Peter Hayton, Clinical Director at The Banyans: To treat the physical and the emotional symptoms is really important because if you just focus on one area, you’re not focusing on the whole person. So when we treat at The Banyan’s, when we’re treating the physical dependency, we’re looking at things like a nutrition and diet and exercise. You know, all of those things that help the person become healthy and then the emotional and psychologically content.

We’re looking at that as well with psychology, with equine therapy, with other therapy programs that help a person to adjust and retune their life.

Joey, Wellness Advocate and former alcoholic: The implant worked very very well for me because once it was inside the body it couldn’t be removed. If I had to take oral medication [oral naltrexone], I knew that I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t stick to it, I’d give up. So the benefit of the implant being inside the body means that it couldn’t be tampered with by me, and once it was in there it took care of the physical cravings for alcohol.

And this was very very important because once those physical cravings were taken care of, the withdrawals were taken care of, I then had the room, I had the space to focus on the emotional reasons behind my addiction and that was very very important. A lot of people think that addiction is simply about stopping the behavior and it’s not. The behavior is a symptom of a greater problem. So once I took care of the physical addiction – the cravings for alcohol – I was then able to move on to the emotional.

And I moved on to that by undergoing life coaching. All of these traumatic memories, these painful memories, all of these issues that were long buried from my childhood and bring that pain to the fore, and file it in the appropriate places and deal with it one by one and deal with those issues. To basically unpack those issues and really get to the crux of the problem as to why my self-esteem was so low and why I had this compulsion to abuse myself.

The low self-esteem, you know what I still have my days where I have low self-esteem. I’m working on it. But it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I actually look in the mirror now and I like the person looking back at me. Now that is a huge huge deal because when I was drinking I didn’t even look in the mirror. You know what? In the last year of my drinking I didn’t even know what I looked like – I avoided mirrors, I didn’t want to look at myself and now I do. And I’m really really proud of the person looking back at me. If there’s anyone out there who wants to get better, that will happen. You will look in the mirror and you will be proud of the person looking back at you.