By Jeffrey Foote, PhD, Co-founder and Clinical Director at Center for Motivation & Change We are all very aware of how emotionally draining it can be dealing with a child involved in substance abuse. We’re all also aware of how much conflict this leads to in families. Today’s focus? Positive reinforcement as an antidote. As our colleague […]
By Jeffrey Foote, PhD, Co-founder and Clinical Director at Center for Motivation & Change Collaboration matters a lot. You may think we’re talking about collaboration with your child (which is important); but no, we’re talking first about collaboration with your spouse/partner/co-parent. When your child is struggling with substances or other behavior problems, there is often a communication breakdown between the adults, […]
Listening is hard. After all, nobody will ever love your child the way you do. You fed him, changed him, raised him and provided for his every need. What do I wish I had done differently? I wish I had learned how to listen sooner.
Earlier this month, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids was alerted that Urban Outfitters, the national retail store popular with teens, is selling pint glasses, flasks and shot glasses made to look like prescription pill bottles. These products make light of prescription drug misuse and abuse, a dangerous behavior that is responsible for more deaths in […]
The other day a friend said to me, “It seems as if all the people I knew in high school who used drugs were the ones who had trouble coping with their feelings.” As a person in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, I agree with her observation. I had a great amount of anxiety […]
Like so many, my family has been touched by addiction. Our heads constantly spun for years as we tried to find the way to fix the addicts we love so dearly. Cuisinart-head is a term borrowed from a family addictions consultant – it perfectly described my mom’s mentality in the midst of my brother Chris’s […]
As a little girl, Mom and Dad promised I could be anything I wanted — police officer, teacher, journalist — and that no matter what, my life would be a good one if I followed my heart. Hard work, dedication, honest effort and the Golden Rule were required but, according to my folks, a small […]
My son stopped using over two years ago. For seven years he was addicted to drugs and, by the end, was a heroin addict. Today he is drug free and working to put his life back together. These are just some realizations that seem to help me.
As a parent in recovery, I look at my children’s faces every day and I wonder and worry. I wonder, with everything I know and everything I’ve learned, will I be able to save them from the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse? I wonder about the “gene” and the fact that I know there […]
The Partnership is excited to introduce our new blogger, Tom Catton. Tom has been in long-term recovery since October 20, 1971 is the author of The Mindful Addict: A Memoir of the Awakening of a Spirit, which highlights Tom’s relationship with meditation in combating his addictions. Tom is on the advisory board at the Buddhist […]
The language of drug addiction is laced with many terms that seem to be designed to scare everyone. Many words and descriptors of addiction make me cringe “Hitting rock bottom,” is a term I have written about before. Another term that I have recently been exploring and considering is “Tough Love.”
When you are a small child growing up in a home plagued with addiction you get a very distorted picture of what it means to forgive. We do whatever is necessary to survive the emotional rollercoaster we are on, while resentment builds inside of us. When we are old enough to understand the addiction we just want to forget everything that ever happened. It would be great if I could wave a magic wand and erase all those terrible memories. But I have had to live with them.
The two most important things to do are:1) STOP trying to motivate your child by telling her about your feelings, thoughts or reasons for change, such as, “You’re worrying me to death!” “I think you HAVE to go to rehab right from the hospital” or “The best reason for you to stop drinking is for your health.” 2) START asking your child questions that are specially-designed to evoke her own good reasons for change.
What kind of training has the staff had regarding adolescent addiction?
When my son was in a sober high school, the principal was a kind and knowledgeable educator, but he did not have a background in adolescent addiction and was easily manipulated into thinking the kids would voluntarily admit if they or fellow students were using. That didn’t happen. Like teenagers everywhere, not to mention teenage addicts, the kids lied about their own use and covered up for their friends. Staff needs to be educated and trained in adolescent addiction.
Dealing with our daughter’s addiction was by far the most difficult and the most painful thing we have had to navigate together as a couple. In our early years, we were both sort of shell shocked and in my mind I can see the two of us just standing there with our mouths open, asking each other, “What just happened?” It was not good. Neither one of us could believe that one of our kids, to whom we had devoted our adult lives, would have, or could have, headed off in this direction. We lived in denial for a long time.