Currently in society “fun” is associated with drinking and using .
Every occasion in most households is incomplete without opening the bottle.
By the time it reaches the stage of addiction drinking and using is no longer fun but is indulged in to keep away the pain.
There would be glass in hand or a nip hidden in the socks when going to watch a movie or a match or picnic. No meal is eaten in a restaurant that does not serve alcohol. A party that does not serve alcohol is not considered worth attending.
Years spend keeping away pain and the old association of fun with drinking and using leads to a loop of wanting to experience the same feeling of fun without alcohol. With this presumption, the old hangouts like pubs and restaurants, and clubs are frequented but without drinking. However, without intoxication, these very places and the company of others who drink and use are not so attractive. The same feel is not achieved which leads to disappointment. Frequenting the same places expecting a different result is the illusion and soon enough the person ends up drinking or using.
It is thus, very essential to include fun activities within the treatment program.
A voluntary system like ours promotes these very activities. Regular life does not only include work, study, and family... A very major part is time spent with oneself and entertainment .
Along with an inner transformation that is required to take place during residential rehabilitation treatment, new likes and hobbies and activities need to be adopted. Part of therapy should be to enable the client to experience that which seems like “normal” entertainment activities like going out for movies, meals, trekking, hiking, reading, art, music, karaoke.
When out on a movie with a client he shared that it was the first time in years that he had gone for a movie without being under the influence of alcohol or weed and that the realization that he is having more fun without the substance was a revelation to him!
Likewise, another client of ours who was addicted to heroin and socializing over alcohol in pubs as a way to socialize in the European country she came from, realized that “ there is so many stuff to drink apart from alcohol”
For another client going on a picnic meant first filling the car trunk with booze the previous night making sure one would not fall short of liquor, the people and place is secondary. In the treatment process going on a picnic meant planning the place and the food to be taken or eaten.
Singing Karaoke would usually be in a Karaoke bar drunk or stoned and a lot of songs have associations with being intoxicated. In such a situation Karaoke singing in the treatment as fun
Thus there is a perspective shift.
It is very essential for these practical experiences to be a part of the therapeutic residential rehabilitation treatment process