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Bang Bang Therapy

Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Jeff Jenks

Today’s weather reminds me why I live, work and play in Northwest Florida. Temperatures in the high 60s and cloudless skies practically scream that the outdoors be enjoyed.

Days like this usually mean a trip to the gun range.

Frequently, I am asked, Why in the world do you take clients to the gun range?  Isn’t that dangerous?  My reply is usually, Yes, and that is exactly why we go.

Well, the logic behind these excursions is pretty sound once the initial shock wears off.

As addicts, we get used to behavior that has three recognizable traits;  it’s destructive, it’s deadly and it exacts a high cost. Firing semiautomatic weapons at paper targets in a regulated and safe environment, believe it or not, addresses each of these traits.

    1. Addiction is destructive. Everyone’s life touched directly or even indirectly by addiction is irrevocably changed. No one will deny this. High-powered rifle and pistol rounds tear up paper targets quite well also.

  1. That there are only three inevitable results of addiction – jail, rehab or death – is a widely accepted fact. As we are a rehab and don’t want our clients in jail or dead, we go to the gun range.  You must be sober when handling firearms.
  2. The price of addiction is incalculable when everything is factored.  However, even if just the actual cost of the alcohol and/or drugs is tallied, the number quite often surprises the addict more than the loved ones. Clients usually appear shocked also when they realize how much a trip to the gun range costs.  They are gently reminded that their addiction cost them and their loved ones a whole lot more.

Finally, an added bonus of these trip is the aggression release.  I never ask who or what the clients visualize as their targets. I only know that every ride back to Bayshore is characterized by lots of laughter, big smiles and, hopefully, some beginnings of inner peace.

At Bayshore Retreat we have extensive knowledge in treating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. We understand that Mental Health Disorders can be the root cause of substance abuse. We use the latest scientific research and holistic approach for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

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