Detox help

DRUG DETOX IS NOT DRUG TREATMENT

Addiction Recovery’s 1st Step

When chronic drug users and alcoholics separate from an addictive substance they often need help coping with withdrawal.  Detox is a popular umbrella term in the lingo of addiction recovery services, but new terms are emerging.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines crisis stabilization as

a direct service that assists with deescalating the severity of a person’s level of distress and/or need for urgent care associated with a substance use disorder.

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Laconia rehab and recovery

Residents of Laconia Drug Rehab Volunteer on Trails

From The Laconia Daily Sun:  When four residents from a local drug rehab facility show up early on a Saturday morning to help the Belknap Range Trail Tenders (BRATTS) rebuild hiking trails on Belknap Mountain, it’s understandable that another volunteer assumes they must be serving court-ordered community service. At first glance, Chris, Dan, A.J., and Alex (they asked that their last names not be used in this article) look like they could be facing trouble. They wear bandanas and ink and urban style Timberland boots, they spit chew, they give off conflicting vibes of hyper-awareness and distractibility. It’s not until you look more closely, into their eyes and smiles, that you see hope and the optimism that trouble is now behind them. Read more

The Addicts Mom

The Drug Addiction Epidemic: Help for Parents

For Parents, the Threat and Reality of Drug Overdose Death

I can Google the April 2015 slaughter of young people, the latest victims in an epidemic that costs us all, and I will come up with the horrific and heartbreaking news stories, the boldly brave statements of grieving parents, the ground­breaking obituaries. Jessica McCassie in New Hampshire, Molly Parks in Maine, Cathleen Melanson Wyman in Massachusetts, and almost surreally and
inevitably, Daniel Francis Montalbano in Florida.

“Victim” of opioid addiction is sort of a misplaced term, since the pain has stopped for the kids who are dead. Real victims of the opioid or prescription painkiller or heroin epidemic are the mothers, fathers, children, friends, and partners who have been exhausted in their ongoing fight against denial, disintegrating hope, stigma, stress, impending doom, insufficient drug detox
services, unpredictable drug treatment outcomes, and now final grief.

Parents, the mothers in particular, find ourselves caught in a constant state of dual powerlessness: we are powerless over the path of a chronic disease and we are powerless over the evolutionary programming of our very DNA.

Parents do not think before snatching a child from the path of an oncoming vehicle; it’s an involuntary, full body, self­disregarding response to threat. But even when a child is on the brink
­­ a three year old hanging his toes over the curb alongside speeding traffic ­­ parents experience that same involuntary, full body, self­disregarding response to impending threat and they grab the child, pulling her back to safety.

In danger or on the brink of danger ­­ it’s all the same to parents.

Those Awkward Contributions from People Who Don’t Get It

Someone just asked me, “Don’t you think most parents of drug addicts are really just trying to help themselves? Trying to get their kid into drug treatment just to alleviate guilt or so the parents can get a good night’s sleep?”

I’m a multi­tasker, so I have multi­responses to that question. Some I vocalize and some I keep to myself. They are:

Maybe. My kind, tempered, diplomatic response, one honed from (inconsistent) practice of meditation and green smoothies and support group attendance.

You’re an a-hole. My quickest response, honed from sleepless nights, deliberate documentation of my child’s tattoos and birthmarks, thighs now molded by late night ice cream and crinkled from
diminishing estrogen, a pockmarked bank account, the chalky taste of Maalox that constantly coats my mouth, and the certainty that you’d never ask that question of a parent who just saved a child from drowning or who just snatched a toddler away from the edge of the deep end.

That question makes me defensive, and I need to look at where or how it threatens my belief system. My self­searching response, honed from 12­step work, constant self­appraisal, learning the benefits of an open mind, and an increasing, although begrudging, awareness that I’ve become a little hostile, impatient with fools, and more than a little isolated in my new­normal whirlwind of constant urgency and adrenaline.

What difference does it make (and why can’t you find just a little compassion to counter the criticism)? My soul­weary response, honed from an ongoing and terrifying fatigue that permeates every cell of my body and mind, a hyper­sensitivity and defensiveness that seem to have settled in my very marrow, an almost desperate craving for comfort and kindness and a quiet hug, and the now certain knowledge that if you don’t “get it” nothing I say can change that.

And finally, Your freedom to ask that question comes from a place of deep blessing that makes me feel joyful for you and yours. My most honest response, honed from the understanding that you don’t get it because you have been blessed with healthy children, that your cold questions or ignorant comments or arrogant lectures spring from an utter lack of experience with my particular brand of heartache, a heartache I would wish on no one. And so I feel joy for you and yours, for the blessing of your inexperience with chronic disease and with the parental agony brought on by a suffering child.

Help for the Moms

“I needed to connect with the primal emotion of a mother’s love and the desperation felt when that love is put under siege by the horror of a child’s addiction,” Barbara Theodosiou explains to John Lavitt of thefix.com www.thefix.com , a recovery­based website that’s a great source for discussion, education, and recovery topics in the news. Barbara is the founder of “The Addict’s Mom” www.theaddictsmom.com the groundbreaking support resource ­­ TAM for short ­­ that offers a safe haven for mothers faced with the nightmare of experience. TAM also offers a little vacation from those “blessed” people, the ones who don’t get it. Its online support groups ­­ there’s one in every state ­­ allow mothers to “share without shame.” For a group in your state go to www.facebook.com/groups/TAM and then add your state to the address (for example, www.facebook.com/groups/TAMNewHampshire).

On The Addict’s Mom website www.theaddictsmom.com , Barbara Theodosiou explains the motivation that led her to create TAM seven years ago. “Deep inside I knew I was not the only mom suffering. I knew there had to be other mothers who were going through the same emotional pain that I was. I wanted to create a place for mothers of addicts to have the freedom to share our pain without feeling the shame that often comes with having a child who is an addict. As the mother of two addicts, it took me four years to realize that I matter, that my life has purpose. I didn’t have to die inside because my sons were addicts. I am learning that I am important ­­ to myself and other people in my life, including my husband and other children.”

Moms go to TAM to find help, and that help morphs into friends which morph into sisters. No lectures or “you shoulds” or “why don’t you justs.” No shame, no blame, no criticism. Just a forum for women learning how to live and cope with the reality that a mother’s heart will be shattered with that one dreaded phone call. Molly Parks’ mom received it. Cathleen Wyman’s and Jessica McCassie’s moms received it. And sadly, this April, the call came for Barbara Theodosiou: Daniel Montalbano was her beloved son.

Reprinted with permission from “Whenweloveanaddict.com”. Copyright 2015. Kay Ryan

The Science of Addiction

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Drug Addiction

How Science Has Revolutionized the Understanding of Drug Addiction

Throughout much of the last century, scientists studying drug abuse labored in the shadows of powerful myths and misconceptions about the nature of addiction. When science began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower. Those views shaped society’s responses to drug abuse, treating it as a moral failing rather than a health problem, which led to an emphasis on punitive rather than preventative and therapeutic actions. Today, thanks to science, our views and our responses to drug abuse have changed dramatically. Groundbreaking discoveries about the brain have revolutionized our understanding of drug addiction, enabling us to respond effectively to the problem.

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior. We have identified many of the biological and environmental factors and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. Scientists use this knowledge to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches that reduce the toll drug abuse takes on individuals, families, and communities.

Drug User Brain Activity image

Despite these advances, many people today do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug abuse. This booklet aims to fill that knowledge gap by providing scientific information about the disease of drug addiction, including the many harmful consequences of drug abuse and the basic approaches that have been developed to prevent and treat the disease. At the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), we believe that increased understanding of the basics of addiction will empower people to make informed choices in their own lives, adopt science-based policies and programs that reduce drug abuse and addiction in their communities, and support scientific research that improves the Nation’s well-being.

Does someone you love suffer from drug addiction? Call (603) 759-2895!

References:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction/preface