Recently, one of our viewers asked the following question:
"Why does it seem that people with addictions (drug, alcohol, or any addiction) aren't able to self-soothe?
The truth is there are several reasons for this.
The first reason people with addictions have trouble self-soothing or coping with things is that they're on an emotional roller coaster.
They're alternating between feeling great and feeling terrible.
They're constantly on this treadmill.
A lot of the time, the person is in an actual withdrawal state. If you haven't experienced this before, I want you to take a minute and think about the last time you felt sick. At that moment, while you're lying in bed, you want the misery to end. Think about how well you coped with things when your kids needed something when your boss or work was calling you, asking you for something, think about how you felt inside your head.
I bet your emotional response wasn't as great as it usually would be because when we're in distress,...
Breaking away from someone who has an addiction is an extremely difficult decision to make. I'm going to give you some guidelines that will help you think the situation through strategically.
WHEN to break away
HOW to break away.
This decision and process may be the most difficult thing you've done in your life. The person may firmly resist your efforts. You're going to have so many mixed feelings. You'll likely have guilt about leaving, and maybe you feel like you're their last bridge out there. You may have the belief that if you leave, they will fail.
Maybe you're even still hoping they will turn it around because you see little glimpses of the real them now and then.
Those thoughts will keep sucking you back into the relationship.
When should you break away from someone who has an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or any addiction?
Break away after you've given leaving a lot of thought. It's not a decision you need to make in the heat of the moment or after a...
Can you treat alcoholism with a pill, and what about opiate addiction? The answer to that is kind of, and if you want to find out how all that works, you're in the right place.
Naltrexone comes in two forms. You can take it in medicine form like a pill or take it in a once-a-month injection, and there are pros and cons to doing it either way.
The pros of taking it in pill form are that it's a lot easier to get it that way and a lot less money. The once-a-month injections are kind of obvious. It's only once a month, and there's no remembering to do it. It is a little more difficult to get your hands on. A prescription is needed and ships from a pharmacy in Florida, but it's doable.
It binds to endorphin receptors in your brain, which essentially blocks receptors. These are the same receptors an opioid acts on, like a pain pill or heroin. If you're taking Naltrexone or Vivitrol and you use pain pills or heroin, it will...
I get asked for recommendations on treatment programs at all different levels of care for people wanting to know where to go for treatment. I'm not the greatest at knowing all the best treatment programs around the country.
But, I know what you should look for when doing your research.
What makes an exceptional addiction treatment program?
First and foremost, I think any good program will take the time to listen to the person before the person comes into the program. Not only listen to the person but listen to their family as well.
Every individual has their own specific needs, anxieties, and fears. A good program will take the time to listen to you as an individual, understand what you need, and assure you're a good fit.
Too many programs do something I call "the factory of mental health," where it's similar to an assembly line.
When it comes to addiction, it's even worse than that. You will get responses like, "come back when you're ready, or you're just not willing...
If having an addiction is a disease, why does everyone say the answer is spiritual?
In the world of recovery, there are different factions or groups out there. Every group has different beliefs about what an addiction is and how you fix it.
Some factions of the recovery world believe it is purely a brain illness, and you treat it with medication. Some people think it's a brain illness, but it's also a spiritual abnormality. Then another section of people said, "it's just individuals being bad, and need to act right."
We're going to find the intersection of all those things and find exactly where the crossover is because there's a little truth to each.
One of the first recovery models that had success is the 12-step model. That's why it still exists today.
The 12-step model was born out of a religious model. If you look at the history of AA, which is alcoholics anonymous, you'll know that Bill Wilson, an alcoholic, became interested in a religious...
These are the crucial steps for staying sober, regardless of the recovery plan that you're working on or NOT working on. If you're not doing this, you're working on a relapse.
The point of getting sober is that you have the freedom to choose who you want to be in a relationship with, and who you don't. Being sober is about having freedom. And to be honest, being sober is much, much easier than being an active addiction.
Think about all the time, energy, effort, planning, scheming, hiding, worrying, and feeling guilty. Think of all the time and energy you put into doing all those things in active addiction. Guess what? In sobriety, you don't have to do any of those things.
Make a plan.
You have to plan on how to stay and keep your sobriety. Just like you had to plan out how you would use, get it, get away with it.
The first category in planning for sobriety needs to be the big sort of overall general, how you're going...
We're constantly saying to people trying to overcome an addiction you can't do it yourself. What do you need, what is helpful, what is not, and how can other people support you?
Let's look at what kind of recovery supports are available and what you need to look for. We're also going to identify who will be part of your recovery support network.
On an individual basis, what do you need from the people around you?
There are five categories that you need in a support network. You most likely won't have one person that can do all of these. This is why you need a few different people in your life that serve a few functions.
One of the things you need is someone that can serve as a sounding board.
You need someone you can bounce your thoughts off of and help you sort through stressors and think through problems. Someone that you can talk to freely without feeling judged. The person who does this for you will need to have a few unique characteristics. First and foremost, you have to see...
If you or a loved one are thinking about getting sober and you want to make sure you stay sober, this video is for you! The number one most important first step for relapse prevention is putting these things in place.
These actionable steps will help provide the foundation for maintaining a good long-term recovery.
I recently had a conversation with a lady on a phone consult. She told me how her husband was having a lot of "change talk." He would say he was ready to take all of these first steps to recovery but always fell short. This happens with so many of the clients I see. It's not that the person doesn't mean it necessarily. You can usually tell when someone is genuine about it. They do want this problem to go away. They want to be better and change their ways, but just wanting it isn't enough. You have to take action steps.
The first and most important action step that you need to take is to do all of the things you can think of that would make it hard, If not impossible...
If your addicted loved one has said any of the following 11 statements, you're being gaslit, a form of manipulation. This is part two in my series on gaslighting statements. Here's the link to part one.
If you're not familiar with the term, gaslighting is when someone purposely makes you think you're crazy. It's a common manipulation tactic used when dealing with someone struggling with an addiction. It's their way of deflecting the conversation, the energy, and putting it back on you.
If you are struggling with an addiction, or you're with someone who's struggling, and you feel trapped in the situation, click HERE. There are tons of free addiction recovery resources. There are things on the site for you if you have a loved one that you're trying to help and resources if you're trying to conquer an addiction.
Back to the most common gaslighting statements...
"I have to have that for my anxiety. If you don't let me have that, I'll probably go out and do something worse....
If you have an addicted loved one and hear any of these statements, you are being manipulated.
We're going to look at gaslighting from the loved one's perspective. If you have an addicted loved one and say things like this to you, this is gaslighting.
If you've never heard that term before, it's where someone purposefully makes you feel like you're crazy.
There are a lot of ways this happens. Let's start with like the classic of all classics.
Let's say that you find drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, whatever it is. You confront your loved one with it. They're going to say, "I forgot about that. That's been there forever!" or "That's my friends, it's not even mine!"
That is super classic.
You probably already know that's not true because you probably looked in that spot recently and knew it wasn't there, but they're going to make you doubt your sanity by telling you that. Then you're going to think, well, maybe it is old, and you're going to question. Before you know it,...