Advocating for yourself can be inspiring and build self-confidence. Most treatment centers like White House Recovery and Detox provide case management, and you will have someone on hand to advocate for you. You may even have a community-based or private case manager during continuing care to help you navigate recovery after you complete your treatment program.
However, you may not always have the safety net of others to rely on when reaching out to various resources or communicating your needs. Self-advocacy is an essential skill and can make it less stressful for you to become more self-sufficient.
What Is Self-Advocacy?
At the most fundamental level, self-advocacy is the ability to communicate your best interest for your mental, physical, and spiritual health — a valuable skill to learn during treatment that can be used in several ways.
Many people in substance treatment programs often suffer from co-occurring health disorders, either caused by their substance abuse — like liver or lung disease — or exacerbated by neglect. These disorders may be new to you.
Studies say that up to 70% of individuals treated for substance abuse have a lifetime history of depression, and 23-56% of individuals with diagnosable mental health disorders also have substance abuse or dependence disorder. Many clients with an addiction often have limited resources and may lack health insurance without knowing their eligibility for publicly supported health and social benefits. It’s important they either take the initiative in advocating for the help they need or have someone who can do so for them.
Once you’ve been admitted into a formalized treatment program, your journey has only begun. Because this form of restoration is uncharted waters, it can be challenging to keep track of or follow along with everything that is happening. As a result, you can find yourself becoming passive or quiet during the treatment plan process. You may even find that the recovery process has left you disempowered to use your voice, inadvertently detaching you from your wants and needs and even, in some instances, feeling undeserving of things that would improve your life.
At the end of the day, it’s about self-care. Everyone’s recovery looks different, and you’ll need to ensure that you let your recovery team know what you need when you need it so they can provide you with the best service possible.
While there are a lot of treatment centers to choose from, not everyone is going to place your needs as a top priority, which is why it’s imperative to be aware of your own needs and be able to articulate them to others, so they can better assist you.
What Does Self-Advocacy Look Like?
It’s essential to be patient with yourself. Once you’ve reflected and written down your wants and needs in what will make your recovery be the best it can be, connect with a resource or member of your care team and ask to set a time to talk.
Here are so ways you can self-advocate:
- Educate yourself: Learn as much as you can about addiction and then study how your body reacts.
- Communicating your needs: Share what’s working and what’s not working.
- Know your rights: Ask about your rights and resources as a mental health and substance use client.
- Create goals: Establish self-identified recovery goals and stick to them.
- Believe in yourself: Trust in what you’ve researched and speak up for yourself if someone treats you unfairly.
- Choose your treatment path: Make your own decisions about treatment with the counsel of trusted professionals.
- Gather support: Surround yourself with people who are on the same page with your vision and will hold you accountable.
White House Recovery and Detox empowers clients in this sense, as we’re stern on personal responsibility, accountability, and doing the hard work. Moreover, we provide options for self-advocacy to maintain these needs, including case management.
Collaboration With Case Managers and Others
Studies have proven that clinicians who develop a “helping alliance” with those in recovery have been shown to produce better treatment outcomes than those who do not. Case managers typically intervene to keep clients engaged in treatment and moving toward recovery.
Case management focuses on the individual and their stresses as a whole and, in tandem with the client, work toward meeting recovery objectives.
Here are some examples of the services case management can provide:
- Provide contacts for health and social services systems
- Advocate for the client and empower self-advocacy
- Assist the client with needs generally thought to be outside the realm of substance use treatment
Whether you feel the need for a support system or not, you are responsible for receiving the best care possible and ensuring your needs are met in a way that is healthy and protective to you.
Choosing the path of recovery is only the first step. After, there’s the challenge of making it out on the other end through a process that best serves you, and self-advocacy is the surest way to do that. Here at White House Recovery and Detox, we not only promote personal responsibility, accountability, and doing the hard work — which are all fundamental principles of self-advocacy — but offer case management to help you meet these personal goals as well. Recovery, for most, is a life transformation of the highest order. It’s something you’re going to want to prepare yourself for and fully understand what it’s doing to you personally. If you or a loved one is seeking help for mental health or substance-related issues, do not hesitate to call us at (800) 510-5393. Located in the beautiful foothills outside of Los Angeles, California, know that here, you can become the person you’ve always wanted to be.