Category Archives: Advice
Q: You’re the Wellness Coordinator here at DH. What does that mean?
A: I act as the organizer for groups like our yoga therapy group, which is one of our most popular. We also have mindfulness and meditation which is a huge part of the recovery process in dealing with depression and anxiety – it’s really beneficial. We also introduced a music group which includes the use of music as a therapeutic tool and is highly effective – it’s really fun, too! The clients absolutely adore it.
As they grow up, our daughters are the lights of our lives. However, we can’t control everything. One of the hardest realizations that a parent may have to rationalize is that their little girl, that seemed to have it all together, can grow up to use and abuse drugs or alcohol. Of course, the critical part of this is to make sure we identify and address the substance abuse or addiction issue early. This offers the greatest chance for recovery with the fewest long-term or permanent effects. Regardless, however, it may take time for parents to realize that there is a substance-abuse problem, even if many of the signs are clear to a professional.
Addiction and The Workplace
By some estimates, up to 40 percent of industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries can be attributed to on-the-job alcohol consumption, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Additionally, 21 percent of American workers reported being injured or endangered, having to re-do work or cover for their co-worker or extending their working hours due to a co-worker’s drinking or drug use. Nearly 70 percent of an estimated 22.4 million adult users of illicit drugs are employed either part or full time. Approximately 76 percent of adult heavy drinkers and over 79 percent of adult binge drinkers are also employed part or full time. These percentages equate to approximately 76 million employed adults.
Possibly the most heartbreaking event in a parent’s life is when they confirm that the odd and erratic behavior that their 25 year old son has been exhibiting, turns out to be one of their worst fears – substance abuse. Whether it is illicit drug abuse or alcohol, most parents start to notice a change in their adult child and begin to wonder if substance abuse might be at play. Once addiction is confirmed, the concern shifts from identifying the cause of the behavior to determining the solution.
When individuals go into treatment, their friends, co-workers and loved ones have a natural desire to make contact and be supportive. However, some questions and comments are not helpful and can, in fact, have a detrimental effect on the process of recovery. Although you may only be asking out of concern and want the individual to know you care, you should avoid questions that only serve to peel a scab off a wound that is still in the process of healing.
Recovery is a lifelong process – a concept that every addict or substance abuser learns early on in treatment. It is important to understand this concept and know that the work to stay off of alcohol and drugs of abuse never ends. Even those with decades of sobriety can relapse despite their best efforts. Cravings are, unfortunately, part of the recovery process and often hit at times when they are hardest to manage. However, during treatment, you will have developed skills and coping mechanisms to keep them at bay and avoid relapse.
Addiction and mental health issues represent one of the single largest collective health problems that we, as a society, have to navigate. Despite the great deal of media coverage and interest in these issues, the epidemic is not abating. Indeed, the problem is only getting worse with a staggering rise in overdoses and overdose deaths over the past decade.
Family dynamics often play a big role in the development or worsening of the addictive behavior, but they also have the opportunity to be a part of recovery. Between the two stages however, there is often the hardest time that any family will experience. When family members and friends, having believed they can help their loved one – although sometimes they’re actually doing more damage – finally realize that they can’t help any longer.
It’s a word that many parents of addicts are deathly afraid of – enabler. And, unfortunately, many family members play the role of enabler in an addict’s life. Typically, this role starts off innocuously and most enablers believe that they are doing their loved one a favor – mitigating the consequences of the addictive behavior. In doing so, these loved ones truly believe they are making their relationship with the addict more comfortable or even thinking that they may be removing them from a bad situation with the hopes that they will “see the light.” Indeed, a hallmark of an enabler is believing that they are doing the right thing, often despite outcomes and behaviors that may suggest otherwise.
When evaluating the statistics on substance use, whether it be alcohol, drugs or any other illicit or legal substance that has addictive properties, it can be shocking to see how many people use on a regular basis. And while substance use is certainly a precursor to substance abuse, not everybody who uses, ends up abusing.
Florida is one of the epicenters for drug treatment in the United States. Hundreds upon hundreds of addiction treatment centers have opened, especially, in South Florida in the past several years. With promises of serene walks on the beach, effective treatment and beautiful surroundings, many clients and their families believe that Florida is the ideal place to recover.
To be sure, Florida offers a multitude of benefits, but ultimately a person’s recovery will depend on a number of factors including their willingness to recover, level of support from family and friends and the quality and care provided by the treatment center.