Signs you are enabling an addict

Signs you are enabling an addict

Often times when people close to an addict try to “help” them, what they are actually doing is allowing the progression of the disease. These family and friends of the addict do not know this is what they are doing. This unknown and baffling phenomenon is called enabling. Enabling takes many forms but they all have the same effect: they allow the addict to avoid the consequences of their drug use and drinking. This, as a result, allows the addict to continue on their merry way, secure with the knowledge that no matter how much they screw up, someone will always be there to save them from their mistakes.

So if you think you are enabling an addict, how do you know?

It is important when looking for signs you are enabling an addict to know the difference between enabling and helping. Knowing the difference between enabling and helping an addict is the first step to recognizing the signs.

So what is helping? Helping is doing something for someone that they are not capable of doing themselves.

What is enabling? Enabling is doing for someone things that they could, and should be doing themselves. The key word there most of the time is the “should”. Many addicts may not be capable of doing things for themselves but often times those things are things they should be able to do. Doing those things they should be able to do on their own is enabling.

So what are the signs you are an enabling an addict?

After realizing the difference between helping and enabling you can probably think of a few signs you are enabling without this post. But we are going to go ahead and give you some of the most common signs that you are enabling an addict.

  1. You call in sick to work for them because they were too tired or hung over. This is classic enabling at its best. There is no reason any other person should be calling work for the addict. That is something they can and should be doing.
  2. Bailing them out of jail or paying their legal fees. This is another very common sign that you are enabling an addict. Once again paying fees and landing in jail are consequences they should be facing and can deal with.
  3. You don’t talk to them about their drug use because you are afraid of their response. An addict should be dealing and have to recognize the way they are affecting you and everyone around them. Don’t hold back out of fear. This is just allowing the behavior to go on.
  4. Loaning money. This is so common in people who are enabling an addict. You want to help so the addict doesn’t starve but the truth is they are probably just using the money to get high. An addict is capable of feeding themselves and should be doing just that. So even if they claim to be starving do not give them money.
  5. You threaten to leave and then don’t leave. Empty threats just reinforce to the addict that they can get away with whatever behavior they are acting out in. This is enabling them to continue on doing what they are doing with the assurance that you will still be there and that even if you threaten it means nothing. Stick by your word no matter how hard it is!

These are some of the most common signs you are enabling an addict. Remember that it may seem really hard to not want to save the addict but you have to remember that you are not saving them you are allowing them to continue hurting themselves. So actually when you do these things you are fueling their addiction. You may not be able to stand the sight of them hungry or in jail but just trust me when I say it is when they have to face those things that they will finally see what a problem they have. It is easy to deny a problem when you never go hungry or have to face consequences. Stop enabling and when the addict asks for help (to go to treatment) be there.

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

You have completed an inpatient treatment program and now you’re cured! Unfortunately, that is not the case. There is no known cure for addiction however there is treatment and rehab is only part of that treatment.

Statistics and common sense dictate that the longer someone receives treatment, the better their success rate at achieving and maintaining sobriety. This is where the importance of aftercare in addiction treatment comes into the picture.

What is Meant by Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab, or residential, refers to the stage of addiction treatment that involves staying in a facility and receiving intensive therapy. Inpatient treatment is the first step of addiction treatment and usually lasts for about 30 days.

What is Meant by Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

Aftercare refers to further interventions and treatment that follow rehab. It is additional support that is given following completion from the residential part of the program. Aftercare in addiction treatment can take many forms and can be any combination of these forms of support that involve teaching new skills and coping strategies.

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

The importance of aftercare in addiction treatment becomes clear in its results: people who receive some type of aftercare are less likely to relapse and more likely to live longer. Aftercare in addiction treatment can help you to stay motivated and provide support when your journey gets a little bumpy. You will acquire knowledge and skills from the treatment facility but, the most important learning takes place during normal everyday living. Aftercare in addiction treatment will support you in finding new solutions as new problems in recovery arise. In this way, the importance of aftercare treatment becomes evident: you will bank new and effective coping strategies in the time you spend out of inpatient but while getting aftercare support.

Relapse and the Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

Unfortunately, relapse affects a great many in recovery. Relapse is not inevitable, though. It is known that people who have a strong aftercare treatment plan are more aware of their relapse triggers and so they are more likely to spot the warning signs that they are heading for a relapse. The importance of aftercare in addiction treatment when it comes to relapse patterns is that these preventive measures are the most effective at stopping a relapse in its tracks.

Types of Aftercare

Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP)

IOP is the perfect supplement to inpatient rehab because you get to attend individual and group therapy during the day and then have the afternoon and evening for getting back to work or enjoying hobbies or having simple down time. IOP is a good idea because you can continue therapy and the progress you were making while in rehab instead of abruptly stopping after completing treatment.

Halfway House/Sober Living Community

After completing an inpatient program, it is an extremely good idea to live in a halfway house or sober living community before returning home or getting your own place. Halfway houses, sober houses, and sober living communities provide a supportive environment where you live among other people who are staying sober and working towards their recovery. It’s a good stepping stone to rejoining society at-large: there is less structure than rehab but more structure than living alone.

12 Step Meetings and Other Support Groups

There are 12 Step fellowships and Non-Twelve Step groups who hold meetings as a form of a recovery-based support group where members can attend at no cost and share in their experiences with others like them. Members find empathy, encouragement, and even networking at these meetings.

Booster sessions

Former patients of a rehabilitation program are sometimes offered what is called “booster sessions” depending on the facility and its policies. Booster sessions are a way for recently graduated patients to continue to receive counseling once they have completed the program.

Private Counseling

Continuing previous or beginning new counseling and therapy with a private therapist is another form of aftercare. Counseling address issues relating to recovery and addiction as well as to a dual diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. A great many addicts also have a co-occurring mental illness.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/

Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

The term “rehab” is short for the word rehabilitation and refers to a facility that offers treatment for drug abuse and addiction. Rehab sometimes includes a medical detox program that serves the purpose of helping alcohol- and drug-dependent people to ease completely off substances with less discomfort than going cold turkey, or stopping abruptly.  Another part of rehab is the inpatient program. This part of treatment involves therapy that addresses drug addiction behaviors and coping mechanisms to utilize in a sober lifestyle.

Funding

There are two types of rehabs: private rehab and state funded rehab. The main difference between these is the way in which the programs are funded.

Private rehab provides services by being funded either by out-of-pocket payment by the patient or by the patient’s health insurance plan. If you have private insurance through your employer or through your spouse’s or another family member’s employer, then more than likely you can attend a private rehab that is in-network with that plan and only have to pay a deductible, if the plan requires it. Some plans do not even have a deductible in which case you can attend a private rehab with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

State funded rehab is just that: its services are able to exist and be provided to those who cannot afford to pay for rehab or who do not have insurance with support of state funding through tax revenue and/or grants.

Services and Amenities

Another way in which private rehab and state funded rehab differs is in the quality and extent of the services that they provide.

Usually, private rehab offers many more amenities that can make your stay more comfortable. A private rehab provides a resort-like atmosphere with some “extras” besides room, board, and therapy. Oftentimes, they offer spa experiences, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and so on.

State funded rehab provides adequate services that can help anyone get sober who is willing to do the work. It may not be as cushy as private rehab but it is sufficient and meets high standards of quality of care.

Types of Therapy

Both private rehab and state funded rehab offers therapy for substance abuse and addiction however, the type and intensity of the therapy differ between the two.

Private rehab offers alternative and holistic therapies such as Native American sweat lodges, music and art therapy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, to name only a few. Private rehab also offers the industry standard of cognitive behavioral therapies in both one-on-one and group sessions.

State funded rehab also offer the widely accepted therapy approaches for substance abuse and addiction but often therapy sessions are in group settings because of funding and the growing demand for treatment by more and more people.

 

Other Considerations: Private Rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

You must be careful to do your research when considering a private rehab. Just because it is private does not mean that it is legitimate or accredited.

Because they must answer to state government and therefore taxpayers, state funded rehabs are strictly regulated. With state funded rehabs, at least you can be sure that treatment is uniform and meets industry standards.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

What is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder?

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a disorder characterized by a continual presence of sensory disturbances, most commonly visual, that are reminiscent of those generated by the use of hallucinogenic substances. Previous use of hallucinogens by the person is necessary, but not sufficient, for diagnosis of HPPD. For an individual to be diagnosed with HPPD, the symptoms cannot be due to another medical condition.

Is HPPD the Same Thing as Acid Flashbacks?

HPPD may be confused with acid flashbacks. However, HPPD is distinct from acid flashbacks by reason of its relative permanence; while acid flashbacks are brief and fleeting, HPPD is persistent. HPPD is an actual medically recognized mental condition and appears in the DSM-IV (diagnostic code 292.89).

Causes of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

The cause(s) of HPPD are not yet known. The most current neurological research indicates that HPPD symptoms may manifest from abnormalities in Central Nervous System function, following hallucinogen use. One theory derived from this research is that the brain inhibitory mechanisms involved with sensory gating, or filtering out excess visual and auditory stimuli, are disrupted therefore allowing more information to be perceived at one time. This results in an overload of the senses.

What HPPD Looks Like

In some cases, HPPD appears to have a sudden onset after a single drug experience, strongly suggesting the drug played a direct role in triggering symptoms. But in other cases, people report gradual worsening of symptoms with ongoing drug use. Drugs that have been associated with HPPD include LSD, MDA, MDMA, psilocybin, mescaline, diphenhydramine, PCP, synthetic cannabis, and high doses of dextromethorphan.

How many people are affected by HPPD?

Some put the number at about 1 in 50,000 hallucinogen users develop HPPD. However, it is possible the prevalence of HPPD has been underestimated by authorities because many people with visual problems relating to drug use either do not seek treatment or, when they do seek treatment, do not admit to having used illicit drugs. Thus, it may be that HPPD occurs more often than is detected by the health care system.

Quick Facts About Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder:

  • People can develop HPPD after only 1 use of a hallucinogenic substance
  • HPPD is most typically caused by the use of LSD
  • About 59% of people with HPPD see geometric patterns on blank surfaces like walls. Almost as many, see false movements of still objects, usually in the peripheral visual fields. Others reports flashes of light, trailing images behind moving objects, and intensified colors
  • Most people with HPPD recover within a month or two after last use, a few take as long as a year

 

Natural Treatments for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder :

  • Abstinence from using hallucinogens, until the effects from HPPD are gone
  • Valerian Root may help alleviate symptoms. It can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores and health food stores
  • Sun glasses may help alleviate symptoms. Most people with HPPD describe symptom onset or increased intensity of symptoms when they are in bright light and especially when changing from a dark environment to a bright one
  • Meditation, yoga, exercise, breathing techniques and talking about the experience (narrative therapy) with supportive and knowledgeable people may also be helpful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

www.wikipedia.org

http://www.neurosoup.com

http://www.drugabuse.gov

 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. It combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. Research indicates that DBT is effective in treating patients who present varied symptoms and behaviors associated with mood disorders, including self-injury. Recent work suggests its effectiveness for treating chemical dependency.

When dialectical behavioral therapy for addiction is successful, the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals that are independent of his or her history of out-of-control behavior, including substance abuse, and is better able to grapple with life’s ordinary problems. The fundamental principle of DBT is to create a dynamic that promotes two opposed goals for patients: change and acceptance.

The treatment includes five essential functions:

  • improving patient motivation to change
  • enhancing patient capabilities
  • generalizing new behaviors
  • structuring the environment
  • enhancing therapist capability and motivation

History of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT was initially used as the standard behavioral therapy of the 1970s to treat chronically suicidal individuals. Subsequently, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction was adapted for use with individuals with both severe substance use disorder (SUD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD), one of the most common dual diagnoses in cases of addiction. DBT includes explicit strategies for overcoming some of the most difficult problems that complicate treatment of both conditions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

The ultimate goal in dialectical behavior therapy for addiction is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. When DBT is successful, the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals that are independent of his or her history of out-of-control behavior, including substance abuse, and is better able to grapple with life’s ordinary problems.

The all-encompassing embrace of both acceptance and change in dialectical behavior therapy for addiction is consistent with the philosophical approach found in Twelve-Step programs, expressed in the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Like other behavioral approaches, DBT addresses the most detrimental to the least detrimental behaviors in that order. This is used to decrease behaviors that are imminently life-threatening (e.g., suicidal or homicidal); for substance-dependent individuals, substance abuse is considered the most important target within the category of behaviors that interfere with quality of life. Dialectical behavioral therapy for addiction targets include:

  • decreasing abuse of substances (both illicit drugs and legally prescribed drugs taken in a manner not prescribed);
  • alleviating physical discomfort associated with abstinence and/or withdrawal;
  • diminishing urges, cravings, and temptations to abuse;
  • avoiding people, places, and things associated with drug abuse, deleting the telephone numbers of drug contacts, getting a new phone number, and throwing away drug paraphernalia;
  • reducing behaviors that encourage drug abuse;
  • increasing reinforcement of healthy behaviors, such as making new friends, rekindling old friendships, pursuing social/vocational activities, and seeking environments that support abstinence

 

 

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.wikipedia.org

Therapy for Families of Drug Addicts

What is the importance of therapy for families of drug addicts?

First, it is the family that often recognizes the problem before their addicted loved one is ready to acknowledge or get help for his or her addiction. Secondly, chances for sustained recovery increase dramatically when families are involved, as addiction reaches far beyond the individual.

There are two basic types of therapy for families of drug addicts: family education and family-involved therapy. Most substance abuse treatment programs perceive the importance of educating families of drug addicts on what addiction is. It is important for the loved ones of the addict to understand that addiction is not merely an issue of willpower; it is a brain disease that affects addicts in such a way that they are unable to stop using drugs despite negative, even devastating consequences, and despite them having the desire to stop.

Educational therapy for families of drug addicts

In educational therapy for families of drug addicts, families identify the ways in which addiction has affected the family relationships and are introduced to resources that can lend support while their addicted loved one undergoes individual treatment. There are support groups such as Al-Anon, Alateen, and Families Anonymous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence provide information, assistance, and access to publications regarding drug abuse.

Family therapy for families of drug addicts

Family therapy is therapy for families of drug addicts that involves a collection of therapeutic approaches. The purpose of therapy for families of drug addicts is two-fold: first, it seeks to use the family’s strengths and resources to help find or develop ways to live without substances of abuse. Second, it diminishes the impact of drug dependency on both the addict and his or her family.

In family therapy, the goal of treatment is to meet the needs of all family members. Therapy for families of drug addicts addresses the interdependent nature of family relationships and how these relationships serve the addict and other family members, in both positive and negative ways.

The foundation of therapy for families of drug addicts is the belief in family‐level assessment and intervention. In addressing therapy for families of drug addicts, it is key to recognize that a family is a system, and in any system each part is related to all other parts. Accordingly, a change in any part of the system will bring about changes in all other parts. The focus of therapy for families of drug addicts is to intervene in these complex relational patterns, the family unit and its interrelationships, and to alter them in ways that bring about productive change for the entire family. Therapy for families of drug addicts rests on the systems perspective. As such, changes in one part of the system can and do produce changes in other parts of the system, and these changes can contribute to either problems or solutions.

 

Therapy for families of drug addicts addresses a range of influences on the addict’s drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning. In this way, therapy for families of drug addicts serves as a crucial support to the success of their loved one’s recovery.

Sources:

www.drugabuse.gov

www.nih.gov

www.hhs.gov

 

 

Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Personality Disorders and Drug Addiction

Someone who suffers from a personality disorder often suffers from drug addiction as well. People who suffer from personality disorders and drug addiction may also have a harder time with recovery. For some people their drug addiction causes the symptoms of a personality disorder and for others the symptom of the personality disorder prolongs the drug addiction.  Either way when a personality disorder and drug addiction co-exist they tend to aggravate each other. This means that a personality disorder makes the drug addiction worse and the drug addiction makes the personality disorder worse.

What is a personality disorder?

A person’s personality is shown in the way they think, feel, behave and relate to other people. In different ways our personality helps define who we are. A personality disorder is when a person’s thinking, feelings, behavior or relation to other people create significant problems for them or for others. Some examples of personality disorders include: borderline personality, schizotypal personality, paranoid personality, schizoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive compulsive and narcissistic personality disorder. All of these personality disorders can range from mild to severe depending on how much they interfere with someone’s day to day life.

Many of the symptoms of a personality disorder also could be symptoms of a drug addiction. For instance some symptoms of both are:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Social isolation and/or difficulty making friends
  • Angry outbursts
  • Constantly suspicious of others
  • A need for instant gratification
  • Making up lies
  • Mood swings that occur fairly often
  • Perfectionism and inflexibility
  • Limited ability to express or feel emotions
  • A lack of concern for others with the need to be admired

The list of symptoms for both personality disorders and drug addiction could go on and on. So if someone has a personality disorder and drug addiction what should they do?

Diagnosing a personality disorder when someone also has a drug addiction can be difficult. This is because some of the symptoms of the drug addiction may seem like symptoms of a personality disorder but they really aren’t and vice versa. Talking to someone who is a substance abuse or drug addiction therapists will ensure that each individual gets a more accurate diagnosis.

There is treatment available for both personality disorders and drug addiction. They usually should be treated together but can be treated separately. Treatment for personality disorders and drug addiction usually involves therapy and medications. Some medications for personality disorders can be addictive though so it is best that all medications are discussed with a health professional who also knows about drug addiction and alcohol dependency. Therapy for personality disorders and drug addiction is usually done in a one on one setting where the therapist can really take a look at the more deep rooted issues that could be going on. When it comes to personality disorders they become a different kind of mental health problem when drug addiction is involved. This is the case with most things mental health issues when it comes to drug addiction. Either way there is always help available for those with personality disorders and drug addiction.

www.hazelden.org/web/public/document/mh_personalitydisorder.pdf