The Wisdom ofRecovery

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Sage Health Centre offers exceptional value for an exceptional program. Sage advocates a wellness approach to relapse prevention and long term recovery.

We at Sage advocate the medical model of addiction: the medical community recognizes that addiction is a chronic, progressive relapsing disorder (or disease) that effects the biochemistry and metabolic makeup of alcoholic/addicts. As addiction is deemed to be a medical condition, many of our clients are funded through their employers or extended benefits.

Addiction parallels all other chronic conditions or “diseases”; such as heart disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders as there is a genetic predisposition. These conditions/diseases are progressive, chronic, life threatening, and studies have shown that a change in lifestyle is an important component to the treatment of all chronic conditions/diseases.

Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph. D, author of “Seven Weeks to Sobriety” states that, “the principle cause of alcoholic/addict relapse can be summed up in one word: cravings”. She describes cravings as:

• A primary craving (an intense urge to drink or drug) as triggered by a physiological response to withdrawal symptoms, bio-chemical reactions due to a hypoglycemic drop in blood glucose (blood sugar), hormonal fluctuations, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

• Secondary cravings are a psychological response triggered by situations associated with past drinking/drugging behaviours, mental, physical, or emotional stressors, and post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).

PAWS symptoms include:
-An inability to think clearly
-Memory problems
-Emotional overreactions or numbness
-Sleep disturbances
-Physical coordination problems
-Stress sensitivity

While there is no known cure for addiction, addiction is treatable by maintaining an abstinence based program of recovery “one day at a time”. While in treatment at Sage, clients participate in an evidence-based integrative approach to addictions treatment that includes a variety of group and one on one counselling modalities as well as relapse prevention strategies.

We at Sage believe an abstinence based foundation in long term recovery is enhanced by adopting a wellness oriented lifestyle that includes a foundation in an abstinence based 12 step/SMART recovery community, regular physical exercise/recreation activities, training in stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga and nutritional awareness.

John Newport Ph.D., the author of The Wellness-Recovery Connection shares his insights from over thirty years on the leading edge of recovery and health care. He states “the missing dimension in recovery and key reason why many people battling addictive disorders fail to enjoy the full benefits of sobriety is not adopting a wellness-oriented lifestyle”.


Sue Adamson, Clinical Director
Sage Health Centre