Intervene

A blog for parents concerned about their teens alcohol and drug use




Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Condoning a Loved One’s Addiction
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

It is difficult to recognize what acceptance is in this context. I went through this with my family for the past two decades – going back and forth about what it mean to accept that my child has a problem with drugs.

The initial reaction to drug abuse is often resistance and disgust. Parents and teens can dance a pattern of cause, effect and reaction; again and again, not realizing what they are dealing with until it is too late. In doing this, we lose opportunities for early intervention [download the Intervention e-Book]. We are too eager to believe our kid’s half-hearted contrition’s and resume the illusion of “normalcy.”

That’s the trap.  It is important to notice behavior in a teen and consider drug tests (Note: While home drug tests can be unreliable, having a doctor perform a drug test can be a helpful tool; Although be aware that teens find all sorts of ways to beat these tests and even professional tests can be inaccurate) to determine if a positive result should lead to intervention. If the result is oxy’s, heroin, meth, or anything like that, then, YES!  Accept it and map out some solutions. And in the process, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Unfortunately, our communities offer too little assistance and are quick to toss young addicts in jail for their petty drug-related crimes. Drug addiction in anyone’s family is a big cross to bear and helping an addict is not an easy path. Acceptance helps.

Acceptance and courage are old attributes. In life, we all get a chance to test these qualities; like the farmer watching his crops flood alongside an overflowing river.  His first reaction is denial! After accepting the urgency of the condition, the farmer would build sandbag levees. That is acceptance and transformation of agony into  courage and action. A parent building the levees of preparation for intervention or treatment for a teen bitten by addiction is like stepping into a vision that recovery and redemption are entirely possible. Acceptance in that context does not mean condoning drug addiction.

A parent can be tempted to believe that their child has ruined his life, but that person still needs to be accepted and feel hope. Addiction has a path of its own, and can trump what you do, so be prepared.

Have a plan without feeling a need to force it (download the Treatment e-Book). Look hard into the condition you are faced with. Be intentional, but don’t try and be God. When an opportunity arises, you will be ready to take action.

Even with all the money or support in the world, it simply is not a parent’s sole responsibility to solve this problem for their child; your loved one has to choose recovery and believe they can succeed.  At the end of the day, we are often left feeling powerless, but that doesn’t equal “giving up” or “rejecting an ugly condition”; it is a stark recognition of what one does not control. That is what acceptance feels like.

Posted by Bill Ford  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Denial, Finding Treatment, Recovery & Relapse, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more



A new “medication” for treatment of opioid addiction?
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Like me, you may be seeing the headlines from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement late yesterday that an existing medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence has now been approved for the treatment of opioid dependence.  The approval of the medication is for use among adults over the age of 18 and is phrased by the FDA as, “for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.” 

 

This could be a major positive development for families with a young adult dealing with an addiction to prescription pain medications or heroin.  The non-narcotic, non-addictive medication, Vivitrol from the company Alkermes is certain to get the attention of physicians, treatment professionals, patients and their families.  Because addiction is a chronic disease of the human brain, and opioid addiction, in particular, is so often characterized by frequent relapse, this new FDA approval could mean that a person entering treatment for addiction to an opioid would have the benefit of a once-monthly, opioid-blocking medication during treatment and for some period afterward. 

 

My view is that this medication, or any medication of this kind, must be used at the same time with appropriate addiction treatment services, including psychosocial support.  I believe that is consistent with what experts are saying about the emerging field of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).  MAT is an approach to treatment of substance use disorders that combines use of a medication with appropriate treatment services, including counseling and behavioral therapy. 

 

This should come as good news to parents who are at the center of our mission.  Over the past year, The Partnership at Drugfree.org has worked closely with parents and experts in the treatment and recovery field to create Time To Get Help.This new treatment resource and community helps parents and caregivers gain a better understanding of teen alcohol and drug abuse, dependence and addiction; get support from experts and other parents who have been there and understand the challenges and emotions of caring for an addicted child; and find the right treatment for their child and family. 

 

I encourage Intervene readers to take a closer look at Time To Get Help, share it with others and also provide us feedback on how to make this new resource better and more useful in the future.  It absolutely must reflect the needs of families and address all the key areas of concern.  For example, pincluding more information and a deeper understanding of MAT and what the options are?  What are your thoughts on opioid addiction and approaches like MAT? We would love to hear from you.

Posted by Steve Pasierb  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Finding Treatment, Recovery, Recovery & Relapse, Treatment  /  Comments: more



The Scarlet Letter Revisited
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

As a teenager I read  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter. For those of that haven’t read it, the book chronicles the trials and tribulations of Hester Pyrnne, a young woman living in a New England Puritan community during the 18th century.  Hawthorne describes a scene where Hester, who has been accused of adultery, is led from the prison carrying her infant daughter borne of her affair.  A scarlet rag, shaped in the letter “A”, is noticeable against the breast of her gown.  It is the symbol of her sin of adultery — her badge of shame.

This story came flooding back into my mind when my husband, Ed, and I were at a neighborhood barbeque. At the time, our son Alex was in an inpatient rehab program.  One of our neighbors, I’ll call him Joe, cornered me to ask how Alex was doing.  I didn’t know Joe well, but my general impression was that he was a gossiper.  I had heard from another neighbor that Joe was looking for juicy details about Alex’s drug use and his incident with the police.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Pat Aussem  /  Filed under Addiction, Heroin, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  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). 

Read the rest of this entry »

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