After working in addiction and recovery treatment for almost 20 years, there are some not-so-pretty truths about the behind-the-scenes of the addiction treatment industry.
I want to help you understand this to be better equipped to pick the right help for you or a loved one.
The Diverse Treatment Options
One of the first things I want you to know is that there are different types of addiction treatment, from counseling to psychiatry, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, sober living, detox, recovery communities, and not-for-profit programs.
The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about what kind of options are out there.
When someone is ready to get help, they jump at whatever option is right in front of them.
I see this scenario play out often, and they usually don't make strategic decisions, which can waste a lot of time and money.
You only get so many shots at this and there are pros and cons to every single option.
I wrote an insider's guide on...
You can't force someone to admit that they have an addiction.
Honestly, the harder you try, the more they will dig in that they don't have an addiction. There are ways to get someone to admit to the issue without trying to force them.
Since I've been in the addiction recovery world for 20+ years, I have witnessed an abundance of denial, and denial is very, very powerful.
There are reasons why people either can't or won't see the issue, but I want to give you five tactics that I use to help you circumvent that denial ego defense mechanism.
Tactic #1 Keep the Conversation Light.
First and foremost, and maybe even most importantly, keep the conversation as casual, light, and short as possible.
Don't try to have a big talk with them because as soon as you start talking seriously, their defenses go up. Wouldn't yours? Their walls are going to go up immediately. If you're casual and comfortable in a conversation, the other person will too.
Tactic #2 Normalize the Addiction.
Try to normalize...
These are seven things that your addicted loved one will say to convince you they don't have a problem. These are just manipulation tactics, which is why I want you to be able to identify them and know what's happening when you hear them.
Your loved one will likely tell you, "I'm not nearly as bad as all those people at the meetings or the treatment center. I don't even do it every day."
I call this--It's not as bad as you're making it to be a manipulation tactic.
This goes hand in hand with the first one. They will probably give you both at the same time.
"You are just so uptight, I don't know why you worry about this so much. You used to drink with me and be fun. This is a gaslighting manipulation technique.
If you want to know how to deal with manipulation tactics, my manipulation guide will cover different types of manipulation. The manipulation guide will give hints and pointers on how to deal with gaslighting.
Is it Borderline Personality Disorder or Addiction?
Borderline personality disorder and substance use disorders frequently occur together, and there's a lot of overlap in symptoms.
How do you pull the pieces apart to see if you're dealing with addiction or borderline personality disorder?
You'll see frantic efforts to avoid reality or imagined abandonment. You're going to see a pattern of intense and unstable emotions. People with a borderline personality disorder often engage in dangerous impulsive acts like binge eating, reckless driving, excessive shopping, unsafe sex, and substance use disorders. You may also see self-harming behaviors and recurrent suicidal ideation. You'll see intense mood swings in someone with borderline personality disorder, and they'll often struggle with feelings of emptiness.
People with BPD may demonstrate inappropriate, very intense anger and sometimes feel disassociated from themselves and the world around...
It can be challenging to prove to your family, loved ones, and friends that you are serious about your recovery especially if you've tried several times before. These are the three most important steps you need to take to prove that you are serious about your recovery.
Don't you hate the dreaded question, "What will be different this time?"
Tip #1- Things you shouldn't say.
These are common statements for people in early recovery to say,
"I just want to put this mess behind me and move forward."
Now on the surface, there doesn't seem to be a lot wrong with that statement. To your family and your loved ones, it sounds like you want to forget every bad thing that happened and move forward without changing anything and never even acknowledging it.
I get why you would want to put it behind you, but most of the time family members think you have to deal with it to make sure it doesn't happen again. A better way to say that same thing would be to say, "You know what, this has been an awful...
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...