Family addiction

How to Choose a Drug Treatment Center

If you are a loved one of somebody suffering from the disease of addiction, and you are at the point of searching for a drug treatment center in Florida, or in any other state for that matter, as a family member you should make sure that the program meets certain standards of care.
  

  • One of the most important things right off is to make sure the facility is licensed in that state to provide the services they are telling you they are going to provide. As a consumer that should not be over looked. 
  • Dealing with choosing a drug treatment center can bring a lot of anxiety and makes it difficult to choose the best drug rehab for your loved one.  Keep searching and get all the questions answered.  
  • Make sure the drug treatment center takes into account that each individual should be treated as such and their treatment plan should be designed and implemented to best suit your loved one individually as no two individuals are the same. 
  • Furthermore there is a lot more information as a consumer you should be looking for in searching for a drug treatment center. 
  • As treatment professionals we are bound by ethics to provide the best care possible when we are dealing with peoples’ lives. Is there a perfect drug treatment?  Is addiction treatment a perfect science?  Absolutely not, but there are different models of treatment, and one of the best models I believe is the holistic model for drug treatment

The holistic model addresses the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the disease of addiction. Research shows that if we as treatment professionals don’t address all the components of the disease in treatment the chance of success decreases drastically. 

In choosing a drug treatment center be very aware of the potential need to treat a dual diagnosis as part of treatment.  The success rate of treating addictions could have less than impressive outcomes due to the fact all aspects of the disease are not diagnosed and treated properly.  To this point why not consider state of the art addiction treatment dealing with addiction and co-occurring behavior. 

In my experience I have seen individuals go through several drug treatment centers with the same model and have been unsuccessful in achieving long term sobriety. So why not try something different?

 

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Parenting an Addict; Hardly a Dream

As prospective parents we look forward with great joy and anticipation as we start our journey to parenthood. Even before the actual arrival of our child we are already thinking how we can be the best parents possible, provide all the essentials needed for a loving caring nurturing environment. As parents we don’t mind sacrificing so that our children can have all they need plus. We are gratified to see our children grow and develop and achieve their highest potentials so that life for them will be better for them that it has been for us. I guess you could say parents our very co-dependent on their children. When they are happy we are happy and when they are sad we are sad. We feel their joy and feel their pain.

Then a day comes in your life when joys and dreams of good things for your child come to a screeching halt. The day we find out that our child is “doing drugs.” It may be pot, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs or alcohol or a combination of drugs, but regardless fear, anxiety takes over our bodies and minds. We try to find out all the circumstances surrounding what we have just found out. The extent of the abuse, what drugs, with who and whom are they getting these drugs from. The next step is to determine what kind of help we can offer our child. And as I went through this process anger and resentment and frustration entered into my life. As time progresses and the child we brought into this world so that they could enjoy success and happiness falls into a hole of drug use, deception and a life that most could not relate to or understand. Of course we send them to treatment, the best money can buy. But relapse after relapse fear and dismay heightens because as parents we do no see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then as a father the worst emotion of all surfaces, helplessness. After all I am a father and is it not my responsibility to make all right in the world for my family? With helplessness comes the next and final emotion as a father, failure. The acknowledgement that I cannot fix this problem for my child. That in the final analyses only the individual affected by this insidious disease can start and continue their own recovery. This acknowledgment took me many years to come to terms with. After much soul searching I came to the conclusion that I am only a parent. I can do only the best I can do. I also spent much time looking to blame someone for my child’s despair.

The disease of addiction affects the entire family tree, parents grandparents, other relatives and friends. Finally I came to the realization that addiction is truly a family disease for many reasons. As time marches on for many so does the disease of addiction gaining momentum in the most negative ways. Spiraling behaviors as a result of drug addiction bring other issues into the equation. Legal issues, family trust issues, resentment and family members dealing with their own psychological and physical fatigue of trying to keep up with all the negative behaviors of the addicted love one as their addiction spirals deeper and deeper.

I remember reading a book on the issue of kids and drugs many years ago when I discovered my child was involved in drugs. The title of the book is “Not My Kid.” I would suggest it be recommended reading for any family that first finds out that their child is abusing drugs. As parents we almost always retain hope that such a precious life we brought into this world will finally break away from the grasp of such a terrible disease. That the frown on the face of our child will turn to a smile and that they will achieve all the good things in life we planned for them before they ever entered this world.

Why do we care more than addicts?

It seems to be almost universally true. Parents, friends, therapists, and even administrators seem to care more about what happens to an addict or alcoholic than the person with the disease cares. Why is that? I think it is the nature of the disease.

If addicts had intact abilities to think clearly and rationally; to have appropriate insight; and to have good life skills, then for the most part they probably wouldn’t be sick. Unfortunately that is not the case. some would say that addicts make a conscious decision to be an addict and therefore they can make a conscious decision to stop being an addict. I am sure that they would if it were that simple. But it just isn’t that simple. The analogy would be telling a diabetic to stop being a diabetic. Tell them to lose weight and eat right and their life will be fine. A few can do it, but most cannot. It is the same way with addiction. Some can just do it. for some it was a conscious decision to start and it can be a conscious decision to stop. But for the overwhelming majority it is their disease; not of addiction, but their psychiatric disease, that makes them an addict and prevents their recovery.

So now we are left with an addict who can’t make a rational decision even when their life counts on it. So we try as family members and therapists to help them with the decision to get clean. We try to show them that we care enough about them they we won’t let them throw their lives away. But quite frankly until we are able to clean up the underlying pathology they will never follow the path to recovery. Care all you want, but until an addict has the tools in place to care as much as you do you are wasting your time, your breath, and your money. Parents spend thousand of dollars on kids who don’t want to get better. they are not ready because they don’t have the right tools.

For that reason all addicts must go the programs that understand the true pathology of the disease of addiction. A program founded strongly in dual diagnosis. It is only dual diagnosis programs that have a success rate in treating addiction that is even remotely respectable.

You must never stop caring, but you must care appropriately. Care enough to put your loved one in a program that will give them the opportunity to care as well.

Whose Program is it Anyway?

WE see it all the time. Very often the addict shows up for his or hers 28 day treatment program not sure if they are ready for treatment. Not sure if they are committed to the process of moving toward recovery. the client is quiet and often withdrawn. Getting them to open up is often a challenge. Many still have the affects of the drug of choice still in their system and affecting their behavior. Sooner or later every addict who successfully completes a treatment program does open up however, and recovery becomes a real possibility.

The family however, is ready to go. They are ready to talk. They are anxious to tell their story; to vent to whoever will listen. They don’t need any prodding or encouragement. Their therapy often begins with the first informational phone call.

Family members are desperate for therapy. Many of them may not even know it. They are just desperate to tell their story to someone. This cathartic behavior is often the most therapeutic process they have participated in for the past several years. for some that is all they need. They need to know that they are not alone. That there are other families out there who been in the same shoes and now it is time for some validation for what they are feeling and dealing with.

For many families it is far more than that they need. Remember that the genes don’t fall far from the tree. Simply stated, many bipolar addicts are not the index case of bipolar disorder or some other psychiatric illness in the family. Many family members NEED therapy in order for their addict family member to get better. Family pathology and family dynamics must be addressed and every decent treatment program must have a family therapy as part of it’s core curriculum.

So as a family member don’t be afraid to jump into the treatment process with both feet. Family therapy is an important facet to an addicts recovery–and to your own.

“What Is The Difference between Enabling and Helping?’

First let me qualify myself as a gold medallist as an enabler. My personal life experiences in this area at least qualifies me to attempt to make the differentiation between these two behaviors. On first blush when discussing enabling as it relates to a behavior between two people. One currently under the influence of an addiction and the other a family member, friend and how they interact with support or lack of support of this person.

From my perspective enabling was an action in which I was the constant rescuer. Continuously taking care of issues and problems that my family member should have been taking care of themselves. Not allowing an individual to deal with the consequences of their actions is also enabling. Giving money to an individual that is capable of working and is not, is the purest form of enabling. Constantly making excuses for our family member’s inability to perform normally in our society is also enabling. I could go on and on with many examples of enabling, but I think you get the idea.

So what is appropriate help for an individual dealing with addiction. A rule of thumb our family finally adopted is, when our loved one was truly dedicated and serious about their addiction we would help with family support in the following ways. First and most important we told our family member that when they are doing the right things ie. treatment, working addressing their issues and accepting responsibility for their behaviors we would be there and form a reasonable support system to enhance the recovery process. When your loved one is actively involved with their addiction this can create a high degree of family stress and dysfunctional interaction affecting all family members. When this occurs I felt it was necessary for our family to develop the philosophy of “Let Go, Let God.”

Often times the difference between enabling and helping is difficult to distinguish. Using common sense and learning to say no, I feel can help one make the right decisions in terms of helping and not enabling. Remember, enabling is harmful and counterproductive. Whereas, helping can lead to positive situations.

Remember, enabling will never help the addict, but helping in the right way will.

Have you been a gold medalist enabler with your loved one? And if not how did you avoid this difficult behavior? Don’t forget the natural reaction for us is the help our loved ones, not abandon them.

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