Striving for perfection is dangerous in recovery. Having unrealistically high expectations sets people up for disappointments. They may develop an all or nothing approach, meaning they will end up with nothing. It’s important to learn to be grateful for all the wonderful things in life instead of focusing on things they don’t have.
Perfectionistic people are excessively concerned about other peoples appraisals, are overly critical of their performance, strive for flawlessness, and set unrealistically high performance standards for themselves. People who focus on being perfect are never happy with their progress, it’s never good enough.
The dangers of being a perfectionist include pushing themselves too hard, so they end up exhausted. They will never be satisfied with their performance, so they won’t reap the rewards of a job well done. People who have expectations of themselves which are too high tend to have negative stress and negative thinking. They may expect others to be perfect, which can lead to resentment because people are not perfect. They might think, “I work so hard, they don’t put half the effort I do. They don’t care as much as I do.”
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Many who give up drugs or alcohol return to being perfectionists. They always been perfectionistic, but turned to addiction to relieve themselves from their sense of failure from not living up to their own standards. Being “perfect” in recovery can sabotage their efforts.
Putting excessive demands on themselves leads to failure and possible relapse. They may even use the idea they failed to return to drugs or alcohol. People in recovery should wear their 12 Step Program like a loose garment and strive for progress, not perfection. Developing an attitude of gratitude for the good things they have in life is helpful. Understanding that it’s okay for goals to shift or change is important. Keeping an even head and understanding that they aren’t always in control is crucial. Putting sobriety first helps set the tone for the day. Expecting family and friends to trust and forgive them immediately may not be realistic. It takes time to rebuild trust, but it can absolutely happen. Here at our Florida addiction rehab, we have a family care program that helps the entire family cope with the disease of addiction.
Being a perfectionist isn’t always a bad thing. People with perfectionistic qualities work very hard and are successful. The dangers come when they constantly feel like they are failing, and not enjoying their achievements. It’s important to recognize when they have done a good job. We offer help here at Synergy Group Services through a chemical dependency program as well as a specialized holistic drug rehab program. We understand the many facets of addiction and can help you find recovery.
|Image via http://radel.house.gov/|
It hit the news today that Florida Representative Trey Radel was caught buying cocaine at the end of last month and is being charged with cocaine possession.
The charge was part of a federal investigation into a Washington DC drug ring when agents got wind from a drug dealer that the Congressman was one of his cocaine clients. The dealer then set up a buy on October 29th and Radel took the bait. Later that night FBI agents went to his apartment and detained him.
Radel now faces a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and will appear in the District of Columbia Superior Court tomorrow and may face up to 180 days in prison and a fine of $1000. In response to this charge, Radel released a statement today saying, “I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida…I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”
Many touted this story as striking a strong resemblance to the plotline of House of Cards, but we see cases like this all the time among professionals we treat at our Florida addiction rehab – the only difference is that they don’t hold public office.
Among professionals and young adults alike, the abuse of alcohol can lead to drug abuse. A common drug of choice among alcoholics is cocaine because it allows them to drink more for longer periods of time. Over time alcoholics can develop drug dependence simultaneously – whether it is needing uppers to function during the day or downers to sleep at night – so we treat alcoholism and drug addiction simultaneously.
Here at Synergy’s addiction treatment center in Florida we believe in complete abstinence because over time drugs and alcohol have the same effect and addiction doesn’t become confined to just one addictive substance. The saying that “your drug dealer’s phone number is at the bottom of a beer” means that people’s inhibitions surrounding drugs seem to dissipate once they consume alcohol – and this certainly seems to have been the case with Radel. Fortunately he recognizes he needs help; “This unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”
Although synthetic drugs have been banned in Florida since 2011, last week the state banned 22 more variations.
The ban on synthetic drugs has become somewhat of a chase of cat and mouse – as each ban prompts the manufacturers to concoct some other chemical variation of the substances which are then technically legal until they become banned and the chase ensues. The newly appointed chair of the criminal justice committee Rep. Matt Gaetz, stated “There’s always an overseas chemist with a new compound that we have to later come back and ban.”
The extent of this chase is revealed in the volume of arrests since 2011. In Okaloosa County alone authorities have confiscated over $1.8 million worth of synthetic drugs along with 56 controlled buys and 22 search warrants. Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida signed the emergency rule that outlawed the 22 new forms of bath salts and K2 spice, which are comprised of addictive chemicals known as cannabinoids, cathinones and phenethylamines. The ban on these substances is timely because consumers are still ending up in emergency rooms, addiction programs and mental institutions across the state and the nation.
The other emergent threat posed by these drugs is that their marketing and packaging is appealing to an even younger crowd. At first synthetic drugs appealed to teens and young adults who were able to conceal these drugs from parents as they were labeled as potpourri, incense and bath salts, “not for human consumption.” Now, they appeal to youth because they look like cotton candy and are labeled as “Scooby snacks” and available in highly accessible places like convenience stores.
After the ban last week, authorities swept the state asking convenience store owners to voluntarily turn over any synthetic drugs they had on stock. Anyone who is selling, manufacturing or delivering these drugs will face a third degree felony charge according to the emergency rule.
The frequent bans on synthetic drugs are pertinent because of the incidence of young people becoming addicted to these drugs that mimic the effects LSD, Marijuana and Methamphetamines and are easily accessible. Many say these drugs are worse than any other street drugs out there because they have had more associated incidences of severe violent acts, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, paranoia and catastrophic physical and mental damage.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Synthetic Drug abuse, Synergy group Services has addiction treatment programs in Florida that can help.
Since Amendment 64 passed in Colorado and Washington won the pot vote, making recreational consumption of marijuana legal, there is much speculation about possible “weed tourism.”
The new laws state that anyone over the age of 21 can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana. People can also grow up to six plants in their homes, with 3 harvesting at the same time. The harvested marijuana can amount to over an ounce in one’s home but they can only carry an ounce on their person outside of their homes.
Although these state laws have passed, federal law still trumps state law with respect to possession of a controlled substance according to the Controlled Substance Act. However, officials speculate that the feds will likely concede to Washington and Colorado state law, much like they have with medical marijuana laws. It is still largely unknown how this will actually play out once both states make the laws official or how it will impinge upon the drug laws and crime in other states.
According to the laws, you don’t have to be a resident of Washington or Colorado to purchase and consume marijuana. However, once they leave the state, consumers must adhere to local state laws. Many speculate that this will create an influx of “weed tourists” much like Amsterdam has seen.
This may create problems for neighboring states if tourist attempt to transit lower cost weed across state lines. Florida has experienced a similar issue with an influx of people going to pain clinics over the past decade to get prescription drugs. The main interstate that runs through Florida, known as “OxyContin highway,” has required heavy patrolling for opportunistic drug dealers who bring prescription drugs to nearby states like Arkansas and Kentucky.
It is unknown how these new laws and potential weed tourism will impact daily life writ large – will people be subject to weed smoke in public areas? Will there be designated weed-smoking areas? Will more people develop marijuana dependence similar to the rise in alcoholics after prohibition ended? Will groups like Marijuana Anonymous increase in numbers? There are many unknowns and it will be interesting to see how this plays out among federal and state law and if it develops into a real drug tourism problem like Florida has seen over the last decade.
Addiction is often referred to as a “family disease” because, like cancer, it spreads to others and can permeate the entire family. Parents, spouses and children all develop coping mechanisms to help, “fix” or protect the addict and to cope emotionally. These coping mechanisms are often unhealthy and can take on various forms including, but not limited to: lack of trust that prompts spying on or invading the privacy of the addict, denying that the addict has a problem by hiding the addiction from others or even oneself, feelings of shame and guilt, believing the addiction is their fault, putting the addict’s needs over their own, obsessing over the addict by incessant worry and concern.
When an addict seeks addiction treatment, it is also important for the family members impacted by the disease to seek help. Individual family members need to work on their own coping mechanisms, often discarding them and replacing them with new, healthier mechanisms. Common coping mechanisms that family members work on are enabling and rescuing.
Enabling is when a family member directly or indirectly supports the addict while they are in active addiction. This can take on the form of giving the addict money, advice, transportation and consolation. The enabler believes that helping the addict, through providing food or shelter for example, will keep the addict safe, alive and off the streets. The monetary and social support is a sign of acceptance to the addict and they continue using because they can. Many addicts actually need to “hit bottom,” such as losing family support, to be in a place of desperation and willingness to do anything to get better, including admission into addiction treatment.
Rescuing is a form of enabling but it also plays into the identity of the family member. The rescuer gains a strong sense of identity as the one who helps the addict. The rescuer can lose their own identity as they put the addict’s needs over their own. The social and personal activities that were previously important to the rescuer often become secondary because they are solely focused on the addict’s problems. When a family member has become very embedded in this role, addiction treatment for the addict may even threaten their identity. They realize that if the addict gets better, they may not need them or their help anymore.
Both rescuing and enabling are related to control – as the family member believes that they have the power to help the addict or change them in some way. Treatment plays an important role in helping the enabler and rescuer regain their identities and put themselves and their needs first again. They begin to realize that they cannot control the behaviors or actions of others, which becomes a very freeing experience.
Working on these three behaviors in the family system can start to significantly alleviate the damage caused by the disease of addiction. The Family Program at Synergy Group Services works on these and other behaviors that can be the first step toward overcoming the family disease of addiction. Synergy’s family program is imbued with extensive professional experience, training and personal experience in all areas of how the family is affected by the disease of addiction. The Family Program offers weekly individual therapy appointments, educational seminars on the disease of addiction and family group therapy sessions where members can overcome past issues and design strategies and action plans with each other. Through these offerings, families are able to identify old problems and practice new skills, allowing all participants to gain sound coping mechanisms to deal with the family disease of addiction.