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Archive for August, 2010
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Intervene Acronyms Explained
Friday, August 27th, 2010

Lately we’ve been noticing the use of acronyms in the comments people have been posting here on Intervene.  Some of them we knew (i.e. AA, CA, NA) and some just left us scratching our heads (i.e. IME, CPA, HTH).

So, in an effort to eliminate any confusion and to really make this our community, we need your help – from our newbie readers (welcome!) to our loyal readers (hello, friends!) and everyone in-between.  Please share in the comments section any acronyms that you use or ones that we may have left off.

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Posted by Community Manager Olivia  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Taking Care of Yourself, Writing About Addiction  /  Comments: more

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

An addict wrote to me: I’ve been battling this affliction for the better part of my life. I’m trying again and the task in front of me in daunting, terrifying and hideously familiar. However, I am reminded today that I can get clean, that there is something bigger than myself. If that isn’t a higher power at work, I don’t know what is.

My Reflection: As a mom, I never really understood that I could never understand the pain of the addict, of my son. I was so immersed in my own pain and the trauma of our family that I couldn’t see the other side, what my son must have been feeling. The words above daunting, terrifying and hideously familiar begin to paint the picture of an addict’s life as he faces detox, sobriety and recovery. Compassion – we must stay compassionate. The journey into sobriety is theirs; we can only stay close and love them.

Today’s Promise: I will learn greater compassion for my son the addict. That does not mean that I will enable him or give him money that he could use for drugs. What it does mean is that I’ll love him through his addiction. Home won’t go away. I will not abandon him. I will try to understand his shame, his trauma.

Editor’s Note: To read more from Libby Cataldi, please visit her previous posts Hope and Stay Close.

Posted by Libby Cataldi  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself, Treatment  /  Comments: more

Courage, Change and Acceptance
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

We’ve heard that necessity is the mother of invention and that change emerges when you can’t keep doing something the same way.  Mental balance is sometimes that necessity.  Positive change and acceptance are more than just talking and coping.  It’s not necessarily as complicated as it sounds.  Change in context to acceptance is powerful and it takes courage to break through the destructive patterns that are in the way.  Change is born of courage.  Acceptance is what we give something we know we are powerless with.  Wisdom is knowing that difference.  In a nut shell, that’s the serenity prayer.  It has served those impacted by the actions of an addict as much as it has any addict.

In a 2007 film about addiction, Things We Lost in The Fire, Benicio Del Toro plays a heroin addict so convincingly you might think you’re right there feeling acceptance and compassion for his struggle.  It works both ways.  The film shows an innocent side to addiction as a disease and the miracle of compassion that is attracted when courage and acceptance meet.  After years of shooting heroin, Jerry (Del Toro) endures a brutal detox in the home of his best friend’s widow, Audrey (Halle Berry). 

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Posted by Bill Ford  /  Filed under Addiction, Heroin, Recovery & Relapse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more

Coping With Family Tragedies: Divorce, Addiction & Suicide
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Teenager Chase Block faced a lot at an early age – his parent’s divorce, his mother’s drug addiction and later, her tragic suicide. Rather than wallow in self-pity, Chase wrote a book about his experiences in hopes of helping other teens. While his book offers practical, mature, no-nonsense advice for young people, it has something for parents, too — a unique window into the mind of today’s teens.  For a chance to win a copy of his book Chasing Happiness, please see the end of this post for details.

I was a 13-year-old kid growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, when I decided I wanted to help other kids whose parents were divorcing.  My own folks split when I was 6, and then had other relationships, marriages and divorces. I felt I could help my friends learn what to expect when they were facing similar family shifts.

I decided to write a book of practical tips and advice on how to survive divorce – from a kid’s perspective. The day before I actually began working with an editor on the book, my mom killed herself.

My beautiful, wonderful mom, who was dearly loved by everyone, lost her decades-long battle with mental illness, an addiction to pills, and alcoholism. She took her own life eight years after she and my dad split up. I was shocked and confused – but I didn’t want to forget the book. As horrible as I felt, I knew other kids would go through this stuff too, and maybe my story could help them.

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Posted by Chase Block  /  Filed under Addiction, Family History, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more

Stay Close
Monday, August 2nd, 2010

A mother wrote to me: Things are better at the moment, but we have ups and downs. I am working on the “loving with detachment” issue. I spend hours each day trying to look at where I went wrong as a parent or what I should have done differently. I’ve been to Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and private counseling, but the pain is always there. The best advice I ever received was from my pastor/counselor who told me to, “Keep on telling her you love her and mean it, because you’ll never regret those words.” 

My Reflection: There is a Tibetan expression, “Even if the rope breaks nine times, we must splice it back together a tenth time. Even if ultimately we do fail, at least there will be no feelings of regret.”

The Director at San Patrignano said it a different way, stagli vicino – stay close to him. Loving with detachment was a hard concept for me to understand, but I understood clearly stagli vicino – don’t abandon him, but don’t give him money. This made sense to me and, in the end it worked for our family, for my son.

Today’s Promise: Today I will stay close to my child. Even if he is unlovable and certainly when he is at his worst, I will stay close.

Posted by Libby Cataldi  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child  /  Comments: more


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Welcome to Intervene. We are a community of experts, parents and caring adults concerned about our teens’ alcohol and drug use and have come together to share our insights, inspiration, guidance and help.

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