What can a person do to help a loved one who really needs to be in recovery? Can you afford to pay for an inpatient program? What are the options during these stressful times?

Treatment providers across the country are feeling the effects of our weakened and unstable economy as well. We asked our good friend and treatment professional from Valley Hope, Donna Schwartz, for some perspective on this situation:

"What does a person do when they find themselves in an economy that is the worst in decades; where life struggles, job stress, unemployment and money problems are common words used in most conversations? Add on top of that having a substance abuse problem-- you yourself or someone you know and love. Growing numbers of individuals are seeking relief through the bottle; of pills, alcohol or other drugs available in the midst of the pressure related to our times. Lets add more stressors to this equation: treatment centers are struggling financially; people don't have the money to pay cash for treatment needed...where are solutions to these real concerns?"

"There are 12 Step Meetings offered all over the country that help substance abusers; they are free of charge and a wonderful support system. For many, this is an answer. For many others, this is not enough structure or support in finding recovery. Treatment facilities are faced with the dilemma of desiring to help the substance abuser and at the same time, staying in business in attempts at doing this. In Colorado, there are three treatment facilities that offer 12 Step Based 28-30 day residential treatment for people in need of this; Parker Valley Hope, Cedar and Harmony Foundation. There are also out patient services all over Denver Metro and at various locations in Colorado who may be able to work with someone in need of treatment and with financial concerns. If you have questions about options for care during these stressful times, call each facility and ask them how they may be able to help you with your substance abuse concerns within your financial constraints. The goal is to help and to stay in business; hopefully there is a way to do both to help you! Valley Hope does work with most major medical insurance carriers for treatment. There is hope. . . fear, using substances or avoiding help is not the path to hope! I encourage you to reach out and see what happens."

As Donna points out, the first option (regularly attending 12 Step groups) is no secret. There are, and always will be, 12 Step groups all across the country that are free; as well as AA and NA for the dependent person and Al-Anon and Alateen for family members and friends. To be completely honest, these 12 Step groups are a wonderful support system and could be at the top of the list. They are free, they are everywhere and they are "all the time."

Starting the journey of recovery at an inpatient facility is the best way to begin if you can. Donna has noted some resources for the Colorado region and there are similar resources in your area. We have listed a few links below to get you started in your search. Get on the phone and start calling treatment providers. You just may find out that it's never been easier to get help. Pick up the phone!

Lastly, do not overlook what you can do on your own. Educate yourself by reading all you can on the topic. Buying few books and/or videos is a small investment, relatively speaking.

It has been said "nothing changes if nothing changes." Help and resources are out there and providers have never been more willing to work with you to find solutions. Please reach out to them- seek wise counsel.

Never forget that people can and do change all the time. The "want to" will come, and when it does, good things can happen. In the meantime there are ways for you to stop the insanity.

Life doesn't have to be an out of control roller coaster.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Herzanek, a man who battled his own demons of addiction over twenty-five years ago, says, "I know people can change. If I can do it, anyone can!"

A recovering person himself, Joe is the president and founder of Changing Lives Foundation and author of the new book "Why Don't They Just Quit?" As an addiction counselor in Colorado he has spent thirteen years working in the criminal justice system.

His passion for helping men and women struggling with addiction, as well as their family members and friends, inspire him to offer hope and solutions.

Joe offers words of encouragement: "Addiction is not a hopeless situation," he writes. "Addicts and alcoholics aren't crazy, and they can quit."

Joe and his wife Judy have three children, Jami, Jake, and Jessica, and enjoy the beautiful Colorado outdoors with their two Cairn Terriers, Lewis and Clark.