The most effective way for your loved one to manage his illness is through engaging in a recovery program. This includes completion and follow through of all treatment recommendations and attending 12 Step meetings such as AA/NA (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.) It is also necessary the loved one obtain a sponsor in the meetings to help him work the 12 Steps. These steps are necessary because they are the foundation of the lifestyle change that will need to happen for him to truly be comfortable in maintaining a chemical-free lifestyle.
Studies indicate that treatment techniques that foster coping skills, problem-solving skills and social support play a pivotal role in successful recovery. Individualized treatment approaches that emphasize stress management strategies are important in relapse prevention. HALTS is an acronym used in the addiction field that identifies five major stressors that leave recovering individuals vulnerable to relapse. HALTS encourages individuals to monitor and modify their behavior when they become too hungry, angry, lonely, tired, sick.
A healthy, functioning family offers warmth, support, safety and love to its members. Each member of the family needs to have a feeling of belonging/togetherness with the family system. Maintenance functions are survival functions that allow family members to meet basic needs. Families must develop self-determination, or autonomy~personalities are allowed to grow in unique and separate manners. Each member of the family develops a sense of self-worth in healthy families. A spiritual bond is formed within the family based on mutual respect and appreciation. Mistakes are allowed and forgiven, family members are able to be playful and creative with one another. This helps develop a sense of fitting into a 'bigger picture' of life.
AA/NA, Al-Anon and FA are based on the concept of turning one's will and life over to the care of a Higher Power. The person comes to understand the repairing of his life can be done by developing a value system that helps provide guidance, which is the basis of many faith/belief systems. This system outlines the expectations for behaviors/actions and determining actions by comparing choices to that value system. It is important for ongoing recovery efforts that the individual builds this spiritual connection and creates daily rituals through attending AA, church, temple or meditating.
Consider how much time was spent on your loved one's drug use. If drugs are removed from the picture, how much time would now be available to be utilized? It is important that the recovering addict develop new and old interests that bring enjoyment, physical activity and constructive use of time. Unscheduled blocks of time should be avoided initially because it allows time for the recovering individual to reminisce about the old times and to be caught off guard by triggers for old, unsuccessful behaviors. Before leaving treatment, talk with your loved one to see how they intend to separate themself from dysfunctional behavior and to develop new interests. It is unrealistic to think your loved one will lock himself at home and only interact with family and people at meetings. People need the stimulation of other people to challenge views/beliefs and thoughts.
slogans used in Families Anonymous (FA):
One Day at a Time
Let Go and Let God
How Important Is It
Keep It Simple
Just For Today
Live and Let Live
The 3 Cs
I did not cause it
I cannot control it
I cannot cure it
prescription for addicts from Dr. Bob (1937)
thank you Dr. Bob and Bill, and all those who are friends of Bill and the healing centers that continue your amazing work xo