"ONCE A YEAR,
GO SOMEPLACE YOU'VE
NEVER BEEN BEFORE."
When does it become a problem?
The myth is that I can experiment WITH an addictive substance such as narcotics and stop when I want. Drugs today are designed so that a person becomes addicted after first use.
But to answer the question when does it become a problem?
When the thought of using is in your mind every day and when find yourself using more and more alone
How it starts is expressed in the following slide:
For some types of substances such as Nyope, Heroin, Crack cocaine (rocks) and Crystal-meth (tik) full blown addiction happens within a few weeks.
So called party drugs like Cocaine and Katamphetamine (KAT) takes only a little longer.
These days, the contentious gateway drugs such as marijuana are often laced with heroine. They are thus designed to secure a return to the same dealer.
As a parent what can I look out for?
Subtle symptoms of chemical abuse
Change in friends
Change in dress and appearance
Change in activities and interests
Drop in school marks
Changes in behavior at home
Staying out all night
Use of eye drops
Dropping out of participation at sport
Not so subtle symptoms of chemical abuse
Deep depression and ours of extra sleep
Extreme withdrawal from family
Increased unexplained absenteeism from school.
Phone calls that produce frantic reactions (cheap drugs available or threats because drugs have not been paid for)
Appearance of new friends
Attempting to change the subject when challenged
Money problems extreme loss of weight
Listening to music with pro-drug lyrics
Burnt holes in clothes (from heated drugs that spill on to clothes.)
Acting disconnected or spaced out
Definite indicators of drug abuse
Vials, small bags, mirrors, pipes, tubes, razor blades, foil lighters, matches, empty matchboxes, soft drink cans converted into pipes in the bedroom.
Possession of large amounts of money (possible selling)
Needle marks in the arms or suddenly wearing clothing to hide possible needle marks.
Trouble with the police
Uncontrolled outbursts of laughter for no apparent reason.
Dilated or pin point pupils.
Repeatedly blood shot eyes.
Mention of suicide.
Medicine disappearing from cupboard.
Defending the rights of people to use drugs.
Time out with people who are known to be alcohol and drug abusers.
Puffy or droopy eyelids that partially hang over iris.
How do I help my addict?
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Let’s face it—life with an addict is hard. No matter what the outward addiction is, the underlying dynamic of an addict’s life is one of chaos. Addicts who continue to be involved with their own destructive behaviors typically experience many emotional highs and lows, creating a virtual roller coaster of “pink clouds” followed by severe despondency, remorse, and self-loathing, with every conceivable emotion in between. Unfortunately, if you love an addict, you are likely to experience these highs and lows as well. For example, many people with addictive behaviors develop health issues over time for a variety of reasons. These could be the result of either the physical strain of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, the misuse of toxic substances such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes; or the enduring stress they experience from feeling the shame of engaging in such dysfunctional activities as compulsive over-spending, gambling, or Internet addiction. In many cases, financial difficulties also arise, which can have far-reaching implications. When addicts feed their addiction, they may forget to feed their families. They may also overlook important financial concerns such as paying the rent or the mortgage. Budgets fly out the window, over-spending often becomes the norm, and monetary mayhem ensues. For someone who cares for an addict, this chaos can feel as though it is ruining your life.
The Dynamics of Addiction the Beginning Stages: The Start of denial In the beginning stages of addiction, addicts tend to dabble in their dysfunctional behaviours without being aware or concerned about the implications of potential addiction. Here are some typical examples:
Greg starts his drug use by doing only a few lines of his friend’s cocaine occasionally at parties. “Nothing to worry about,” he assures himself and anyone else who dares to comment about it. Each time he indulges in cocaine, he likes it even more.
Janet’s over-spending starts with a number of small shopping sprees that gradually begin to take the shape of more and more bags of items just sitting, unpacked, in the corner of her bedroom. She somehow feels more secure just having them there and tells herself she will get around to organizing them soon. Meanwhile, the shopping continues.
Don’s gambling begins innocently as weekly poker nights with his buddies. He greatly enjoys the camaraderie and loves the feeling of winning, but he is becoming increasingly aware that he does not at all enjoy losing money.
At the initial stages of her eating disorder, Lisa is happy to discover that she can eat what she wants without having to be concerned about gaining weight. She feels pleased that she has found a fool proof way to keep her overeating under control; all she has to do is throw up after each meal, which seems like a fair exchange.
The progressive Stages: The addiction Worsens The nature of addiction is that it is progressive. This means that the symptoms worsen as the addictive behaviours are pursued with increasing frequency.
As time goes on, Greg has progressed from being a social cocaine user; he now indulges every weekend, and sometimes during the week as well. Even though he is starting to feel a little concerned about it, he would never admit that to anyone.
Janet’s shopping becomes increasingly problematic as new shoes, clothing, and accessories continue to fill up much of her closet space. Four $1,000 outfits are now hanging there, unworn, with their tags still attached.
Don has graduated from weekly poker nights to full weekends spent at the local casino. He is aware that his losses far outweigh his wins as he tries to hide his dwindling cash reserves, as well as his absences from home, from his wife. Yet he is compelled to continue, telling himself that next time he might win.
Lisa now binges several times a week and always looks forward to the time when she can purge because the overeating has become worse: food has become her best friend, providing the comfort she craves in her life. Although she is finding that throwing up this often causes a burning sensation in her throat and in her stomach, she attempts to convince herself that being able to eat what she wants without gaining weight is still the way to go. The fact that she has recently gone down a couple of dress sizes encourages her to continue her addictive behaviour.
The advanced Stages: consequences abound by now, Greg has increased his cocaine intake substantially. He doesn’t wait for parties anymore; instead, his daily usage has increased and he has learned to hide it from his family, friends, and colleagues at work. He sometimes wonders if any of his drug buddies use as much cocaine as he does, but doesn’t ask anyone for fear of being discovered. Because he is rarely hungry when he is high on coke, he has undergone a noticeable weight loss. His metabolism has also been damaged by the amount of the drug he keeps putting in his system. He feels nervous and anxious much of the time, and his family is noticing that he is much more short-tempered than he used to be. Greg is beginning to worry that other people know about his “secret” cocaine use.
Janet has now maxed out all of her major credit cards. She often finds herself awake at 3 a.m., worrying that her husband will find out. Although she is still functioning well at work, an obsessive fear of losing her job occupies many of her waking thoughts; without an income, Janet knows she will not be able to pay off her credit cards or continue her beloved buying excursions. She understands that she needs to stop spending but can’t imagine her life without shopping. She has no idea whom she can talk to about this or where she can turn for help, so she keeps all of her fears to herself. And she continues to shop.
Don can’t seem to stop gambling. He is totally consumed with thoughts of his next trip to the casino. He obsessively goes over and over mistakes he feels he made at the tables the last time he was there, and lives with the constant compulsion to return as soon as possible. He knows he will do whatever it takes to continue his consistent gambling, even if it means lying to his family and losing money that isn’t really his to wager in the first place. He is becoming aware that he is on a downward spiral that could cost him everything.
Lisa’s troubles are at an all-time high: she is now bingeing and purging several times a day. She is having problems with occasional bleeding in the lining of her oesophagus, her stomach is continually churning, and the enamel on her teeth is starting to erode. Because vomiting has become difficult for her at this point, she tries using laxatives instead, which worsen her digestive system even more. On some days she even gives up her beloved food entirely because of the abdominal pain she experiences whenever she eats. As a result, she has lost a fair bit of weight and people are starting to comment about it.
If you’re like most people who find themselves in relationships with addicts, you probably don’t talk in depth with others about how you are feeling or what you are going through. You may be taking unnecessary responsibility for your loved one’s behavior, feeling as if it is somehow your fault, and as a result you may be experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse. You convince yourself that the last thing you want is for anyone to know what is happening in your life, believing that no one would be able to understand. This can create a sense of isolation for you, because you may not realize there are other people in the same predicaments, experiencing exactly the same feelings you are. Chances are you’ve tried many ways to change the situation, attempting to get some respite from the chaos in your life. The following are some of the most common tendencies of people who love an addict. Be aware of how many may apply to you. You are sick and tired of the pain and/or abuse in your relationships.
You yell at the addicted person in your life, threatening to leave the relationship if the problem behaviour doesn’t stop. You complain to your friends and family members about this person even though you know that they don’t know how to help you. You protect the addict by making excuses for the behaviour. You make appointments with doctors and therapists for your addicted loved one, only to find that the person is unwilling to go. You try to convince yourself that the problem really isn’t that bad. You feel sorry for yourself, baffled about why this is happening to you and what to do about it. In addition, you may think the other person’s behaviour is your doing because you have not found a way to make the turmoil stop. Perhaps you feel like a bad parent or spouse because you think you should be able to do something to end this terrible situation. To make matters worse, your addicted loved one may actually be telling you that you are to blame for his or her addictive behaviour!
“It’s Not That Bad…Is It?” If you have a practicing addict in your life, you may already be an expert in convincing yourself and others that the situation in which you find yourself isn’t really that bad. You may have denial down to a fine art—in fact, this very denial may be the only way you can justify continuing to stay in the relationship.
You probably have your moments of despair, asking yourself why this is happening to you. Or you may have already become used to the pain and unpredictability, the feeling of waiting anxiously for your precarious house of cards to come tumbling down yet again. You likely live in a whirlwind of emotions ranging from fear, frustration, and hopelessness when things are at their worst, to relief, confidence, and a misguided optimism that all will be well when things are at their best. It’s even possible that you think it is normal to live this way—perhaps you believe this is how life is for everybody. You may already be so used to the lies, the deception, the manipulation, and the self-absorption of the practicing addict that living this way has become, in effect, your “comfort zone.”
Yes, It Really Is That Bad! But no one should have to live like that. Although the details of your experience will undoubtedly differ from someone else’s, the emotions you feel are often exactly the same emotions that other people feel when they are dealing with a loved one’s addiction.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
How many stages of addiction treatment are there?
Most addiction treatment facilities will have two stages of treatment, Primary Care and Secondary Care.
Do I have to go to both Primary and Secondary Care?
Statistics reveal that 97% of persons who have only completed primary care relapse within the first two to three weeks. Completing primary, secondary and followed up with tertiary/halfway house has a much greater success rate. Long term is the answer followed up by attending support groups.
What if I have been to rehab in the past?
If you have been to an addiction treatment facility in the past, you may be eligible for admission.
Some people need addiction rehab more than once but most of the time a person needs support, structure and a safe sober environment to live and practice the tools of Recovery.
HEALING CHOICES SOBER LIVING HOME
Period of stay - minimum of three months but one month will be considered but not recommended.
Healing Choices is the first of its kind, operating on a three phase Re-Integration program. We are designed to accommodate a range of clients while maintaining our high standards.
Healing Choices provides a supportive and comfortable base from which people can live comfortably in a safe environment and start to take their first baby steps back to normal life.
We are a place of support and guidance with weekly house meetings, daily interactive group sessions, morning devotions, and personalized mentorship.
Primary Care Phase I
28 days – 3 months
If a person comes to us from active addiction we may send him to a clinic of our choice to be detoxed (this could take anywhere between 7 to 10 days. The addiction consultant will do an assessment (extra costs are applicable if detox is necessary).If a person has been to rehab in the past but has ‘slipped’, necessary structures for long-term recovery will be recommended.
Should a detox clinic is not be necessary you will still be required to see a medical practitioner of our choice for a medical examination. This is in order to provide medical treatment required to detox your body, build up your strength. Once detox is completed the patient will learn the dynamics of the secondary phase and participate in all the activities.
Secondary Care Phase II
3 months – 6 months
Once phase I care has been completed, a person may progress to phase II (secondary care) addiction program.
The focus of phase II addiction treatment is vast and the majority of focus is helping the client to understand the behaviors that takes the person back to active addiction. It is also a place where a recovering person can practice the tools they need to gain control of their lives. This is achieved through individual and group interactive therapy sessions, by implementing the 12-step Celebrate Recovery program, and by encouraging clients to participate in normal, everyday activities.
The reintegration care Phase III
Once phase II is completed a person is either employed or is busy with our Map4biznis career build tutorship program.
What if a person has already completed secondary care and wants admission into the house as a phase III client?
Subject to assessment you will be welcomed into the house.
Our initial focus is for a resident to start engaging in our program by establishing daily recovery structures, habits and routines. There are basic expectations such as being up by 7:00am Monday till Friday, attending in-house meetings, actively engaging in work/studying or researching opportunities for these or other existential activities, completing individual and communal duties and attending individual and group meetings.
Participating in the morning devotions and the interactive group meetings, nurturing either your own herb or vegetable garden and followed up by step work, map4life work and interactive home work in the afternoons. Evening house meetings such as the House cleaning meeting, the Celebrate recovery meeting, the Map4life group meetings and Sunday Church.
Laundry day for bedding
Tea, coffee, sugar and milk (throughout the day)
Breakfast (porridge/cereals and toast)
Dinner a wholesome home cooked meal
Swimming pool (Summer)
Wi-Fi daily time limit per client
Electricity and water
Other facilities are shared such as:
bathroom, shower, kitchen, lounge, and outside surroundings.
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