Safe, effective drug/alcohol treatment

All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Is It My Fault My Loved One is Addicted?

Is It My Fault My Loved One is Addicted?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

I’ll never forget when I told my mother I needed to go to rehab. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and what broke my heart was when she asked- “What have I done that my child has to live like this?”

This is not an uncommon question, so if you find yourself asking it please do not be ashamed. It is one of the most frequently asked questions from family members and close friends when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. A lot of people have a tendency to internalized the struggles that those they love most experience and wonder if they had some part in creating or adding to the issue. A lot of times mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, or even sons and daughters will see the suffering their loved one goes through and ask- is it my fault my loved one is addicted?

In a word- No.

The reality of addition is that any substance use disorder is more powerful than you or them, and likewise out of your control. As hard as that is to hear, it may be the most important thing to remember in the beginning. It can’t be your fault, because it was never up to you.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is just that; a disorder. The root of this issue lies in the individuals thinking, which is why many in the medical world have defined it as a kind of mental health disorder that develops over time. No one can take all the blame for someone developing a disorder like addiction, no matter how hard it is to set aside that mindset.

Of course as we experience hardships we want to find someone to blame or pinpoint a logically explanation that makes sense to us, but the truth is it isn’t that black and white. Searching for a place to put all the fault is not effective or conducive to recovering.

Now some may examine the facts and read them one way, but it isn’t a fair assessment. We can even look at the idea of addiction coming from the perfect storm of nature and nurture.

The Perfect Storm

The ‘perfect storm’ comes from a unique combination of nature and nurture that create just the right atmosphere for an addiction to develop. So many people want to say it is because of generics, while others want to say it is because of the home, upbringing or life-style. The truth is, it is both, so it can’t be the fault of either.

Every human being on this planet is born with a genetic predisposition to addiction. Different DNA designs will promote different susceptibilities to addiction, and depending on the environment the individual is consistently in they may be exposed more or less. There is no precise formula for addiction that includes it being the families fault.

This is only further proven by the fact that substance use disorder impacts all walks of life:

  • Rich or poor
  • The homeless
  • Successful people
  • People with traumatic childhoods
  • People with nurturing childhoods
  • Men and women
  • Young or old
  • Any race
  • Any religion
  • Every culture

So even a parent who wants to blame themselves and say, “well it was my genes passed down and I raised them in this environment, so it must be my fault,” this is still not the case. All of this connects with how we turn to different coping skills. An addicted loved one makes a choice to rely on a substance as a coping skill, and the storm stirs to the point they have launched into a full-blown substance use disorder.

Guilt and Enabling

Many family members and friends will wonder if some action they took at some point pushed their loved on to use drugs. They will wonder if an event in the relationship had such a significant impact that they drove the addiction further. People are crippled by guilt when they think they had some hand in forcing their loved one’s decision, or maybe thinking they did not do enough. This guilt is incredibly counterproductive. It is not your fault because you cannot control how anyone decides to cope.

The sad part is that some addicts will notice their loved one’s guilt, and they will manipulate their family and friends using that guilt to get what they want. Your loved one may even try to justify their behaviors by blaming you, playing on your emotions to rationalize their harmful actions.

This is just one of many symptoms of enabling, but the reason most people give for supporting their loved one’s addiction and enabling their habits is that they feel responsible for the person. People enable addicts to avoid the guilt of ‘abandoning’ them. One of the biggest hurdles that family members and close friends must overcome is letting go and accepting that they have no control of their loved one’s choices.

We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

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Your Own Recovery

Recovery is not just for the individual, it is also for those closest to them. Learning the difference between how to give compassion, love and support vs enabling and minimizing is very important to the addicted loved ones recovery, and also to your own peace of mind. The recovery process for the family and friends means learning more about how it isn’t you fault a relative or companion is addicted. Learning more about the science of addiction and the causes of risk behavior can also take more weight off your shoulders and help you better understand your loved one.

Even if the individual is avoiding or refusing treatment, getting help for yourself may provide you with a better understanding of how to deal with issues that arise. And the better knowledge you have, the better a position you may be in to help.

Having a family member who has suffered can be harder on you than you know. Too many people don’t know how to get the help they need for their loved ones, and too many of our loved ones suffer for too long because they are afraid of the affects that the ones they care about most will face.

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How Do I Know I’m Enabling?

"How Do I Know I'm Enabling?" Dug and Heidi Answer Crucial Recovery Questions

Dug and Heidi McGuirk Answer “How do I know I’m Enabling?”

Enabling is a highly dangerous behavior that often discourages addicts from seeking treatment. Yet many loved ones of addicts struggle with enabling because they do not understand the consequences of their actions.

In a recent video, Dug and Heidi McGuirk, who run the Revolutionary Family program for Palm Healthcare, addressed the crucial topic of enabling. Often loved ones are in denial of their enabling behaviors or are unaware of how damaging enabling is.

Two of the most common questions they receive from loved ones of addicts are:

  • How do I know if I’m enabling?
  • What exactly IS enabling?

Dug and Heidi explain there are two barometers to determine whether or not you are enabling.  First, you must decide the motivation behind your actions. This will help you understand why you are doing what you are doing. Next, you must determine whether your actions are a product of wanting control over the situation.

“You can’t control anybody,” Dug McGuirk says. “You can only control yourself.”

Furthermore, if you are doing the following things, you are enabling:

  • Manipulating an outcome
  • Trying to “keep the peace”
  • Attempting to change someone
  • Trying to prevent a consequence
  • Trying to rescue or bail out

You must commit to stopping your enabling behaviors because ultimately, enabling causes more harm than healing when it comes to helping your addicted loved one.

“The lie we tell ourselves is that if we don’t do what we are doing, our loved ones will die,” Heidi McGuirk says. “Of course, that’s the biggest lie of all. More people die from enabling behaviors than other stuff.”

In the discussion, Dug and Heidi explain the greatest roadblock enablers tackle is determining whether or not their actions comes from a place of love or a place of wanting control.

Most enablers believe their behaviors stem from a place of love. But this could not be further from the truth.

“Enabling is the most unloving thing you can do,” Heidi McGuirk reiterates.

“Without pissing anybody off here, enabling is selfishly motivated, and it’s not about the other person,” Dug McGuirk says.

Instead of love, enabling is more about:

  • Safety
  • Convenience
  • Fear

So how does one stop enabling?

First, you must make the decision to stop, Dug McGuirk affirms.

Next, frame your decisions around two barometers.  Before taking any action, acquire an awareness of your behaviors by reflecting on the following questions.

  • Are you doing what you believe in?
  • What is your motivation?

“You don’t have any control over how someone operates or who they are, but you have control over how you experience them,” Heidi McGuirk says.

After you are aware of your current behaviors, the next step is to make decisions based on what is best for you, not your loved one:

“Once you have that awareness, now you can start making a better decision so step two would be to figure out what you want for you, not for your loved one, [but] for you,”  Dug McGuirk states. “What is it that you want to experience? […] Because if someone in your family is struggling with addiction, they’re always going to have that malady, so the question is how are you going to go through it?”

When it comes to helping a loved one struggling with addiction, set boundaries by asking:

  • How do you want to participate in their addiction?
  • What are you willing to be around for?
  • What are you not willing to be around for?
  • How are you going to experience their addiction?

If you want to read more download our free E-book “What is the Difference Between Helping and Hurting?”

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In the next discussion, Dug and Heidi McGuirk delve deeper into the steps loved ones should take to create clear boundaries. Stay tuned for next week’s post where we will explore the topic of creating boundaries further.  You can also download our checklist to determine whether you are helping or hurting a loved one with an addiction problem.

What questions do you want us to answer next?

If you are currently struggling with any part of the recovery process, please reach out to us for help. Our highly qualified specialists strive to make a recovery possible for everyone. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

6 Warning Signs It’s Time to Change Your Life

6 Warning Signs it’s Time to Change Your Life

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Breaking out of routines, and changing your life can be the hardest thing you ever have to do. However, it can also be the most rewarding.

For most of us, it takes a big epiphany or emotional tragedy to finally change our ways, but the truth is often the signs of changing our lives appear way before those major life events occur. Instead of waiting for some huge sign to shift your ways, why don’t you ask yourself if it is time to change today?

Being stuck in the same career path year after year can be a miserable existence, especially if you have a passion that eats away at your soul. If you find yourself constantly depressed and miserable, now is the time to look within. Make a change, and put yourself first.

 6 Warning Signs it’s Time to Change Your Life:

  1. You Hate Going to Work.
    Hate going to work? Do you feel dread waking up in the mornings? These are all signs that you need to shift the direction of your life. You might be afraid of leaving a place that is secure, but years are going to fly by. Unless you come up with a plan to change your life, you will be stuck exactly where you are in the next few years. Dreading your work life is a sign to reflect on your current passions and career goals.  Now, not tomorrow, is the time to make a change. One of my favorite quotes is “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Write down your ambitions and make a plan to change. It takes time, but each day is a chance to take action.
  1. You Focus Too Much on Past Regrets.
    “If only I would have gone to that college,” or “If only I would have sold my house before the market crashed…” “If only I would have saved more money…” 
    Looking back on past events in life is a major sign of trying to escape the now. It’s normal to reflect on some of the choices you have made in the past, however, keep your emotions in check. Do you take things as a learning experience? Every day is a chance to make the right decisions. Take advantage.
  2. You Are Jealous of Other People’s Success.
    Jealousy is another major sign that you are insecure and discontent with your own life. When we are happy, we want other people to be happy. When you are feeling stuck, you may start to feel jealous of those who are more successful. When that happens, it is time to reflect on the reason for the jealousy. Most likely, your mind is telling you it is time for a change.
  3. You Are Always Exhausted.
    Feeling extremely tired is often a sign of discontentment. You may feel like you are going through the motions, instead of living in the moment. Feeling tired and lethargic all the time often represents the struggle and hardships we are currently facing in our daily life. Instead of admitting defeat, find a way to get back on track. Transform your life by changing yourself from the inside-out.
  4. You Are Easily Overwhelmed.
    If you feel like you are juggling a million things, it could be time to breathe and reflect on what exactly you are doing. Of course, our daily responsibilities can become overwhelming, at times, but if it is a regular occurrence, it could be a sign that you are stifled and are craving change. Feeling antsy may be your body’s way of telling you to take time to really understand your life’s purpose.
  5. You Are Constantly Dreaming of the Future.
    Just like dwelling on past regrets is harmful, dreaming of the future constantly can be a sign of discontentment. Are you constantly thinking of goals you want to achieve, or even the next vacation? Our minds tend to focus on our passions and creativity. If you feel like you are always thinking about the kind of life you really want, rather than the life you have,  perhaps it is time to find a way to make that dream a reality. Change does not happen overnight, but even the smallest step toward change can increase motivation and reduce negativity.

Overall, it is important for us to pay attention to our mind and bodies. They send us signals on what direction to take next so we feel fulfilled. Let go of your past and live in the present moment. In recovery, it is important to recognize what drives you and what makes you feel the most satisfied. . If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

6 Signs of Being Too Dependent

6 Signs of Being Too Dependent

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

It isn’t always easy to see the signs of being too dependent, especially in ourselves, but a lot of us have developed some emotional habits that put us in a position to depend on others in some form or another. They say we all need somebody to lean on… but how much is too much, and how many of us depend on others to the point where we would collapse without them?

These signs are not always easy to read and identify with, because of course we all want to believe we can be independent and strong as an individual, so seeing a reflection in the mirror that tells us we exhibit dependent characteristics is going to bruise the ego a bit.

Every person struggling with independence will one day reach a point when they realize they cannot climb any higher in life without taking a few steps alone, self-discovery. Those of us who battle with dependency issues can apply our dependent nature to all types of things, including:

So here are just 6 signs of being too dependent. Maybe some of these apply to you, and maybe that means it is time to sever some ties, take off the training wheels and find a way without depending on others for happiness, security and purpose.

  1. Can’t make everyday decisions on their own

Now before we get too far into this, appreciate the fact that of course if you’re going to make a major life decision that could alter the course of your future then I’m not giving you grief for talking it over and getting a variety of opinions from family and friends. By all means, crowd source the heavy stuff.

But with being too dependent we are talking about being incapable of making everyday decisions without someone else’s guidance, or every time the decision is made it is motivated by fear instead of logic.

  1. Fear of confrontation  

The fear of confrontation follows along with a lot of the other fears of someone who struggles with being codependent, such as the fear of failure or the fear of making the wrong decisions on their own.

A person who is too dependent frequently does not feel worthy of having an opinion, especially one that differs from the opinion of someone else they feel they need, and to express that opinion seems even more impossible. If you notice yourself holding back on speaking your mind and standing for what you believe in because it might not work with someone else, it is a very real sign of being too dependent.

  1. Fear of failure

People who are too dependent tend to shy away from being exposed and vulnerable because it may cause others to realize how “worthless” they really are.

The fear of being a failure and having your weaknesses put on public display can cause immense anxiety for someone who is too dependent. For people used to depending on others it is easier to avoid failure by not taking initiative or following through with actions. People who are too dependent typically find themselves abandoning their goals before they even get started on the journey.

  1. Cannot be alone

Always expecting the worst is part of being too dependent, and this sense of impending dread often leads them to not feeling competent enough to live their own lives without others.

Being alone means being vulnerable and unprotected, which are both things overly dependent people will try to alleviate with the presence of other people… even if those other people are not good for them.

To someone who is overly dependent it is impossible to comprehend having to cope with whatever life throws at them on their own- so of course people who are too dependent rely on the stability and strength of others to see them through… even if those other people aren’t as stable or as strong as the dependent would believe.

  1. Always seeking approval

This may especially hard for a dependent person to acknowledge, because no one wants to admit they are a people pleaser. One was that people who are too dependent trick themselves into justifying their overly dependent and unhealthy behavior is by adopting the other person’s expectations as their own.

If the person struggling with being dependent “fails”, they assume it is a failure not only to the expectations of the other person but also their own, and thus each failure reinforces the detrimental judgment of self.

Dependent people crave validation and approval. Some would say a dependent person desires approval as desperately as an alcoholic craves a drink, so an alcoholic with a dependent personality in relationships has a lot standing against them.

  1. Lack of Boundaries

In most cases the only boundary the person has is to be included in the relationship they latch onto, and subsequently all other personal boundaries are unsolidified and traversable if it helps them keep their grip on that desired relationship.

This unhealthy and self-depreciating willingness to ignore or alter personal boundaries in order to maintain a relationship creates a vulnerability that some people look to exploit.

Some personality types are happy to find out how much a person is willing to give, then use them for all they have for as long as they can. The needs are never met, and the dependent person will never feel enough- this cycle is terrible and tragic, and so many people who have to rebuild emotionally due to drugs or alcohol tend to become overly dependent in some aspect of their life, putting them in greater danger than they realize.

Overall, becoming independent in any kind of relationship can end up supporting your sobriety exponentially. In some cases, it can lead to relapse. In recovery we learn to be less dependent on people and instead rely on our principles and our actions, along with a spiritual fitness. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

7 Reasons Family Therapy is Important in Rehab

7 Reasons Family Therapy is Important in Rehab

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Learning how to deal with an addict in the family may seem nearly impossible. An addict in the grips of their addiction is not a lovely person in the smallest sense of the word. In fact, many addicts in the grips of their addiction are scary, mean, and not the person you thought you knew and loved.

Many times when an addict goes to rehab their family is still left with the feelings of what it was like when the loved one was in active addiction.  They usually don’t know how to deal with an addict in the family, whether that individual is clean and sober or not. Taking that into consideration, here are 7 reasons family therapy is important in rehab.

  1. Understanding Disease of Addiction

Addiction is far more than a case of bad judgment or running with the wrong crowd. Having an addict in the family means it is important realize that they will keep using drugs, no matter the consequences because of the chemical changes in their brain, not because of poor character.

Family therapy is important in rehab because it educates the family on how addiction affects the individual, so they can better understand that it is a disease, and that an addict in the family doesn’t choose to have an addiction.

  1. Mastering Emotions

Family Therapy is important in rehab because it teaches both the individual and the family how to communicate with their emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Being in treatment and dealing with the affects addiction has had on the family can be a difficult aspect of early recovery.

Family therapy helps to re-establish connections, while allowing the family to progress as a collective in positive coping strategies. Educating both the family and the addict in new ways to process and share their feelings with one another.

  1. Helping VS. Enabling

As family, we always want to help the ones we love, especially when they are struggling. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives the family a better idea as to how to properly provide healthy support.

Enabling is not helping, and it is something anyone with an addict in the family should learn about, because many times when trying to help an addict in the family, parents or siblings end up enabling the addict’s behavior and never directly address the issue. Family therapy is important in rehab because it teaches enablers how to set better boundaries.

  1. Understanding Treatment Plan

Of course when you or someone you love is in treatment, you want to make sure everyone feels confident and informed as to how that treatment plan has been put in place to provide effective transformation.

Another reason that family therapy is important in rehab is to keep the family members up to speed and involved in how the time spent in rehab is being utilized. The more the family knows about the rehab their loved one is in and the way their treatment is being addressed, the more they will know what to expect in times of transition, and how to give support.

  1. The Role of the Family in the Healing Process

The healing process does not end once a person has left the treatment facility. Lasting and fulfilled recovery reaches far beyond the walls of any rehab or residential facility. The role of the family is essential not only during the period in rehab, but in continued recovery.

Family therapy is important in rehab because it provides more information in regards to the treatment plan, and gives a deeper look into how the family contributes to the addict’s recovery once they are outside of rehab. Knowing the importance of continuous work in recovery and how the family can help may have an addict set up for success before they ever leave treatment.

  1. Giving Up Codependency

One part of addiction that many families fail to notice is the problems created by co-dependency, because many family members do not realize that they are in a co-dependent relationship with their addicted loved one, and they get something out of that person’s life-style and behavior.

Sometimes family members don’t realize that an addict’s behavior and need for support can actually provide them with a feeling of being needed or being connected. Depending on someone who desperately depends on us in active addiction can be hard to acknowledge.

Sometimes we feel needed by helping a sick person or by relying on their mood to be happy. Family therapy is important in rehab because it reveals the real dangers behind co-dependency.

  1. Recovery Programs After Treatment

Sometimes people are able to stay clean and sober for a time after treatment without any drastic issues, but this is most common with people who suffer from physical dependence, and not addiction.

For the ‘real deal’ addicts and alcoholics out there, it is typically more than some time in rehab that supports a serious life change. One more thing that shows that family therapy is important in rehab is that it helps to highlight the different ways an individual can remain clean and sober, and helps the family to become familiar with such fellowships.

There are also fellowships in place to support the families of addicts and alcoholics, whether they are actively recovering or not. These support groups are designed to provide some level of guidance and assistance from peers and other families in the same situation.

Too many families are torn apart because of the disease of addiction, and sometimes the family has no idea how they can make an impact that drives improvement. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives not only the individual addict, but also their loved ones, the resources to change for life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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