If you’ve come to the realization that your friend, family member, or loved one has a substance abuse problem, then you might be looking for a way to offer them help. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through intervention. However, it is important to point out that not everyone is meant for the same kind of intervention. Here are a few tips for tailoring an intervention for your specific friend or family member.
What makes them comfortable?
A key element for a successful intervention is to approach your friend in a relaxing environment. However, they are not just anyone. You need to bring them into a room or area that allows them to feel comfortable and at peace. It is also best to conduct it in a private area (house, bedroom, etc.) Should they be among family, or just a small group of friends? If anyone has a negative influence on the person, do not let him or her come to the intervention.
Confirm and Plan
You shouldn’t perform the intervention unless you have good, reasonable evidence that the person is under substance abuse. Be sure to conduct research effectively through cross-referencing with other people who are both trustworthy and know the person well. Also make sure that everyone is managed carefully so that they know where to be and what to expect for the intervention. There is the chance that your friend will want to storm out or even get hostile. Sometimes they may just run into a room and lock the door. These situations are capable of being handled under the consultation of an intervention specialist. For more information, see Recovery Care Partner’s Intervention services.
Be clear, affirmative, but gracious and understanding
You love your friend and hope that they can be of their best behavior during the intervention. However, you have to be prepared in case the intervention makes them feel conflicted, or even hostile. They may be in denial at first to admit that they even have a problem. The most important thing to do is to stay constructive, positive, and calm (especially if they are not feeling the same). Again, be sure to consult an intervention specialist in order to find out what your loved one needs most. Always offer an open hand to help them no matter how tough it gets.
Withdrawals are often the biggest sign that one is addicted to something. It is also the reason why it can be so hard to overcome addiction in the first place. But withdrawals are not dead ends; they are a part of the road to recovery. Everyone experiences withdrawals differently, with varying symptoms and ways of overcoming them. So when going into recovery, it is important to consult your doctor and counselors for proper Sober coaching on what to do. However, if your doctor approves, here are a few living techniques that should offer some help with overcoming withdrawals.
Know your self
You must learn what it is that alerts your body and mind to crave your addiction. Work with your counselor to better understand your body and what your triggers are. Once you know yourself and the addiction, you will know how to better overcome it. However, there is more than just knowing what your triggers are. You have to also understand how your body responds to the triggers. You may not always be able to fully avoid a situation with triggers. For such situations, be sure to have proper precautions, such as a mental reminder that keeps you stable, or a friend on speed dial that you can talk to. Sober coaching advisors can offer more specific information.
A fuller life
The important thing to remember is that coping mechanisms and precautions are not a sign that you’ve lost the ability to live a full life. When you have to sacrifice things, it may seem like you are still under the curse of your addiction. However, this is never really the case. You are not loosing aspects of living. On the contrary, fighting withdrawals is teaching your body to live again. Addiction has stolen more of your life than anything else, and fighting withdrawals is the way to take your life back. See some of our testimonials from those who overcame the disease and are now living more fulfilled.
Another thing to remember is that the fight gets easier along the way. Withdrawals are always temporary. They normally go through a tough period before slowing down. Once you get over that hump with sober coaching and training, you will start to live much more freely and the precautions will not be as taxing.
Something to look forward to
Recovery is often seen as a dull, boring experience. However, once you go into recovery, you will realize that overcoming withdrawals involves having fun. The point of getting through addiction is to teach your body and mind not to need the substance. In order to show that there is more to life than just the high, you need to go out and enjoy life in its proper fashion. Most of these recovery techniques include positive disciplines, such as building relationships, exercising, and engaging in enjoyable activities. The more you do this, not only will you see how enriching your life can be, but you will also see how the substance was not as great as it once seemed.
If you are interested in our recovery services, please see here for further information.
America has had “drug czars” — someone who directs the nation’s drug policy — in place since the 1930s. We didn’t start using the term “czar” until a little more recently.
Seventeen people have held the position since its inception, but today we’re going to discuss the current drug czar, Michael Botticelli.
Why are we focusing on him? It’s because of his recent appearance on Politico’s “Pulse Check” podcast, in which Boticelli discussed– among other topics — his own addiction and recovery, showing that sober coaching reaches far into the highest realms of our nation.
“It’s tremendously important for me, as a representative of the administration’s drug policy, to be in recovery,” Botticelli told Politico, pointing out that he had been sober for almost three decades after almost going to jail following a DUI crash. “To give people hope that there is a life on the other side of addiction.”
In the interview, Boticelli spoke of his wish to approach his job from a public health perspective. Drug overdoses in 2014 killed more than 47,000 Americans. The nation’s drug crisis led Congress to approve the nation’s first comprehensive opioid law.
But while some might read about heroin deaths and immediately think “We need tougher laws, harsher sentences,” Botticelli argues that a police crackdown on addicts would do no good.
“I’ve talked to law enforcement officers across the country,” Botticelli said. “One of the things I’ve heard echoes across is that we can’t arrest our way out of the problem.”
After decades in the field, he thinks it’s a “really miraculous turnaround for police” and argues the government needs to move forward to try to fix the damage the drug war has caused.
Instead of more policing, Boticelli says he wants his focus to be on access, recovery and reduced stigma for addicts. He’s trying to connect to other departments in the Obama administration, and held a series of cross-country heroin awareness week events in September with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other officials.
Politico notes that it’s a reversal from the “war on drugs” policies of past administrations.
“With opioid and heroin-related deaths rising, it’s clear that aggressive prosecution and military-style interventions didn’t win the drug war. Instead, it discouraged treatment, and it helped contribute to simmering tensions in the African-American community over whether police target them unfairly,” Politico writes.
Boticelli agrees that past policies had “a disproportionate impact” on people of color.
“We need to acknowledge that, and we now have an opportunity on drug policy reform and this epidemic to undo that.”
And while this is an election year, Boticelli says whoever takes over for Obama doesn’t move drug policy backwards.
“I hope we set a trajectory that outlives this administration and continues into the next,” Botticelli said. “This approach of a much more public health focuses of criminal justice reform.”
From Botticelli’s example, we can see how much recovery and sober coaching can turn peoples’ lives around, no matter what position they hold.
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There’s a thin line between social drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism, writes DeAnna Jordan in the U.S. News and World Report.
Jordan is the clinical director of a California treatment center, and writes that there’s no “Ah ha!” moment for when a drinker crosses these lines.
“Generally, the drinker doesn’t consciously understands that alcohol has become a problem until he or she is a few miles past the last line,” Jordan says. “If the drinker ever felt a slight inclination that the habit developed into full-force alcoholism, he or she probably shrugged it off in denial.”
Is there a way to tell you’re an alcoholic? It isn’t as easy as saying something like “As long as I don’t drink alone, I’m OK.”
Jordan says a more important question to ask people who struggle with accepting alcoholism is “How often are you thinking about drinking?”
From there, she asks things like:
Do you frequently feel compelled to drink?
Does alcohol, the thought of alcohol or the planning of your next drink occupy most of your energy and focus?
Have you wanted to stop drinking, but find yourself with a drink in hand just a short time later?
Have you sacrificed other activities that you enjoy because you plan to drink or were drinking?
Do you find that you need to consume more alcohol to get the same effects you once had?
Asking these questions can spark a discussion about alcoholism and the behaviors commonly connected with dependency on alcohol. They address the mental, emotional and physical state of drinking. They provide valuable insight into addiction education for alcoholics.
“The general rule of thumb when it comes to labeling oneself as an alcoholic is: If alcohol causes or has caused mental, physical or emotional distress in your life, alcohol has ceased to be a luxury and has entered the realm of necessity,” Jordan writes.
Remember that alcoholism usually runs in families. If you have relatives who have struggled with alcoholism or addiction, you’re at a great risk for becoming addicted yourself. Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder also put people at a higher risk.
If you’re still wondering, Jordan suggests asking these questions:
Does your drinking typically make you feel guilty?
Do you feel the need to lie about your drinking?
Have family or friends expressed concern about your drinking habits?
Do you frequently drink more than had planned?
Do you black out while drinking?
Do you feel that you need alcohol to feel more relaxed or otherwise better?
Do you ever wake from a night of drinking with anxiety, sweating or shaking that only alcohol or medication can fix?
Are you uncomfortable in places where alcohol is unavailable?
Do people who can drink without consequences make you jealous?
Have you ever tried to control your drinking?
Has drinking led to problems at home, school or work?
Do you ever think your life would be better if you didn’t drink?
Answering yes to at least three of these questions means you may be mildly abusing alcohol. Saying yes to four to seven of these questions means you show signs of alcoholism and should seek help for dependence. If you said yes to eight to 12 of those questions, you show signs of severe alcoholism and should seek treatment.
Jordan cautions that this isn’t an official, medically approved test, but rather a guide to give people an idea of the questions to ask when considering how much you drink.
“If you take an honest survey of yourself and your drinking habits, you can determine whether you have reached the point of alcoholism and only then can you get the help you need,” she writes. ”Doing so will teach you how to move through life without the aid of alcohol, allowing you to reconnect with your loved ones and to rekindle your desire to live another day.”
Regardless, a doctor should review any suspicion of alcoholism. For further information about the nuances of alcohol, see one of our earlier blogs here.
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