Should Adult Addicts Come Home?

TRANCRIPT:

If you have an adult son or daughter that suffers from drug or alcohol addiction. And they come to you and ask you if they could live with you.  You have to really carefully think about your decision. There are a lot of factors to think about. As a parents I can sympathize with parents who don’t want to say no to their children.  They don’t want to say no to their kids. They won’t have anything to eat.  They worry what will happen to their adult children. The thing to think about is, You will not be doing your son or daughter a favor by allowing them to move in with you.  Usually by the time the adult child wants to move back in with you, they have lost their relationships with their friends. Lost their relationship with their partners in life. Also they have probably lost their jobs.

Or they may work some place that pays them very little.  And they are spending that money on drugs and alcohol so they can’t afford to live on their own.  By allowing these adult children to come live with you, you will be basically supporting their addiction and drug and alcohol habit.

It is very difficult for a parent to say no to a child.  However, there is an alternative, there is a middle ground. You can set very clear parameters with your son or daughter and say, You can come and stay with me as long as you follow these certain rules.  And these rules need to be strict rules about their sobriety. You may want to have them drug tested.  At least once or twice a week. You will need to have rules and you need to follow through with those consequence.  So for example if your child moves in with you. Stays sober for a week or two and then he or she starts using again. You immediately need to have them leave your house.  It is very difficult to do that.  If you don’t think you can kick your child out then don’t let them move in with you. If on the other hand you think you can follow through with your consequences you may do a trial period.  Making it very clear that this is a trial period. And make it very clear that there is no tolerance. Even for the tiniest relapses. Do not give into manipulation.  So if you have adult son or daughter who asks to move in with you because they are continuing to use and they are down on their luck.  You need to think about it very carefully.  Sometimes giving the rough answer which is hard for you to do, is the best option.

You don’t want to find your son or daughter dead in their bedroom in your house after they have used and over dosed.  If you have a loved one who is suffering of the disease of alcoholism or addiction please call and begin taking the steps to getting on the path to recovery.

Common Addict Behavior

TRANSCRIPT:

So many times an addict’s behavior destroys the person’s income, relationships and health.  The behaviors of a drug addict or alcoholic begin to mimic a record on repeat.  Vincent Jones talks about conversations he has had with drug and alcohol addicts and how their behaviors and path to healing has to start with the individual taking ownership.

You found yourself in a jackpot.  Again.  You didn’t plan on it.  You told yourself it wouldn’t happen after the last time, and here you are one more time.  Either the boss is on your ass or perhaps you have been walked out the front door.  Wonder how you’re going to pay the rent.  The family isn’t speaking to you, again.  Your spouse isn’t speaking to you, again. You found all your stuff on the curb when you got home, again.  The worst thing you can do at this moment is go back to those people and try to apologize to them.

To try to clean up the mess you made. Because you already done it. They don’t believe you anymore.   You have tried to go back you said you’re sorry so many times, that it no longer holds any weight.  If you truly wish to change. If you truly are sorry. And want to grow beyond where you are today.   The change must begin within.

You must make the decision that you don’t want to live that way any longer. To use the old cliché line.  “You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.”  Having arrived at that point you are at that jumping off place where your life can change in ways that are truly remarkable. You can’t clean up the mess with the mess that you are.  You must change and it must begin today,

If you truly want to live in a different way.  There is help. It is available.  Take the action, don’ try and fix what is unfixable.  Fix yourself first. We can help. Please call us.

Parents of Addicts Part I – Tough Love

TRANSCRIPTION:

When coping with a loved one or a child with a drug and alcohol addiction, it is widely accepted that setting up boundaries is crucial in helping them reach sobriety.             This week we talked with Vincent Jones of Healing path Recovery about tough love and consequences.

What do you mean by Tough Love?

When your child is in active addiction, it is a difficult thing to deal with.  We love our children, I am not only a parent but I am a grandparent, I would do anything for my kids or my grandkids. I would lay my life down for them if it was called on.  But when your child is in active addition the hardest thing to do is to say no.  You must put solid boundaries up that can’t be crossed, with clear cut consequences for your child if they cross them. This is hard to do.

What is an example of consequences?

A Man I know had set those boundaries with his child. He decided that he(son) didn’t want to live by them any longer. So he asked his son what do you want to do.  He said I want to go to San Francisco.  He didn’t know anyone in San Francisco.  His father told him OK.

They packed up all his belongings such as they were in the back of his truck. He then, he and his wife drove his son, three hours up the coast to San Francisco, He asked his son where do you wanna get out?

He picked a corner, they stopped, he unloaded the stuff from the back of the truck, they hugged, and they drove away leaving their son standing on a corner, in San Francisco, with no place to go.  As they got around the corner, they both cried, and then they drove home.

Today that boy is a man, and he is sober and clean, and a teacher and a success in life. Saying no and maintaining boundaries is difficult and will be the hardest thing you ever have to do.  But you can not keep allowing them to take small steps, and moving that boundary. You are not helping them.  You will only be returning them to their addiction.

Love them, make it tough if you have to, do everything you can to help them, but don’t enable them in their addiction. You must set strong boundaries, and you must live by them, even if they are breaking your heart.   You do it because you love them.

How Tough Love Fits into Drug and Alcohol Recovery

TRANSCRIPTION:

The idea of tough love gets thrown around a lot when it comes to loved ones who suffer from alcohol and or drug addiction.  A lot of parents who have children with the disease of alcoholism and addiction are advised to give their children tough love. And in a lot of cases, tough love means cutting the child off completely. And even cutting off contact with them.  Definitely not housing them, and not doing anything that could help the child advance in their addiction.  Now when we say child we don’t mean someone under the age of 18, we just mean somebody’s son or daughter.

Now there are cases in which parents give a little too much to their children and in those cases boundaries are extremely important. So let’s start by talking about where tough love actually does come in.  For Example if you have a child who is using alcohol or drugs it is not a good idea to pay for their rent and give them a car, and give them pocket money to make sure that they are well provided for, because what that does is it enables them to continue using drugs or alcohol.  Basically, it takes away any incentive for them to clean up and to stop using drugs or alcohol.

I see this all the time where I hear parents say well what do you want me to do?  You want me to kick my child out?  He’s going to die on the street.  Orr she is going to die on the street. And I understand that as a parent it is extremely difficult to do that with a child however I tell them, the parents well what are you going to do when, your son, living in an apt provided by you, eating the food provided by you, and driving around and spending money that has been provided by you, what are you going to do when that son or daughter is found dead, with a needle in their arm in this beautifully furnished apartment.

So you want to make sure you are not over enabling your children. However the idea of tough love when you just cut out the child completely doesn’t work for some parents either.  So there must be a middle ground, there must be place where the parent can stay connected to the child at some level, without enabling the child’s addiction to drugs and alcohol even further.

In a lot of the cases the parent just doesn’t have enough boundaries to be able to manage that, and in those cases its best to cutting the child off would be the best way to go. But if you believe that you can set rules and stick to them, then there is a middle ground.  You need to make it very clear to your child that it is not acceptable for them to use alcohol or drugs. So you tell them, alright, you cannot support yourself, you cannot live in an apt by yourself, you can live in this small room, for whatever time you allow, 3 months or 6 months, and we will give you an allowance that will cover the rent and the food, let’s say once a week.  And if that child runs out of that money before the end of week, they will not have access to money for the rest of the week.  If their utilities get shut down you won’t just rescue them, by paying for the utilities and having them restarted.

Make it very limited, make your help limited and also conditional.  You can say to them that there are conditions for you, if you want me to support you.  If you stay in this apartment and continue to use drugs and/or alcohol we will stop paying the rent.

And you check that with continuous drug testing and you hold them accountable. Also you say to the child, “If you’re living in this apartment and you relapse, we will help you get into rehab.”  There is always the option for letting your child know that you will support them when they are ready to get treatment.

Even if you believe you would do better by kicking them out, let them know, that if they want to start on the path to recovery you will help them.  However you need to let them know they cannot use you to continue their habit.  They will try to manipulate you and you need to know how to ward off manipulation, and we have a separate video for that.

However you do not necessarily have to cut you children off completely to be able to support them.

 

Tough love is about

  • Rules
  • Boundaries
  • Support
  • Consequences

3 Most Important Keys to Recovery

The path to healing often takes many routes. But the destination and the focus on that destination is one of the most important parts of recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.  That destination is recovery.   The two important aspects in focusing on recovery is changing an individual’s intent and priorities, and the individual taking responsibility for their lives.

Too many times in the healing process people especially those affected by an individual’s addiction will focus on the actual substance(s) and the stigma that comes with its abuse. If its alcohol, cocaine, heroin or pain killers isn’t so important.  Instead, the friends and family of those living with an addict need to realize that addiction is a disease and like any other disease, the focus should always be the healing, not the preconceived and cultural stigmas that come with any particular addiction.

By focusing on the recovery, individuals can relieve themselves of all the clutter that encompasses the image of a drug addict.  These days, addicts come in all shapes and sizes, from different cultures, economic and social classes.  These maps, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show the prevalence of drug use from around the country.

Addicts are characterized by several negative personality traits. Self-absorption, self-centered, self-serving, self-seeking.  The pattern emphasizes that everything is about them.  During recovery, a person is taught to look outside of themselves and direct their energies to the benefit and healing of others.  This transference of focus puts a person in perspective and gives them a higher duty than the self-destructive practice of drug and alcohol abuse.  These personality characteristics are not unique to any particular drug or substance.

Now even though addicts are taught to think externally, the act of healing and becoming sober has to be for the sole benefit of the individual. Many times, attempts at recovery fail because the addict is trying to recover to save a particular aspect or relationship in his/ her life.  They are trying to save a job, salvage a marriage, a relationship with a child, sibling, parent.  When the drug and alcohol abuser takes steps to healing that are focused externally instead of internally, then failure many times ensues.  Addicts must realize that they must do it for themselves and no one else.  When they take that responsibility and put their focus on their commitment to improving themselves for their own sake, then recovery becomes more successful and long lasting.

The most recent number from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that approximately 23.9 million Americans above the age of 12 has abused some sort of illicit drug in the past 30 days.  Of these 23+ million, roughly only 2.6 million received treatment at some type of specialty facility.  This leaves a large swath of individuals who may need help.

The road to recovery is a tough one and the reduction of relapses is key to maintaining a long lasting recovery.  By taking these three key factors into consideration, the individual and his/her support group can avoid the pit falls that hinder many recovering addicts.