may find that you have skills and abilities in certain areas that you would really like to build upon in recovery. Many find music and art to be therapeutic and soothing. Exploring your interest and abilities when it comes to painting, sketching, working with clay, or even playing instruments can help encourage creativity and serve as forms of self-care.

When was the last time you did something just for yourself, even if it was something as simple as taking 10 minutes to sit outside in the quiet and enjoy your coffee? Self-care is so incredibly important for everyone. For those in recovery, it is essential. You must take care of yourself before you can do anything for anyone else. The healing continues after treatment, and so does the work to ensure you continue to progress and maintain your sobriety. Allow yourself time to unwind, relax, and enjoy the things that lift your spirits and leave you feeling refreshed. Make it a point to prioritize self-care; you won’t regret it.

Self-care is very important to your health and overall well-being. Making time for the things you enjoy and activities that promote relaxation is essential for good mental health and success throughout recovery. Following addiction, you will encounter difficulties, stressors, and challenges that could pose a threat to your sobriety. Self-care can help you respond to adversity in a healthy way. At Enlightened Solutions, we encourage self-care regularly. Our programs and activities can introduce you to different methods of self-care and help you develop routines for incorporating these activities even after treatment. Caring for your mental health through frequent self-care can help you avoid relapse and stay on track. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. Make the decision to seek treatment today by calling Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Can Caring for the Earth Help During Treatment and Recovery?

How Can Caring for the Earth Help During Treatment and Recovery?

When was the last time you played around in the dirt? Studies suggest there are benefits to both mental and physical health for those who spend time interacting with and enjoying nature. Why is this the case?

It is simple. Nature provides a calming and sensory-pleasing environment, one that promotes good health, healing, focus, activity, and even social interaction. There is something about taking a walk outside among beautiful trees or flowers that is much less torturous than walking endless miles on a treadmill. You can hear birds singing, smell fresh flowers or herbs, and feel the warmth of the sun.

This multi-sensory benefit of nature is supported in the following statement by Lara S. Franco, Danielle F. Shanahan, and Richard A. Fuller in their 2017 article entitled “A Review of the Benefits of Nature Experiences: More Than Meets the Eye”:

"We have outlined the evidence that viewing nature both in pictures and through windows can improve health and mood; sounds such as birdsong and nature sounds provide restoration and enhance effect; smells provide numerous physical and psychological benefits; taste affects emotion, and traditional, natural diets have health benefits; petting animals can be very therapeutic; phytoncides can have a positive effect on our immune system; negative air ions affect our physical and mental well-being; and microbiota in the gut and the brain influence each other.”

Benefits of Caring for the Earth

The earth provides such a naturally beautiful canvas for any activity. When it comes to treatment and recovery, spending time caring for the earth can be beneficial in many ways. First of all, you are caring for something other than yourself. This allows you to put effort and focus into something larger than just you. You are contributing to the greater good and making a difference with each seed you plant.

At Enlightened Solutions, clients are encouraged to participate in horticulture therapy at our Enlightened Farm. Caring for the earth through gardening or farming also encourages patience. This includes learning to have patience with yourself as you evolve and growing treatment and patience with the earth as it grows and develops as a result of your efforts.

There is also a direct resemblance between the work and regenerative process occurring within those in treatment and recovery and the regenerative process of nature. By working on improving the earth, you are simultaneously improving yourself through that experience.

Nutritional Advantages

Good nutrition is essential to recovery and overall health. By caring for the earth and maintaining a garden, you are able to produce and provide organic produce for the community. Through your efforts, you are enhancing not only your life but the lives of those around you. This can provide a sense of purpose, value, and integration into the community.

Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture therapy is an excellent experience for those in treatment and recovery from substance abuse. This involves interacting with nature in a variety of new and innovative ways to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Benefits can include finding peace and calmness, building confidence, and becoming more environmentally involved and aware.

Employment Benefits

Gaining new skills and experience is an important part of the treatment process. For many, jobs have been short-lived or difficult to manage or enjoy during addiction. Leaving treatment feeling confident and capable of securing employment in recovery can be very empowering. Caring for the earth through programs such as Enlightened Solution's Solid Roots allows you to develop skills transferable to a variety of jobs following treatment.

Community Service

As mentioned, caring for the earth benefits the community in various ways. You are offering something beautiful to look at and enjoy and producing fresh and local produce for others so they can live healthier lives. Caring for a farm or garden is an excellent way to give back and serve your community.

Volunteering

Community engagement and collaboration are critical and can tremendously benefit those in treatment and recovery. Establishing a sense of belonging and communal effort toward a common goal can offer purpose and direction for those who may otherwise feel lost after battling addiction.

Facilities offering programs at sites such as the Enlightened Farm provide more than just an outdoorsy experience. Such programs provide an outlet for those in need of a break or an escape. They also provide an opportunity to learn new skills in farming, gardening, and horticulture, offering a chance to engage and fellowship as a community coming together for the community's common good. Lastly, such programs provide healing for those who choose to get involved.

Caring for the earth can provide many benefits to those in treatment and recovery. Gardening and horticulture offer opportunities to really enjoy and appreciate nature, while working on improving yourself and the earth. Enlightened Solutions has incorporated a variety of programs and activities held at Enlightened Farm into our programming. We recognize the value in caring for the earth and the correlation between the regenerative process you undergo during treatment and recovery and the similar process occurring in nature. Opportunities to build new skills, increase confidence, collaborate with peers and community members, and discover new interests are provided at the farm. Let us help you get the most out of your treatment experience and leave feeling enlightened about who you can become as a result of your sobriety. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How to Tap In to Your Creativity During Treatment

How to Tap Into Your Creativity During Treatment

When was the last time you did something creative? Maybe you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, or maybe you haven’t found the time to pick up your old paintbrushes or dust off the old guitar in a while.

Life gets busy, and we often allow the hustle and bustle of everyday life to distract us from making time for things and activities we need to maintain wellness. Spending time being creative is not only enjoyable but can be very therapeutic.

Creative outlets allow us to relieve stress, process thoughts and emotions, and improve our communication skills. Sometimes, art or music can be the only way we are able to understand certain feelings or express thoughts that may be otherwise difficult to communicate. Even if you don’t enjoy art or music necessarily, you can still benefit from exploring what expressive art therapy can offer.

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that art and music can play a significant role in the healing process. During treatment for substance abuse, tapping into your creative side can be very helpful. You are going to need things to do that you enjoy, and you are going to need to make every effort to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Expressive arts may be just what you need!

Art Therapy

How do you feel when you finish a project? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Maybe you experience an overwhelming feeling of pride or success. Using art to help process and express thoughts and feelings can generate a similar feeling.

When you create something, you are present in that moment. You can focus all of your attention on the task at hand. Often, art therapy encourages creating something representative of yourself, your emotions, or your situation. This can allow for a release of tension and open the door for healing.

Art therapy can include many different activities and art mediums. A few examples could include painting, drawing, and sculpting. Throughout the process, many find that they are better able to communicate through art and feel more comfortable doing so. At Enlightened Solutions, our art therapists are trained to help you use the experience to better understand yourself and develop strategies for coping with stress and other difficult emotions.

Sometimes, people feel relieved after finally finding some sort of understanding of how they were feeling and what to make of it. Others may feel a sense of empowerment and courage as a result. As mentioned by Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel in her 2010 article, "The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature," “Art helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words.” In reference to trauma that often accompanies substance abuse, using art as a means of expression can be extremely beneficial.

Music Therapy

Music can be another excellent creative outlet for many during treatment and recovery. Music has a way of helping us understand ourselves by allowing us to relate to the words and stories we hear. Music therapy can involve a variety of activities, including listening to music, playing musical instruments, dancing, singing, and more.

Playing instruments can be very therapeutic as well, even more so than listening to music for some. Whether you have been playing for years or are just learning to play an instrument, the act of doing so can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.

When it comes to co-occurring disorders often found among those with substance use disorder (SUD), music therapy can be particularly helpful. Studies show that better results are produced when music therapy is incorporated as part of treatment than when treatment is provided without it.

Writing/Poetry

Writing is something that is encouraged during treatment and recovery. Journaling is known to help with processing and expression. Creative writing can serve as an excellent outlet during treatment. There is something about writing down your thoughts and emotions that feels freeing. Some may choose to write or read poetry. This, like music and art, can promote better communication and expression.

Expressing your creativity during treatment can not only be healing, but it can help you develop new hobbies and interests. Staying busy and engaging in healthy activities that encourage growth and healing throughout treatment and recovery is key. By sampling various creative outlets during treatment, you can determine what activities you may want to incorporate into your life during recovery.

We all have the ability to be creative. Sometimes, it just takes a little encouragement to get our creative juices flowing. By engaging in things like art therapy, music therapy, or creative writing during treatment, you are bound to discover something you are good at or at least enjoy. You might surprise yourself! Let the music, art, or words help you heal and stay on track to recovery.

Getting creative during treatment and engaging in expressive arts therapy is a great way to increase and reinforce what you are learning and achieving throughout the treatment process. Art, music, and creative writing allow you to better process thoughts and feelings, express yourself, and communicate things that may otherwise be difficult to convey. At Enlightened Solutions, we incorporate many creativity-focused activities into our program as we believe in the value of expressive arts and the role they can play in healing. We offer a variety of art mediums and methods for engagement in music therapy or creative writing and encourage clients to explore what interests and works best for them. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder and could benefit from our program, don't hesitate to give us a call. Reach out to Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Benefits of DBT for Co-occurring Disorders

Benefits of DBT for Co-occurring Disorders

DBT stands for dialectical behavior therapy, a technique used to treat many mental health disorders. Initially, it was created to aid those with suicidal ideation. Developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, DBT was created to address and encourage two things: change and acceptance.

DBT has since been used to treat other disorders such as borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, and more. DBT has proven to also be useful in treating co-occurring disorders. As described by Linda A. Dimeff and Marsha M. Linehan, in their article “Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers,” which appears in the Addiction Science and Clinical Practice journal, “When DBT is successful, the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals that are independent of his or her history of out-of-control behavior, including substance abuse, and is better able to grapple with life’s ordinary problems.”

The use of DBT for those with substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring disorders continues to grow. The principles of acceptance and change presented in DBT are consistent with the emphasis on both throughout the 12-Step process. This correlation allows recipients to relate therapy to their learnings in 12-Step groups and apply similar strategies throughout treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we incorporate both the Twelve Steps and DBT into our treatment programs.

It is important to recognize that DBT is a comprehensive treatment approach rather than a single treatment strategy. Every client is different, having different needs and circumstances that may require some adaptation and special attention. Because DBT can be used to treat various disorders, settings and specifics surrounding treatment can vary.

Functions of DBT

Despite any variations or adaptations, DBT provided for SUD or co-occurring disorders should always address five specific functions. As discussed by Alexander L. Chapman in his 2006 Psychiatry journal article, these five functions of DBT include:

  • Enhancing capabilities
  • Generalizing capabilities
  • Improving motivation and reducing dysfunctional behaviors
  • Enhancing and maintaining therapist capabilities and motivation
  • Structuring the environment

#1. Enhancing Capabilities

Typically, those receiving DBT are in need of developing skills in a few key areas. These areas include interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, mindfulness, and tolerance. It is important for those with co-occurring disorders to enhance these abilities in order to succeed in recovery.

Many times, these skills are addressed through group therapy. This allows for discussion and practicing of these skills with others working on similar goals. Additionally, therapists may assign homework to encourage practicing the skills between group sessions.

#2. Generalizing Capabilities

This function refers to the transferability of the skills learned to the lives of those receiving therapy. Individual sessions are offered to individualize strategies and offer guidance regarding ways to integrate these new skills into daily life. Homework assignments provide opportunities to practice skills such as emotional regulation and mindfulness in real-life situations.

#3. Improving Motivation and Reducing Dysfunctional Behaviors

This function involves self-assessment of behaviors and tracking patterns between individual therapy sessions. This allows the therapist to identify persisting issues and prioritize the behaviors according to risk and consequence. The therapist will determine why the behaviors are occurring and will work to develop strategies for change.

#4. Enhancing and Maintaining Therapist Capabilities and Motivation

It is important for DBT providers to remain focused, compassionate, non-judgmental, and supportive of their clients. This function involves consistent collaboration among therapists to promote problem-solving and offer encouragement. Treating those with co-occurring disorders can be delicate; thus, therapists must be able to navigate difficult and sensitive situations.

#5. Structuring the Environment

For those with co-occurring disorders, it can be common to have people or places that may be triggering. It is important to ensure the environment created is free of triggers and is supportive of the goals of the individual. Therapists may encourage a change in social circles or modifications of certain environments to encourage success.

DBT in Treatment

As mentioned, DBT focuses on change in behavior and acceptance simultaneously. It is important for therapy recipients to work to change behavior patterns that resulted in their addiction while also accepting the things that they cannot change.

DBT offers opportunities for skill development essential for coping with your diagnosis while successfully navigating treatment and recovery. By developing skills such as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal efficacy, and mindfulness, you can better cope with your current situation and come prepared to handle obstacles you may face in the future.

DBT techniques can be incorporated into all aspects of treatment and are most effective when this is the case. Co-occurring disorders can determine how you may experience, respond to, and understand substance abuse. The adaptability and generalization of skills associated with this treatment method make it beneficial for those with substance abuse disorders and mental health diagnoses. DBT can help you heal and learn to cope with what lies ahead in recovery.

Substance use disorder often co-occurs with other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.  While it was created to be a treatment for people with suicidal ideation, DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy, is now often used by treatment facilities to address substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. DBT is a method or program designed to evoke change and promote acceptance. Enlightened Solutions incorporates DBT in every aspect of treatment. The skills developed through DBT help with developing positive relationships, coping with conflict, emotional regulation, mindfulness, and being present. At Enlightened Solutions, we conduct a thorough assessment at intake to determine if you have a co-occurring disorder. This allows us to formulate a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and could benefit from treatment, give Enlightened Solutions a call today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Educators: Is Summer the Best Time to Pursue Treatment?

Educators: Is Summer the Best Time to Pursue Treatment?

The summer months offer educators time to focus on their needs. Many educators struggle with the management of mental health symptoms and various stressors throughout the school year, leading some to use various substances to help manage their symptoms and overwhelming emotions. Often, this repeated use of substances to manage their struggles can result in the development of a substance use disorder (SUD).

What Are Substance Use Disorders?

Addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors can be chronic and affect the brain in significant ways. Once you become dependent upon the substances or behaviors due to a dopamine surge, abstaining from substances or behaviors may seem impossible. However, with treatment, you can overcome the urges to use and pursue a life in education that is consistent with your values.

There are many reasons people choose to use substances, and there are more reasons why people become addicted to them. Scientists are still trying to root out the causes of addiction. However, we know that when a person struggles with their life, they want relief, and sometimes, the use of substances may provide just that. Unfortunately, the relief is short-term and leads to tolerance and sometimes dependence, often resulting in SUD. Life does not end with a diagnosis of SUD, and it's important to remember that you are so much more than a diagnosis. You are an individual with a unique story and deserve the life you want. Begin that life by seeking treatment.

2 Reasons to Pursue Treatment

SUD is treatable. SUD is a real disease that can cause serious and harmful effects on the body and one's life. Your social, professional, and personal life are all negatively impacted by the misuse of alcohol and/or other substances, but there is hope. Treatment at Enlightened Solutions can change your life and get you back to living the life you want.

#1. Be An Example

One primary reason many educators seek treatment is to be an example for their students. You may imagine how hard it is to advise students against substance misuse when you are struggling with the same issue. Seeking treatment and developing a plan to cope with urges will help you be more present for your students. You will also show your students what living in balance is like.

Being an example for your students is critical to your success as an educator. Not only are you teaching them content for classwork, but you are also teaching them how to manage stress and live a full and healthy life.

#2. You Can Overcome SUD

Another critical reason to pursue treatment is that you can overcome SUD. SUD is not a life sentence. While you may struggle with urges and triggers for many years, you will be able to overcome those urges to use by a careful focus on your recovery.

Choose Treatment, Choose Life

When you choose treatment at Enlightened Solutions, you are choosing to change your life and be more present. You are choosing a path that will lead you to success and, in some ways, your students to success.

Choosing treatment means you are choosing health. As you seek treatment and pursue recovery, your body heals. While not everyone experiences full health restoration, you can be assured that you will reap many benefits from seeking treatment. One benefit is that your brain will begin to function normally once again. Within weeks of treatment and detox, your brain begins “lighting up” as expected to certain stimuli. With this in mind, you can be assured that treatment will help you return to a life of helping others and your pursuit of knowledge.

Summer Treatment

At Enlightened Solutions, we know choosing treatment can be difficult in the midst of teaching during the school year. Why not take this summer and pursue your wellness? We offer a variety of treatment services to help you develop the skills you need to return to school this fall fully ready to tackle teaching.

We offer individual therapy and holistic care, encouraging you to adopt eating and sleeping habits that will improve your overall wellness. We also focus on the whole being, not just your emotions and physical self. We recognize that your whole being involves an element of spirituality, which is why we offer mentorship for you to develop yourself holistically. 

We want you to be ready to return to school this fall and be present, not only for your needs but also for the needs of others, including your students. You deserve to be your own advocate and be the best educator you can be.

The summer has arrived and may be the best opportunity for you to pursue healing from your addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol and/or other substances or behaviors, you are not alone and help is available. Being an advocate and role model for students can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. But, remember, as an educator, you are an amazing individual and deserve exceptional care. Enlightened Solutions offers care at every stage of recovery, from detox to help in maintaining recovery after leaving. Our compassionate team knows and understands addiction. Contact Enlightened Solutions and learn how we can help you on your journey to wellness from addiction. Learn how to live your best life and be your own advocate through treatment at our southern New Jersey treatment facility. Call us today at (833) 801-LIVE and start your recovery.  


Seeking Treatment in College: Can You Overcome Addiction Over Summer Break?

Seeking Treatment in College: Can You Overcome Addiction Over Summer Break?

There is an epidemic of substance use in colleges across the nation, and there are multiple related risk factors for students. Many students may not even be willing to address their substance use problem until it has reached a point that it is affecting multiple facets of their life. While dealing with addiction to alcohol and/or other substances may seem overwhelming, help is available. You can overcome your addiction by seeking support from those who care about you and looking into treatment. These summer months, when students are off from school, are an ideal time to enter treatment for substance use issues.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a real problem on college campuses and requires treatment. Although there are sometimes campus options for limited treatment, a treatment setting off-campus might be ideal for maintaining full privacy. Remembering that you are not alone and that help is available is key to developing a healthy mindset and getting the help you need. At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize that you need privacy in your treatment and want to help you achieve success in your academics, social life, and recovery.

4 Risk Factors for Substance Use Disorders

There are four risk factors for SUD found on college campuses and even in high school and lower grades. One must recognize that the risk for SUD is always there and that exposure to these risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing a SUD and make it difficult to battle and pursue recovery.

#1. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is found in every college. It is not uncommon for universities to host parties with alcohol served. There is pressure to engage in the college scene and many college freshmen believe there are limited risks involved as they see so many other students engaging in drinking or using other substances. Students want to “fit in” with their peers, and avoiding situations where substances are used can be difficult for many students.

Standing up for oneself in college is one of the most difficult lessons to learn, and many students fear reprisal from their friends or classmates if they refuse substances.

#2. Involvement in Greek Life

“Members of fraternities and sororities have some of the highest rates of substance use on college campuses,” explains one study on substance use among college students. Not only is there an increased amount of peer pressure and academic pressure, but individuals involved in greek life are at greater risk of memory loss, sexual assault, and traumatic accidents as a result of substance use and misuse.

#3. Limited Understanding of Risks

For some college students, there is a limited understanding of the inherent dangers of substance use, and many students believe they can use intermittently without risk of developing tolerance (need for more and more of a substance to achieve the desired effect) or dependence. As a result, many students develop SUD and struggle with its effects long before they are aware of their problem.

#4. Perceived Academic Pressure

College is full of pressures, and peer pressure can be overwhelming, but another critical pressure is the need to succeed academically. Between parents and test scores, feeling a need to be the best in your classes can seem daunting, and you may have felt you needed substances to help you focus, calm down, or just ease your nerves. Now, you are struggling with SUD and don't know where to turn. You are not alone. Academic pressure is real and can be a cause for the development of SUD, but help is available.

Treatment Options

SUD is a serious illness that requires treatment as soon as possible to avoid lifelong consequences. Treatment can be a part of your campus experience, but in many cases, you may want the privacy of a treatment program separate from your college or university.

Enlightened Solutions offers treatment based on who you are as an individual and your specific needs. We offer holistic treatment and mentorship and focus on sustainability, not just in the treatment setting but after you leave our facility. We want to see you succeed in your recovery. We offer individual therapy to help meet your specific needs and develop goals appropriate to your success in school and life. We will help you learn how to balance your expectations at school and in your personal life so that you can avoid those “people, places, and things.” We know you can achieve anything you set your mind to and want to help you along your path.

Choose recovery today and learn how to make better decisions for what some refer to as the best years of your life. Seek recovery over summer break and return to school ready to achieve success.

Battling substance use disorder should not be the end of your college career. You need to know that you are not alone in your struggle. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or other substances, help is available. At Enlightened Solutions, we know how hard it is to balance school and social life without giving in to the pressures of your peers and the need for success in the classroom. We offer real solutions that will help you manage your responsibilities while maintaining privacy for your treatment. Reach out to us and learn how we can help you achieve recovery and return to school this fall with renewed purpose. Call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE and learn how we can help you overcome SUD and live your best life. We are dedicated to your success in recovery.