Mountainside Introduces New Addiction Treatment Approaches

Published on August 25, 2015
Mountainside Canaan Aerial Shot

The Fitbit program and culinary wellness are among the new approaches Mountainside has integrated into primary services to help treat addiction

Canaan, CT— Mountainside, a nationally acclaimed substance abuse treatment center, is adding to its innovative treatment offerings with new approaches and programs focused on treating the whole person. Incorporating them into proven methods to treat addiction, the Fitbit program and culinary wellness will provide clients with new interventions to help physically strengthen the body while also supporting relapse prevention.

The Fitbit program was spurred in an effort to address insomnia, an issue many clients face at Mountainside. In the early phases of addiction recovery, insomnia is a prevalent problem for clients. Poor sleep quality can lead to depression, anxiety, restlessness, and cravings, which can decrease a client’s chances of maintaining long term sobriety. After monitoring a client’s sleep-wake cycle, clinicians are able to recommend immediate solutions beyond cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Every client has the option to receive a Fitbit device, as we really view this as an opportunity to resolve some major problems that stem from sleep deprivation,” said Marie Lanier, Program Development Coordinator at Mountainside. “Based on the data received from the Fitbit devices, our clinicians are then able to propose various interventions to help reduce insomnia. A few recommended interventions include yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and breathing work.”

Equal in importance to sleep is having good dietary habits, which can significantly improve treatment progress. Providing proper nutrition is important because without healthy foods recovering individuals are more likely to relapse. Mountainside’s commitment to nutrition ranges from infused waters that restore health to appetizing recipes which incorporate detoxifying spices and herbs.

“Recovering individuals have usually damaged vital organs during the course of their drug or alcohol abuse, and good nutrition helps restore health,” explains Jason Chartier, Culinary Director. “Proper nutrition is imperative for these individuals to feel better; nutrients give the body energy and strengthen the immune system while helping to build and repair damaged organs and tissues.”

Nutrition also plays an important role in mood. Since diet can alter brain structure both chemically and physiologically, it is a powerful way to positively influence your behavior. Consuming amino acids found in protein, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, and other healthy carbs is known to increase the production of serotonin, which enhances mood.

Mountainside incorporates culinary-focused activities into their offerings through such workshops as Kneading Recovery – a therapeutic bread-making group which was developed to help clients who are battling severe depression. Clients meet once a week to participate in this innovative form of behavioral activation, which is an evidence-based treatment for depression. The improvement in mood clients receive through this program is based on the clients engaging in meaningful activity, rather than ruminating on negative thoughts.

Mountainside continues to explore newer approaches that will aid in recovery, all of which are rooted in research and scientific studies. Over the next year, Mountainside will add to its list of offerings, in an effort to treat the mind, body, and spirit to further empower clients.