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Posts Tagged ‘recovering addict’

Drug Use Among Teenagers

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ are alternated for brevity.

When parents are struggling with their teen using drugs or alcohol, they may choose therapy as an option. After the initial relief, however, comes the surprise at the amount of work placed squarely on their shoulders.

When a therapist specially trained to work with teens who are using initially meets with parents, he has one goal in mind: learn the family rules. This may take several sessions, but it is vital for the therapist to learn what is permitted in the home (respect, compensation for chores, doors locked/unlocked) and what is not permitted (eye-rolling, substance use, failing grades). If the therapist is confused by the rules, it is likely the teen is also.

Next the therapist will ask the parents to identify and prioritize two or three behaviors they wish to change. Of course using drugs or alcohol is the primary symptom, but typically grades, curfew, and respectful behaviors are identified as well. The list is kept short to maximize effort and success.

Finally, the therapist will need to know how the parents plan to ‘parent’ the identified behaviors (design and enforce consequences). This is important because not only must parents have a plan for the other six days their child is not in therapy, their influence must increase while the therapist’s decreases. Failure to do this could lead to the therapist becoming the ‘influential figure’ in the family (“didn’t the therapist tell you drinking was wrong?”) and this will lead to therapy becoming the consequence rather than the place for help and healing.

Leaving a session with a therapist trained to help teens who are using may leave parents confused. The hard work will pay off, though, and parents will have tools to help them help their child be successful, and drug and alcohol free.

 

Alcohol Addiction Help during the Holidays: Attending an Addiction Support Group, Seeing an Addiction Therapist

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The holidays are a special time of year when people take time to focus on others, give thanks for what they have, and give to those in need. While it is easy to get caught up in the holiday festivities those in recovery from addiction understand the importance of self-care. Developing a holiday recovery plan will help individuals avoid relapse by ensuring recovery activities are scheduled into each day.
A holiday recovery plan is all about dealing with additional stress, balancing the extra activities involved with the holidays, and managing ‘high risk’ situations. The first step in any good holiday recovery plan would be to check the calendar for upcoming events. Make sure high-risk situations like family gatherings or office parties are limited both in number and time spent participating. Likewise schedule more recovery activities such as AA or NA group meetings, exercising, meditating, or professional counseling sessions.
Even the best-laid plans are not perfect so urges to use are normal. Family, memories, parties, finances, crowds, and even the additional commercials advertising alcohol may trigger urges to use. When managing urges, it is important for individuals to remember how easily inappropriate reactions to high-risk situations can turn into a relapse. Completing a daily inventory at the end of each day can help you stay on track. Reflecting each evening on thoughts, feelings, urges, reactions, and actions can help you gain awareness, knowledge, and skills needed for a continued successful recovery. Even evaluating the triggers that lead to past holiday relapses can provide valuable information about navigating this year’s holiday calendar.
Those with addiction can successfully navigate the holidays by starting with a holiday recovery plan. By carefully planning recovery activities, reducing high-risk situations, and being mindful of ‘what works’ you can have a relapse-fee holiday!

 

Types of Addiction: the Holidays and Addiction Support Groups and Overcoming Addiction

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

There is no season of the year quite like the Holiday and Christmas seasons. It’s the time of the year for social activities, excitement, decorating, spending time with family and friends, and entertainment. It’s also a time of additional pressure and worry. The holidays can bring on extra expenses, additional activities, less sleep, poor diets, unpleasant past memories, and an overall increase of stress and anxiety.

Sadly, many who suffer with different types of addiction will have a relapse this holiday season. It is important for those suffering from addiction, and the family of an addict, to to be conscious of the additional pressure so that they can develop plans to reduce the risk of relapse. The individual suffering with addiction can psychologically prepare themselves for the imminent events.

Positive things your folks and you can do includes using appropriate coping strategies like relaxation, meditation, exercise, healthful diet, and positive self-talk. You can use affirming and transparent communication with family and friends to stay on track. The holidays are a superb time to attend extra support group meetings as well. These addiction support groups aren’t only for the addict, but also for family and friends.

Finally, when attending a holiday party where alcohol may be served, it is vital to take a sober buddy or family member for additional support Also, take non-alcoholic drinks, and plan to leave early. Refuse to attend parties where drugs might be available. The holiday season is a great time to update names and numbers of sober family and friends who will be supportive of you in your addiction recovery efforts.

The holidays can be a challenge for sure, with high risk situations for those suffering with substance addiction. It could also be a period of replenished commitments and affirmations, and an opportunity to think on how much has been accomplished through the method of recovery. If you are fighting with substance abuse or addiction issues, be certain to find help. Remember that you are never alone in the journey in overcoming addiction.

Tia Parsley, LPC, LCDC  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in Texas and Arkansas. She can be found at achievebalance.org and at her websites www.tiaparsley.com

 

Am I an Addict? A Simple Addiction Test to Begin Your Journey as a Recovering Addict

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

“Am I an addict?”

Have you ever asked yourself this simple question? It may be surprising to know that many struggle with identifying addiction in their own life.  Addiction has many definitions, but one way to think of it is to challenge yourself, “Does this substance/behavior have more control over me than I have over it?” It’s a simple question, and provides you with an addiction test that has identifiable methods for gauging an answer.

Here are some addiction test questions which are easy to relate to and may assist you in determining if a substance/ behavior might be an addiction:

•    Do you ever use alone?
•    Have you taken one drug to overcome the effects of another drug?
•    Do you avoid people or places that you used to enjoy because they disapprove of your using?
•    Have you been unsuccessful at cutting back or stopping the behavior or drug use?
•    Do you often use more than you planned?
•    Have you gotten into trouble as a result of using?
•    Have you lied about using a drug or how much you have used?
•    Have you lost any relationships due to your substance use or behavior?
•    Have you used drugs to make you feel better about a situation?
•    Do you continue to use a drug despite negative consequences?
•    Do you have family/friends who have said you need to cut back or stop using?
•    Do you have to use more of the drug to get the same effect as before?
•    Have you forgotten things you did or said while using?
•    Has your job or school performance deteriorated since you have started the drug?

Answering positively to any of these is a cause for concern. Three or more positive responses indicate you have a substance use problem and you may be an addict.

Declaring a drug is a problem takes courage. But admitting the problem is the pivotal event that allows a hopeless addict to become a hopeful, recovering addict.  It is the beginning of getting better and regaining control over your life.

Tia Parsley, MEd, LPC, LCDC has experience assisting adolescents and their families with issues such as addiction, anger management, depression, anxiety, communication, parenting, and stress management. Lear more about TIa Parsley the these websites: www.achievebalance.org and www.tiaparsley.com.

 

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