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.

   Click for FREE GIFT

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.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

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

5 Ways to Get Help When a Family Member Goes to Rehab

5 Ways to Get Help When a Family Member Goes to Rehab

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

When a family member or loved one decides to go to rehab, it can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders. Whether you help them find treatment, put together an intervention, or they just decide this step is an accomplishment. When a family member or loved one is sick, we all suffer. So when they are healing, doesn’t it make sense that you work to heal too?

Whether you know it now or not, you need help too. When a family member goes to rehab, you should definitely consider how to support them. You should also know how to take better care of yourself. Remember this is not just about them. These are 5 ways to get help when a family member goes to rehab.

  1. Consult a doctor

Consulting with a medical professional about the health aspect of addiction and recovery is very important to helping in the recovery process. If you don’t have a personal family physician it can seem difficult. Try to find a medical professional you feel confident in consulting about the issue.

If you have a family physician be honest and open with discussing the specific drugs that your loved one most frequently abused. Find out if there are serious complications. Find out the warning signs of other health concerns. In general, being aware makes it easier to empathize with a family member and their recovery.

  1. Look into aftercare

When a family member goes to rehab consider looking into aftercare options available to them, either in your area or where ever they are. Once they have completed inpatient treatment, you may want to help them chose an outpatient and other alternative care programs. Aftercare will help keep your family member on a consistent recovery plan during the transition back into the world.

Sometimes an aftercare plan should consist of a sober living facility- halfway house– for your family member. This is beneficial because they are monitored in a recovery community to support their long-term sobriety. They also get help finding support groups and continued therapy.

So how does this help you? Well it may just be as simple as giving you some peace of mind that they will have a safe and controlled environment after rehab. An effective aftercare plan can also help you establish boundaries.

  1. Attend support groups

12 Step groups such as AA and NA are great, and they even have affiliate programs to support people with an addicted family member. Those with friends or loved ones who struggle through terrifying and trying times also have a safe place to fellowship and share.

Some support groups have their own separate 12 Step program of recovery tailored to the family’s recovery. Being able to connect and share experience with other families who can relate in an intimate way to the same fight you are fighting can be an uplifting and gratifying experience. This helps out a lot of family members and friends too when their loved ones are having a hard time staying clean.

  1. Personal or family therapy

Therapy is a powerful tool for anyone. Finding a clinical professional to confide in and work with can be life changing. Therapy isn’t just for people with trauma or mental health, it exists for everyone. Personal therapy can help you better understand the moods you yourself experience, and the contributions that you yourself make to your family member’s recovery.

Family therapy can be very positive for rebuilding these vital relationships. Even if the addict or alcoholic is still in treatment, the rest of the family can attend therapy to address important issues before the loved one comes home. This kind of help can only bring more emotional stability and acceptance.

  1. Attend a family program

Most holistic rehabs offer the opportunity to take part in the recovery of a loved one through a family program. This will put you in direct contact with the care professionals and clinical teams who are working with your family member to develop a plan of recovery.

Family programs can also give your family member or loved one the much needed inspiration to know that they are not alone in this process. It will allow you to participate in events, educational courses, and contribute to the blue print for new patterns in their future.

Getting help isn’t just for the one who is using drugs or drinking. We all need a little help sometimes. Every one of us needs a little support to get through sometimes.

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.

   Click for FREE GIFT

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.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Should Parents Be Penalized for Giving Minors Alcohol?

Should Parents Be Penalized for Giving Minors Alcohol ?

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Growing up, I was not exactly popular when it came to the high school in-crowd. It’s okay; I got over it, I promise.  Nonetheless, I remember hearing about parents who were “totally cool” with having their teenager bring friends over to drink. Their ideology was, if they are going to do it anyway, might as well keep an eye on them, right?  Not exactly…

In fact, the state of Maryland has had enough of parents promoting underage drinking. Just recently, the state released a bill stating any parent caught giving alcohol to underage minors will face heavy fines, even jail time.

The Maryland Senate passed the bill unanimously in an effort to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.  The bill, titled Senate Bill 564, was introduced by Montgomery County Senator Brian Feldman as a response to a recently accident involving high school students, Alex Murk, and Calvin Li. The two teens were tragically killed in a car accident after they had been drinking at a party under parental supervision.

The bill, nicknamed Alex and Calvin’s law, now must pass through the Maryland’s House of Delegates. If passed, parents who host underage drinking parties and provide alcohol to minors will be fined double what was fined prior. The fine would increase from $2,500 to $5,000 maximum and jail time would be a consideration.

“Federal data shows that parents and other adult family members are a leading source of alcohol for U.S. teenagers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program and a registered Maryland lobbyist.

Erickson is a proponent of both Bill 564 and a similar House Bill that also calls for alcohol restrictions related to the fatal crash.

“At minimum, this legislation addresses the supply-side of underage drinking’s supply-and-demand paradigm,” said Erickson. “At maximum, this potentially lifesaving bill will serve as a deterrent to parents’ enabling of unlawful teen drinking and its too often life-changing consequences.”

A 2013 study conducted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that when it came to high school seniors:

  • 42% had consumed alcohol
  • 6% had binge drank
  • 7% had been a passenger in a car driven by someone who had been drinking

The statistics are very daunting when it comes to minors and the access they have to alcohol. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the second most likely group to give alcohol to minors is parents. The most common are non-family members who are of legal age.

Even with all these statistics, parents argue that they are giving alcohol to minors more as a preventative strategy, than as a way to promote irresponsible reckless behavior. After all, if the number one way underage minors gain access to alcohol is outside of the home, one could argue that you might as well try and control the drinking by keeping it in the home.

Do Parents Who Serve Alcohol at Home Raise Responsible Drinkers?

Parents teach their children how to walk, swim, and drive a car. However, should parents also teach their teen how to drink responsibly? It’s this question that results in some parents decided to allow teens to have alcohol under their supervision.

While it may seem like a great idea, the research says otherwise. In fact, a study reveals that teens who drink with adult supervision are actually more likely to develop problems with alcohol than children who are told not to touch the stuff until they are 21.

Be the Example.

Instead of letting children drink in the home, experts suggest that parents lead by example through encouraging moderation. Keep children away from excessive drinking in the home and special occasions. Project a healthy image. By learning how to exemplify healthy behavior, children will understand moderation early on and make better decisions in their own life.

While promoting drinking in the home may seem like a way to prevent risky drinking outside of the home, the truth is it causes more harm than good.  Parents’ approval of underage drinking sends the wrong message to teens. Send the right message. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Child Neglect and Abuse Rises Alongside Drug Addiction

childneglect

Author: Shernide Delva

In Fayetteville, North Carolina, there is a distinct trend of both child abuse and neglect rising along with cases of drug addiction. Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah says the number of neglect cases associated with addicted parents has been hard to ignore.

Just this year, the prosecutor’s office has removed a record-breaking 135 children from homes in Fayette Country. This is five more than last year. Unfortunately, with a remaining two months left in 2015, Harrah expects that number to rise to close to 150.

“As drug addiction increases, we see more parents getting high and their children are left to raise themselves in conditions and environments that are unspeakable,” he said. “There are a lot of animals who live a much better life than a lot of our children.”

 Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Mauzy is all too familiar with the rise in child neglect. He has worked with most of the abuse and neglect petitions in Fayetteville and he says he has seen the number of children removed from homes steadily increase since he joined the office in 2011.

Drugs are one of the biggest factors in his cases, but often not the only factor. Most are “companion cases” where a domestic violence or student truancy case reveals underlying drug problems and neglect.

 “It seems the cases get worse and worse (and) have a worse affect on the kids. They are not clean, they don’t have food, they are suffering from abuse, or there is domestic violence in the home.”

There are tests for drugs and home checks for cleanliness but Mauzy says it is hard to know if a person is going to snap and become violent again. It is an extremely difficult problem to fix. Even as the number of children being removed from homes increases, there still is a number of kids law enforcement does not know about, said Harrah.

“How many are out there right now and we don’t know their situation?” he asked.

Child Neglect Due to Substance Abuse

Often, individuals turn to drug use because they are escaping something they are unwilling to address and resolve in their past. Drugs provide a temporary escape so they feel some sort of relief. An individual may choose to do drugs once a week or once every few weeks and eventually they may find they are coming up with more reasons to use drugs more frequently.

An individual who is drug dependent is usually driven by one thing: getting and using more drugs. Drug addicts can neglect their relationships and responsibilities and give up on the very things they cared most to protect: their children.

Drugs can steal away and warp their thoughts and emotions. Often, addicts will choose drugs over their children. This results in many innocent children who are horribly neglected by substance abusing parents who are unable to care for them, better yet themselves.

Neglect is not just sad. It has horrible impacts on a child’s brain development.  When children experience neglect, they often do not develop the Thinking/Feeling parts of the brain resulting resulting in an underdevelopment of the higher reasoning parts of the brain.

Even worse, a child who experiences both neglect and trauma can even suffer an over-development of the brainstem/midbrain functions which increases levels of anxiety and hyperactivity. They also experience an underdevelopment of the limbic cortical functions which affect problem solving skills. The effects of neglect and abuse on a child can last a lifetime if left untreated.

Do not put your child in a unhealthy situation because of your addiction. Get the help you need today to overcome your addiction. Not just for you, but for your family. 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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