Risk-taking behaviors include shoplifting, random sexual encounters, and extreme sports. People develop an addiction to adrenaline and the associated manic highs. Risk-taking is a type of process addiction, much like internet and video game addiction, and it’s a disease just like drug addiction and alcoholism. The sufferer has an incurable and progressive disease which can be arrested and managed through therapy and treatment. The act of risking one’s body is not really the problem. While the behavior is the addiction, the problem lies in the person: their risk-taking behavior is a symptom of the disease.
Risky behavior in teenagers and others persons often includes an exaggerated sense of self-importance or uniqueness and a preoccupation with receiving attention. They will often overstate their own achievements and talents, or focus upon the special nature of their problems. Risk takers are often called “egomaniacs with an inferiority complex.”
Some may find it challenging to understand risk takers, because they believe that negative behavior can be stopped merely with an act of will. Risk-takers face the same problems that people with substance addictions do, even though the term “risk-taker” is sometimes used to differentiate risky behavior from substance addictions. It’s helpful to think of risk-taking as a compulsion related to an activity, while substance addiction is a compulsion related to a substance. Substance-related addictions have had recognition for hundreds of years, but risk-taking has only recently been thought of as an addiction.
Addiction appears to be the result of a variety of extremely complex factors. Genetics, social status, and state of mind can all play a role in addiction, and the same is true for one’s childhood experiences. Research indicates that psychological gratification is closely related to addiction in the way that people indulge themselves in exchange for some kind of “reward”; this, in turn, can cause someone to become dependent on a substance or an activity.
Respect and Dignity
We succeed where other attempts to change behavior have failed. Our clients are treated with respect and dignity and our goal is the comprehensive healing of all disorders. We offer both intensive outpatient and intensive residential treatment. Clients work within the 12 Step treatment program and focus on underlying issues fueling their addiction. A series of assessments and a thorough individualized treatment plan provide the groundwork for immediate healing.
Each client receives more than 40 hours a week of individual and group therapy, and all of our therapists hold a master’s degree or higher in their respective disciplines. Each client is matched to a therapist who specializes in a treatment method that best serves the client. Rather than stick the client into a “treatment track,” we build a unique plan according the client’s needs.
During the early phases of recovery, the focus is on gaining insight into the destructive attitudes and behaviors that lead to treatment failure. The goal is to begin controlling the symptoms, reduce isolation, and increase social connections so therapeutic paths can begin to help.
Later in treatment is where the rubber meets the road and clients get honest about the underlying issues driving their behaviors. This is often the most challenging and rewarding time of treatment. And it is for this reason that we offer a continuum of care beginning with a minimum of 90 days of treatment with plans laid out for the first year.