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Friday, September 10, 2010

Arm yourself for the battle

Fight ClubImage by Polina Sergeeva via FlickrHow to arm yourself for the battle:
I can not stress how important it is for addicts, and the family members of addicts to become educated on the subject of not only addiction but the type of addiction that you or your family member or friend may be using. Please understand, tough love is not just about shutting this person out of your life, and if you think this will cure them, it wont. Understand, the addict has a new love, a new family, and nothing you can do outside of intervention and treatment will help them.  The only way a true addict feels punished is when they have no access to their new love, the substance they crave. Some people think that if they just shut the addict out of their lives or shun them from the family to teach the addict a lesson. This should be a bottom line in an intervention, not the only thing the family does or the first thing a family should do. Everything you do short of intervention, and treatment is useless to the addict. The only thing an addict gets out of  an old fashioned shunning  is a new excuse to use, and abuse.That doesn't mean you have to have them around  night and day, that simply means take action. The only action that can give them a chance. Get them into treatment ANY WAY YOU CAN. Use all means and methods, trick them, lie, do what you have to do to get them where they need to be to get well. PERIOD.
Recognize what hasn't worked. My father stopped associating with his alcoholic father years prior to his passing. It did NOTHING to stop the man from drinking.
Use ultimatums as your bottom line. This you deliver at an intervention, preferably a professionally orchestrated intervention. It shouldn't be your first line of defense with any addict, because it just simply wont work. Friends of friends or distant family members will tell you to cut the addict off, as if the world were fashioned from only black and white scenarios. We all know this isn't realistic.  So how to do we go after this killer? This destroyer of lives and families?
Your first weapon is to read everything you can get your hands on. Educate yourself, knowing the enemy is half the battle. Symptoms, cause and effects..everything. Leave no resource unsought.

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