Tag Archives: Recovery

Can I force my loved one into rehab for their addiction? 

After 10 years of working in the field of addiction treatment I have seen and learned a lot. Every day I receive phone calls from all types of people including many who have a loved one who is spiraling out of control, caught in the cycle of an addiction. An addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs including marijuana. Although now legal in CA and some other states marijuana these days is stronger than ever and the number of reported cases where an individual is delusional, paranoid and hallucinating is skyrocketing. Most people minimize marijuana but let me tell you, the weed these days is no joke. At the end of the day, the substance isn’t really the most important factor. If an individual is using any type of substance and causing damage to their bodies, their families, their work life, the bottom line is that they need professional help. But what do you do if you try talking to this person and desperately try to beg and plead with them to get help but they just wont?

The simple truth is that the individual with the addiction is unlikely to change until they feel some serious pain from their own consequences.

Addicts and any of us for that matter usually don’t want to change until they themselves are faced with the harsh reality that their behavior and choices are beginning to cause them to lose any and all of the relationships, income, possessions, , their job, food and any other resources of value in their life. Most often times the loved ones in their lives can see clearly what is happening and take on all the negative emotions and consequences that the addict should be dealing with themselves.

The only way an addiction treatment center can help someone change is if an individual truly wants to change. They don’t always need to be fully excited about going into treatment, I mean who really dreams about going to rehab but you can help a loved one find their willingness to change and accept help for their drug and alcohol addiction. When a loved one rescues their addict out of the consequences of their addiction the addict really hasn’t felt the full magnitude of their own choices and behavior. You see an addict addict has an impaired brain and their frontal cortex has been damaged. That’s the part of our brain that provides us with the ability to have good judgement. When this is impaired they lose the ability to clearly understand how their addiction is not only ruining their lives but also greatly affecting their loved ones. So where most people can see that getting a DUI and getting arrested will cost substantial time and money and hardship which will likely cause them to make a different choice the next time they are faced with choosing to drink and drive or call an Uber the next time, the addict may minimize the incident if mom or dad is taking out loans to bail their son out of jail and pay for an attorney to help him reduce the penalties associated with the DUI. Consequences and clear boundaries are what make all the difference in the world when it comes to an addict finding their willingness to receive help.

For about the last year I have received a phone call every few months from the same woman with a son who is in his 40’s. She calls frantically looking for help for her son usually after something bad has just happened. She is often exhausted and overwhelmed and has  usually been bringing him food to his house and in pure emotionally agony begging her son to go to a treatment center for help.  He has now been charged with 4 DUI’s and is facing prison and she is beside herself with worry and fear. Yet her son has never called us once to do the over the phone assessment we need to do. The willingness to even talk to a counselor about how he can begin to change is not there. It looks like prison is the likely path for him. The best thing she can do is seek support and help for herself because the worry is literally killing her. This is so so sad because she is suffering so much but she could learn how to step back and focus on taking care of herself instead of putting so much energy into someone who is unwilling to change. This would likely help her son wake up and call us or another treatment center and ask for help. She could simply hand him the number and say I hope you get help and leave the number with him. He is capable of dialing the number. We will answer and all he has to do is say I need help. Some people just won’t ever seek help but that doesn’t mean that 2 people or a whole family have to suffer because 1 person is unwilling to change. Many years ago when I was caught In the codependency cycle myself and my own life was sinking because I was so focused on my significant other who had a raging alcohol addiction that I thought I could change, someone helped me by shining a light on my situation and gave me this analogy. They said, “He’s the Titanic and you are holding on to a sinking ship and he is taking you down with him. You can’t control it. “ At that moment, it clicked for me because at that time I was completely exhausted, emotionally, physically, my work was suffering, my health was suffering and I was completely obsessed to the point of totally neglecting myself in every way. I was going down too and I had to stop or I was going to end up worse off than he was. My happiness was my own responsibility but I was giving all my power away to someone else and not taking responsibility for my own life.

Addicts will take out everyone and everything in their path as long as they are allowed to. So here is where things can change…..

What about having an intervention? Will this work?

Many times per week I also receive phone calls from people who call up saying, “I have a son and our family is going to have an intervention tomorrow, we want to know if you have a bed in your facility?” This is where I want to say “WAIT! STOP RIGHT THERE, Is there a professional leading the intervention?"

Addiction is a highly complicated brain disorder that causes the brain of an addict to become hijacked. Which in turn causes the individual with the addiction to lie cheat steal and focus solely on one thing, getting more of their drug of choice and to stop at nothing until they do. Dealing with an addict requires highly skilled professionals who know that the hell they are doing. It requires a great deal of education and understanding. An intervention done by the family without a professional usually ends in a worse disaster. If you are reading this and considering doing your own intervention….. PLEASE do not do it. Stop and get some professional guidance. What is most likely to happen is a huge family argument and lots of emotions being spilled out all over the place, threats, physical fights and in the end? The addict runs off faster and harder to their first love, their drug of choice to numb the pain and sink deeper into their addiction and isolate themselves from their loved ones ever more than before. Basically a home made intervention done with inexperienced individuals will almost always cause a greater disaster than where you began. This will push your addict deeper into their addiction.

What a trained interventionist provides is a great deal of education and leadership on how to most effectively change the direction of the entire family dynamics and to help the loved ones learn what is enabling the addiction to continue and how to set proper boundaries with the addict . An interventionist will educate and walk you through the process and be there for you every step of the way. An interventionist also provides an emotionally detached person who cannot be manipulated by the addict when it comes times for the actual intervention. They are your quarterback. Don’t do it alone.

When 3 or 4 people who are close to the addict all get on the same page and simultaneously begin to get clear on what is helping and what is harming and start to say no I will no longer help you until you get some help for your addiction, then the addict loses the power to be able to manipulate their loved ones and the addict will begin to become more concerned with human survival than scoring more heroin or running off to the liquor store.

When you let a loved one move into your house and provide them food and money to keep their cell phone working, insurance covered, car payment covered, you are enabling their addiction to survive and thrive. This is harming them. It is not helping them at all.

Most people do not by any means intentionally try to bring harm to their loved one. They usually are providing for their addicts basic human needs while worrying themselves sick, secretly hoping they can control or coerce their loved one into getting help.

All the begging, pleading, criticizing, arguing and tell their loved one how much they need to get help and how hard all of this is and how they are spending all their money on trying to help them. Trying to guilt and shame them into getting help almost never works.

So how do you help a loved one find their willingness to seek help for their addiction? Clear boundaries and follow through works almost every time

Here is a simple statement that you can use for guidance.

I love you and it’s become clear that I cannot help you get past this addiction. You need help from experts who know about your illness. I can no longer provide any help to you financially, emotionally or in any way until you are willing to seek help for your addiction. I am willing to help support you financially and/or emotionally until you decide to seek help. Until then I will no longer provide any help financially and or emotionally and I will no longer allow you to live in my home, buy you food, pay for anything at all for you because it is not helping you and the stress is causing harm to me.

Now, the most important part of speaking these type of words is making 100% sure that you can and will follow through on what you speak. NEVER set a boundary and then allow anyone and especially the person who is addicted to violate the boundary. If you speak it and then don’t follow through you render yourself powerless and the addiction will gain more power over you and your loved one.

Most loved ones need help and support to actually be able to do this. It’s not easy for a parent to actually cut off any type of support and contact with their adult child who is actively destroying their life. It is natural for us all to attach to those we love and it can be excruciatingly difficult to have your adult kid begging for food or money. Excruciatingly painful to kick them out of the house and know that they are living outside in harsh conditions and not feel extreme anxiety and worry about them. These emotions are difficult and you need support from qualified people to get through this. However if you provide your loved one with the choice to either choose help or choose addiction then the choice has become theirs. It is necessary and healthy to give your loved one a choice. Choose to become healthy or choose to stay in addiction. By stepping out of the chaos and taking care of yourself by seeking support and guidance through this extremely complicated time you are helping your loved one find the survival skills within them to fight for their own life. Addiction is no joke and it takes lives every day. The drugs these days are harder and stronger than ever and if you want to help your loved one you need to seek help and put on your own oxygen mask for yourself first. Hand the consequences back to your loved one and let them deal with their life themselves. By helping them pay their bills, provide them food, provide them shelter, hire them an attorney to minimize consequences you are helping them avoid the very crisis they need to wake up and accept help.

It’s National Recovery Month: Here’s What You Need To Know

It’s National Recovery Month - Here’s What You Need To KnowSeptember is National Recovery Month. For addicts and their loved ones, it’s a time to increase awareness and celebrate sobriety. Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors the month in an effort to promote the understanding of substance abuse and mental disorders.

What Is National Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance to educate Americans about how mental health and recovery services help addicts live enriching, healthy lives. It’s also a celebration of those who recover, just as we celebrate those who overcome heart disease and cancer.

The Importance Of Behavioral Health

National Recovery Month reinforces the message that our behavioral health is just as important as our physical health. Just as breast cancer awareness focuses on the importance of mammograms, substance abuse awareness emphasizes that treatment programs can and do work. The evidence is all around us, and September marks a time for public to see it.

Transforming Lives

Each year, thousands of prevention, recovery, and treatment programs participate in sharing success stories. Often unnoticed by the population at large, recovery services have transformed the lives of millions of addicts and their loved ones. Through a series of coordinated events, mental health workers help spread awareness about this process while destigmatizing addiction and substance abuse disorders.

History And Conception

National Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month. Originally, it was a celebration of all those in the field who made sobriety possible. A decade later, the celebration became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month to include those who successfully overcame a substance abuse disorder. In 2011, it was renamed again and now is called National Recovery Month to celebrate everyone involved in the process while emphasizing the importance of behavioral health. This is the celebration’s 27th year.

Organizations That Make It Possible

Recovery Month is a coordinated effort of more than 200 federal, state, and local government organizations, as well as nonprofit groups and associations that are committed to the prevention and treatment of substance and mental abuse disorders. Supporting groups help develop and disseminate teaching materials, awareness initiatives, and event promotion. The planning partners also come up with a theme for each year’s celebration.

Join The Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!

This year, Recovery Month focuses on the holistic effort that drives patient recovery. Substance abuse disorders affect more than just the patient; effects spread to families and loved ones. A success story is often a coordinated effort of a patient, the patient’s families, and their support professionals. This year is a celebration of that systemic effort.

This National Recovery Month, take a few moments to learn about the recovery process through the stories of patients and their families. Celebrate every victory, and realize each new milestone is a step in the lifelong journey of recovery. Click the button below for help on your recovery path.

Recovery Resources

At Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we offer to those who are ready to take the next step to heal. Our services include, but not limited to, drug and alcohol treatment, outpatient rehab treatment, and family education. At Pathways Recovery, we also offer a holistic treatment plan for those who might need a little more assistance in our comfortable and safe drug and alcohol detox center located in a quite and friendly residential area.Contact us today for any questions or to speak with a highly trained member of our staff. The first step starts with a call today for a better tomorrow.

One Day At A Time – What Does It Really Mean?

Surrender, Let Go, Have Faith In What Will Be-Tips For Recovery“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” Maybe you’ve seen this ubiquitous slogan on a bumper sticker, or perhaps, you’ve heard it spoken at a meeting. But, what does “one day at a time” really mean?

In the history of the universe, no one has ever been able to go back in time and change events from the past. Likewise to date, no one has been able to see into the future. Thus, it seems obvious that as human beings, we truly only have today. We need to live in the present.

The Challenge Of Living In The Present For Addicts

Although living for today is a challenge for nearly everyone, it is particularly difficult for addicts. When you are actively using, the overpowering desire to escape reality with drugs or alcohol tears you away from the present and puts you into a place of denial. As the denial builds up, life starts to spin out of control. This makes it impossible to engage in the here and now, and ultimately leads to living life in a crisis mode, again taking you away from reality. Prior to going into rehab, most addicts will hit bottom which can lead to regret, poor self-esteem, depression, and a host of other negative feelings and emotions.

Embracing Recovery And Refocusing On Today

Upon entering rehab, it’s time to reset and reassess your life. An important part of recovery is learning how to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. It’s time to start living life on life’s terms – one day at a time. How can this be done? Here are a few tips to consider:

Tips For Staying Focused On The Present

The following are beneficial strategies to stay focused on the present and take every day one day at a time for those in recovery.

Glasses Focusing-Tips For Staying Focused On The PresentAccept That You Can’t Change Yourself Overnight – Addiction didn’t happen in a day. The journey of recovery is a marathon best taken one day at a time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but do hold yourself accountable. Doing this will help you remain in control and work toward your goals more successfully.

Create a Priority List Each Day – By focusing on and properly organizing your business, personal and family priorities, you can minimize the temptation to get lost in thoughts about your past or future. Remember, an idle mind can serve as a breeding ground for troubles.

Attend Meetings – Listening to others and sharing your personal story in group meetings can help you achieve a level of serenity today. Once you’ve been in recovery for some time and have remained sober, you can help others by becoming a sponsor. Helping others on their road to recovery can further strengthen your sobriety and recovery, all while giving your self-confidence a boost!

Start Your Journey Of Recovery Today

Help is available for your addiction. With the single step of making a call, you can begin the journey of your recovery. Don’t put off your healing for tomorrow. Our addiction specialists are here in the present, to help you today. Call now.

Learn More About Our Drug And Alcohol Programs Near Sacramento

Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery

In the throes of addiction, everything can seem dark…but remember, once you are lost, you can be found. Find your true self, free from addiction with Pathways Recovery.

Our caring and knowledgeable staff is waiting for your call. Contact us today to begin your new life of recovery and healing. We will be with you every step of the way...Call now.Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery.

Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Comes West

Pathways-- Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Comes West -- 08-23-16

Prescription Drug Abuse Finds Western States Unprepared

The epidemic of prescription drug abuse that had struck many regions in the eastern and southern U.S. has now struck with a vengeance in several western states where law enforcement and drug treatment professionals have been unprepared.  In fact the rates of prescription drug abuse has exceeded the levels of prescription drug abuse in some eastern regions where the epidemic first began.

SAMHSA Reports The Highest Prescription Drug Abuse Rates Are Now In The Western United States

According to a recent survey completed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the highest prescription drug abuse rates in the country are now found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.  As an example, in Kentucky where the prescription drug abuse epidemic had its roots 4.5% of people over the age of 12 reportedly abuse prescription drugs, but in Oregon the same segment of the population that reports prescription drug abuse is 6.5%.  Public health official, including drug treatment professionals, and law enforcement officials in some western states have no plan or policy in force to handle the prescription drug epidemic that has now come to their cities and towns.

The rates of prescription drug abuse in southern and eastern states has gone down recently, while the rates of prescription drug abuse has spiked in western states like Washington, Colorado, and Oregon.  According to reports, government officials in these states were unprepared for the spike in prescription drug abuse.  Idaho's drug policy administrator is quoted as saying "We're just now in the beginning stages of grasping the full magnitude" of the prescription drug abuse issue.

Prescription Drug Abuse Problem Starts In Southern California

The increase across the western United States has been mostly fueled by drug dealers who obtain large supplies of drugs from "pill mills" in Southern California and then transport them to other states in the west.  Much like the problem of the early to mid 2000's where addicts and dealers obtained large supplies of prescription drugs in Florida and then transported them to other parts of the East Coast, Southern California is providing the supply to meet the demand in other regions of the west.  While just getting their arms around the methamphetamine problem in their areas, the prescription drug abuse problem crept unnoticed into their cities and towns catching law enforcement officials in the western United States unprepared.

Some Prescription Drug Abuse Policies Are Beginning To Work Out West

Taking a page from their counterparts back east, many western states are beginning to adopt policies that were developed several years ago in states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida.  A crackdown on "pill mills" in Florida has resulted in drastic reduction of prescription drugs on the black market, and education programs across the East and South have resulted in reductions in prescription drug abuse and reductions in overdose deaths attributed to prescription drug abuse.  In Florida, the number of deaths related to prescription drug overdoses has gone down by 17% over the past couple of years.  In West Virginia, the rate of prescription drug abuse in people 12 and over has gone down from 5.9% to 4.8% over the past two years.

Prescription drug abuse continues to be an epidemic in the United States, but education and public awareness campaigns have shown success in the East and in the South.  By adopting many of the policies put in place back east, western states should be able to attack prescription drug abuse in their states.

The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction

Pathways-- The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction -- 08-23-16Proper Nutrition During Drug And Alcohol Detox

The majority of people entering into a drug and alcohol detox program are suffering from poor nutrition which unless corrected will make their drug and alcohol detox harder than it needs to be, and the difficult side effects of withdrawals during drug and alcohol detox are one of the primary causes that people decide to quit their drug and alcohol detox program early and go back to using or drinking.  In fact it is becoming apparent that proper nutrition during drug and alcohol detox can drastically reduce the withdrawal symptoms and therefore allow for a better likelihood that the person undergoing drug and alcohol detox will complete their addiction treatment and continue to pursue a clean and sober lifestyle.

Alcoholic Vitamin Deficiency

Alcoholics, for instance, are typically low on thiamine (Vitamin B1) in their system as a result of their drinking, and if this deficiency is left untreated it can lead to wet brain syndrome.  This lack of thiamine is usually due to a poor diet, damage to the digestive system from drinking, and the fact that alcohol prevents the absorption of thiamine in the brain.  Therefore, it has been shown that providing large doses of thiamine during drug and alcohol detox can prevent the onset of wet brain syndrome, or at least shorten the time that the person needs to suffer the symptoms of wet brain syndrome during their drug and alcohol detox.

Opiate Addiction Nutritional Deficiencies

Opiate users, on the other hand, are known to suffer from a wide variety of nutritional deficiencies due to poor eating habits during their addiction as well as the physical side effects of heavy opiate abuse, and providing vitamins and supplements during drug and alcohol detox has been shown to lessen the withdrawal symptoms during opiate detox.  This is especially true for methadone addicts.  Methadone is one of the harshest forms of drug and alcohol detox and providing a well-balanced diet as wells as nutritional supplements during the drug and alcohol detox has been shown to shorten the duration of the side effects associated with methadone detox and therefore improve the odds that the person will complete their drug and alcohol detox and pursue further addiction treatment to remain clean and sober.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Addiction Through Nutrition

Addiction is a mind, body, and spiritual disease.  If we can reduce the anxiety and stress during drug and alcohol detox through the use of proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements, then the person’s mind will be in a better place to cope with the behavioral changes that will be necessary for pursuing a clean and sober lifestyle after their drug and alcohol detox.  Of course, we also need to bring the body along for the ride during drug and alcohol detox or we are setting ourselves up for failure.  By providing proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements during drug and alcohol detox, we can restore the proper balance to someone’s body chemistry which will reduce many of the physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol detox and therefore improve someone’s overall feeling of well-being.

As for the spiritual side, it is critical that proper counseling be provided during drug and alcohol detox otherwise treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be useless.  Low self-esteem, for instance, is a common factor amongst addicts and alcoholics and it is important to start to identify the issues behind this during drug and alcohol detox.  If the spiritual side is not treated during drug and alcohol detox, then treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be fruitless.

At Pathways, we believe in an holistic approach to addiction recovery, and stress the importance of nutritional rehabilitation in the process.

Naltrexone Alcohol Drug Rehab Assisted Recovery in the Midwest

Pathways-- Naltrexone Alcohol Drug Rehab Assisted Recovery in the Midwest -- 08-23-16One of the latest tools in the fight against opiate dependence and addiction, Naltrexone is being used more and more throughout the Midwest to curb the problem of opiate abuse and dependence that is expanding nationally, and is now reaching the Western United States. This video is a great introduction to Naltrexone and the possibilities that it offers.

Naltrexone breaks the cycle of addiction and gives new hope for alcohol and opiate dependence.

Produced by ARCAmidwest.