Are 12-step programs the only way to recover from drugs and alcohol (part 2)

I wanted to start Part 2 with a clarification.  Sometimes, readers assume that I am not a fan of 12-step programs. That is not true, I am actually huge fan of 12-step programs; however, I also believe that if someone is not a fan of 12-step programs or won’t go to them, that there needs to be support options for them too. Refusing 12-step attendance is not necessarily a one-way ticket to death, jail or institutions.

In fact, there is little data about addicts and alcoholics who have recovered by other means. Or about people who attended 12-step programs for a time then stopped but continued to maintain abstinence and a successful life. Certainly treatment centers aren’t going to pay for these kinds of studies. I suspect it would be a challenge to find the subjects to participate. The data available is soft anyhow, as it’s all self-report. They can be tested for actual abstinence via blood, urine, breath and hair, but how to we measure “recovery?”  Is it living a life abstinent from substances? Is the quality of that life and where does the criteria for quality of life come from? [Read more…]

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More thoughts about drug and alcohol interventions

I recently reviewed a book that I highly recommend: “Interventions: Opposing Viewpoints” After thinking about all of the information in that book, did a few searches about interventions and realized how easily one could become overwhelmed with information, not all of it in agreement. On a site call All About Interventions, I found an article called What is an Intervention?  It is a well written article that describes the process that the writer follows when helping a family get a loved one into treatment. There are two points in the article that I would like to comment on.

The first point is “An intervention is merely an invitation to seek additional care. Viewed in this way, it does not become a drama, but rather a reality of everyday practice.”  [Read more…]

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Book Review: Interventions: Opposing Viewpoints edited by Susan Hunnicut

 

I saw this book on my local library’s new books shelf and am very glad it picked it up. . This is one of the best books I have read on the basics of addition and treatment. Of course, many of the chapters espouse my point of view, and I like them best, but even the viewpoints I disagree with are well-written and referenced.

There are four chapters, with various articles taken from other sources in each chapter that support the theme. The book is easy to read, the language is not highly medical or technical, and at the beginning of each article, there are questions to think about as you read. [Read more…]

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I wish I’d said that about addiction!

I’m reading and reviewing some books that I know will be helpful for my clients and for my potential clients.  These  books answer questions about addiction, alcoholism and recovery.  The propose solutions. Most of all, they offer hope.

Recommended Books is the place to see some of the books I recommend. 

Sometimes, when I read a passage, I think, I know that, I should just tell it. Then I think, why recreate the wheel? What I need to do is reinforce and share the message, and let suffering families know that I am here to help them map out and implement the plan for their particular situation. Information is great, but translating and implementing it, taking the difficult actions is so much easier with support. You, the family and friends, support the addict, who supports YOU????

Today’s recommendations:  No More Letting Go by Debra Jay.  Debra has a warm and conversational way of talking about what happens to families as a result of having an addict or alcoholic in the system. She also clarifies some of the “conventional” wisdom that is often misunderstood to mean “stand by and let the addict hit bottom.  It is ALWAYS a good time to take action to keep addiction from taking down the whole family and giving the addict or alcoholic opportunities to accept help.

Are you ready to get the support you need to take action? Schedule a time to talk with me so that I can help you figure out the first step YOU need to take. https://my.timedriver.com/BC23N

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Remember the siblings of the addict

I got a note today from a client who’s son is unfortunately now on his own journey doing the addiction dance. He’s actually too young to be labeled an addict yet, or right now in his journey in my opinion. However, early intervention is an important step. The family is being referred to a very reputable program; I mean, the son and his parents.

He has 2 siblings, one older and one younger who are not going to be included in the program.  They are all teens in middle and high school, and I think that this is a pretty big flaw in most adolescent treatment programs. Uhmmm,wait, that is a pretty big flaw in most drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Family programs, at least the ones I know about, and I’ve been in the business almost 25 years, focus on education about addiction and continue to put the focus on the addict and how everyone dances around the addict. Oh , they are told to go to Al-Anon or Nar-anon and take care of themselves ,but most families need more than self-help to learn to do this. The resources are limited for the adult members of the family and even sparser for the child members. Good intentions ,but not so great in practice.

Family and friends may not understand exactly what the addict is going through, but they are an integral part of the recovery process. Addicts do need a sober support network, but they also need to be a functioning part of their family, if they still have one. Yes, there are folks to do not have a family, and create a family in self-help and that’s really important.  This message isn’t for them, it’s for the families and friends who are still connected with and addict and want to be supportive and have the person back in their lives and a healthy and functioning way.

I am putting the finishing touches on just such a program.

What would YOU want to see included in a program to help your family, especially the siblings?

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