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 Chemical Dependency Recovery: Treating the Chemically Dependent as a Resurrection Process 

TC Enduring Principles: D.A. Dietch (2/95)�

  1. Concern for the State of Our Soul and Our Physical Survival
  2. Search for Meaning: Transcending Truths
  3. Challenge and Admonish With Love
  4. Be Invasive-Accountable to Community
  5. Public Disclosure of Acts, Fears, hopes, Guilts
  6. Public Expiation for Wrongs Done
  7. Banishment is Possible-Done with Concern for Survival
  8. Leadership by Elders-by Models

Look at the first two enduring principles! This is what we are talking about--concern for the state of our soul, physical survival and finding meaning. This is a major departure from Betty Ford and Hazel den although they are now moving more in this direction. Ft. Leo Booth is a strong advocate that Addiction is a spiritual disease and must be addressed holistically. Was there ever a program that put it all together? The answer is yes. The 3HO SuperHealth program was located in Tucson, Arizona.

Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga and Administrative Head of all Sikhs outside of India, conceived of this program. He felt and saw the pain of America caused by alcohol and drugs. He knew that there was a better way. He believes that we are spiritual begins having a human experience. If that is true, then we need to recover our true identity. He provided the means for this resurrection process-poke, provoke, confront and elevate. Basically this means bring to a person where he is unconscious, give him the technology to bring him out this unconsciousness and give him his own experience of his elevated consciousness and awareness. I want to share with you a number of ways we did that at 3HO SuperHealth.

This program was in existence from 1975 to 1991. 3HO Foundation of Arizona a 501 C 3 non-profit corporation owned and operated this program. I was asked to move there and help them get accredited. In 1978 they received their first of many accreditations from the Joint Commission of Health Care Organizations. In 1987 they received the highest accommodation from this organization for being in the top 5% of all residential treatment centers for the chemically dependent. It was the first natural healing residential treatment center to ever receive such an accreditation.

The 3HO SuperHealth Program
The 3HO Program represents the next generation of treatment for the chemically dependent.

  1. The residential treatment center was consciously chosen to be located in a Sikh Ashram (spiritual community) where members dedicated themselves to live a healthy, happy and holy life. The intent and purpose of placing a treatment center in a spiritual community was to increase the addict's awareness and consciousness. Also to break the internal narrative story of only identifying one's identify as a drug addict. Living in an ashram helps to create a sacred space for transformation, healing and resurrection. The program was designed to produce these changes from day one. No smoking or drinking coffee was allowed in or out of the facility by anyone. The Sikh community members welcomed the addicts and alcoholics in their home. If you were single then you would have a guest living with you in your room.

    Every one was considered family and everyone participated in meal preparation and the maintenance of the facility. We went on back packing trips and outings together. If a prison therapeutic community is powerful in developing pro social behavior and supporting transformation, you can imagine what living in a spiritual community produces. This is incredible use of positive modeling and family bonding.

  2. The Therapeutic use of the word. "In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, God was the Word. People of many religious and spiritual traditions understand that not only does the word have meaning, they have kinetic power. The use of Mantras is one way to change consciousness and clean out the subconscious mind. Mantras and meditations can be rotor rooters to the subconscious. For example, in the first Kundalini Yoga Manual, there is a meditation to break any addiction. I have used this in every treatment program I have ever worked in with great results. Try it and let me know how it works for you. To get the desired results you must do it for 40 days for 31 minutes a day without missing one day. If you miss a day, you must start over.

    Here is how to do it. Sit in a cross legged position (easy pose), with a straight spine, making sure that the first six lower vertebrae are locked forward. Make fists with both hands and extend the thumbs straight. Place the thumbs on the temples, and find the niche where the thumbs fit just right. Lock the back molars together and keep the lips closed. The molars will alternately tighten, then release; right then left, then right and so on. You should feel the alternating movement under the thumbs at the temples. Keep a firm pressure applied on the temples. Keep the mouth closed, focus at the brow point, and mentally hear the sound of sa ta na ma, one sound for each pressing of the molars. Continue coordinating the mantra with the subtle movement of the jaws for 5 to 7 minutes. With practice the time can be increased to 20 minutes, and ultimately to 31 minutes.

    This is one form of the use of the word or sound current therapeutically. The other use of it is in counseling sessions where one is using one's words consciously to break through the denial and other defense mechanisms. As a therapist, you are modeling by word and action healthier states of being. You become a mirror to your clients. This is where the poke, provoke and confront process starts. You are making them aware of their blind spots. In a spiritual therapeutic community like in a regular TC, everyone sees what is going on and can bring that to the attention of someone who is having a hard time. The client in community is seeing that it is possible to change and have a different life. They are seeing living roof of it.

  3. Yogi Bhajan wrote a book titled, Foods for Health which provided the menus for the 3HO SuperHealth Program. Food as Medicine was written by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan which further explains how food can be used as medicine. The 3HO Program really understood how to select the right foods to contribute to cellular reconstruction and healing of the whole body and mind. As they say, "You are what you eat". The staff knew what foods to feed someone during the detoxification stages and then in the rehabilitation stages. Juices, Ayurvedic and Bach Flower remedies were also used. One of the most powerful treatment for liver toxification was a special drink made in the program by the clients themselves-Liver Flush. For every six ounces, one would prepare 3 ounces of celery juice, 2 ounces of carrot juice and one ounce of beet juice. This was drunk 3 times a day for those in the detox phase. Extensive use of garlic, onions and ginger were used in preparing many of the vegetable dishes. (All community members adhered to a vegetarian diet.

    Yogi Tea which can now be purchased commercially in most health food stores is another great blood purifier and nerve relaxer. In the late 70' and 80's this was a radical approach for any type of treatment program. We were the only ones in the country doing these things in a very scientific and comprehensive way.

  4. The 3HO Program assisted the client to obtain control once again over their primary body functions and life in general. One of the main ways it did this was by teaching three Kundalini Yoga classes a day. In Kundalini Yoga there are thousands of different exercises and meditations for almost all human conditions, symptoms, and ailments. One's self esteem, self confidence, endurance, stamina are just some of the reported benefits of regularly doing yoga and meditations. These clients were doing 3 yoga classes a day seven days a week. Along with these Kundalini yoga exercises, the staff took the clients for a daily walk for at least 30 minutes. Walking with consciousness normalizes many of the physical and emotional problems. Dr. Gurucharn Singh Khalsa has written a book, Breathwalk that explains how walking and conscious use of the breath and sound can be healing.

Keep in mind that all of the clients had a customized treatment plan. Although they did the community yoga classes, they would be given their own yoga and meditations set to do. They were all on their own vitamin, herb and supplement program and they got massages and access to the sauna as needed. Counseling sessions were usually conducted by five or six staff with one client. This is a different form of group therapy. It was almost impossible for a client to con the whole staff. This format was excellent for making the client more aware of many things particularly their unconscious patterns and how they chose to get their needs met.

Many of these guests were cocaine and heroin users and some came right out of prison. Most of their physical and mental health needs were addressed from a holistic framework. The program protocols had the effect of improving the total health of the guest not just getting the addict into recovery. Recovery meant recovering their total health, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. With this in place, they could then fulfill their desire for meaning and purpose in their life and they possessed the tools to do so.

Every guest that came to the 3HO program met the criteria for substance dependence. But what they received as treatment came from a totally different paradigm. This program was managed and staffed by yogic therapists for the most part. The most transformative element of the program was not the degrees or licenses that the staff had but their ability to engage in a spiritual alliance with the addict. It is an incredible achievement for 3HO to have a program run by yoga teachers producing better results than programs run by doctors, psychologists and licensed substance abuse counselors.

The total focus of this program was bringing the guest out of unconsciousness into a higher state of awareness. As this was done, their cravings and psychological attachments to their drugs lessen. By the time they left (six month program), they were drug free and living a very healthy lifestyle. It did not work for everyone and not all guests who entered the program finished it. But those who did finish the program transformed themselves.

3HO Case Example
A 22 year old African American entered the program in 1980 for cocaine addiction. He also was an asthmatic who needed to use his aspirator five or six times a day to prevent his attacks. After three weeks of being in the program doing the yoga classes; changing his diet, no smoking and using drugs, he threw away his aspirator. I do no think that any regular M.D. would have thought that this was possible. Many clients who had multiple physical and emotional problems were cured along with their addiction. This is when I knew how powerful these techniques and lifestyle were for healing and transformation.

Ideal Program
Now twenty one years later after my 3HO Superhealth experience and exploring multiple healing techniques, health products and equipment and world class healers, what would I design now? Okay, let's put it all together. I would keep in tact all that the 3HO SuperHealth program offered and I would add to it in certain ways.

1. Assessment Process: The assessment and diagnostic process would, in itself, be a healing experience. This is where you start establishing a therapeutic alliance.

a. I would use live cell blood analysis where the guest would see their own blood on a monitor and the clinician would be explaining the condition of their blood and how it relates to their health. Something very powerfully happens when you look at your own live blood. This really gets a person's attention and brings them out of denial of what they have to do to get better. This is a very powerful motivator that helps one take the first steps in making a commitment to change and following through.
b. Next, I would use Rayid Interpretations. This system allows both the guest and the clinician to identify one's gifts and challenges in one's life. It accurately pin points the emotional, psychological and transgenerational issues that are in the DNA and then provides the guest with exactly the right therapies to achieve balance and integration in their life.
c. The last one I would use is Behavior Kinesiology developed by Dr. David Hawkins. This diagnostic system lets you find out what the core issues are in about 15 minutes. See his book, The Eye of the I, David Hawkins, M.D., Veritas Publishing, 2001, Sedona, Arizona
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 About The Author
Sadhu Khalsa LISW, MSWSadhu Singh Khalsa, LISW, MSW, founder of Total Health Recovery Program has over 30 years of experience as a caring clinician, administrator,......more
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