Archive for Legislation

May
07

Addiction: It Is Laundry Time!!!

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Addiction: It Is Laundry Time!!!

Have you ever put off doing your laundry and allowed it to pile up and then you have this sense of overwhelm and you continue to make excuses until one day you finally decide that it is time to do the laundry. This describes what many parents and family members go through when dealing with an addict. Addiction has reached nearly pandemic levels in America and yet like the laundry piling  law makers and others continue to make excuses and let it continue to pile up. It is time that everyone affected by addiction stood up and said it is time to do the laundry. Now you may be asking with all the loads of laundry to do where do we start? The answer is put in the first load and do one load at a time. If we are to cleanse our country of addiction we must first look at the root cause of addiction and that is the reason drugs are so prevalent and readily available in our neighborhoods. One is because there is money to be made another is because so many people are looking for love and acceptance and turn to the drugs and the drug culture because of the lack of love and acceptance they perceive to be receiving.

 Another reason drug and alcohol use is increasing in our society is that those using have not developed the mental acuity to judge and see consequences.  A persons judgmental skills and critical thinking skills develops from the age of 12-22. During this period of time of the neurons of the brain do not connect with the frontal lobes due to drug and alcohol use and abuse the person gets stuck in that mental age for life. Imagine dealing with a an addict at age 25 who has the mental capacity of a 16 year old. This addict may not understand that it is time to do the laundry and to clean up their act as they are still acting out of impulse and not thinking of consequences. The only way to combat this is to do the laundry and make sure you are actively involved in your child’s life. Remember you are not here to be their friend you are here to guide them and develop them.

 When doing our laundry we have a regiment wash, dry, fold, put away. When dealing with an addict you must also have a regiment. Set boundaries, keep boundaries, be loving, take care of yourself first before taking care of the addict. The best thing would be if you never had an addicted child for all those that had influence over your child would have washed them of all their negativity that led to them using drugs.  The child would have been dried and their mindset would have been one of staying away from drugs. The child would have been folded into a group that lifted them and made them feel loved and accepted without the use of drugs. The child would have been put away clean every night and woke up every morning with a sense of purpose. Unfortunately this did not happen and you have an addict as a child so it is time to do the laundry. Read More→

Apr
25

Addiction: Step By Step!!!!

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Addiction: Step By Step!!!

 

 In the process of recovery it is important to not only have the addict working a program but also to have the family of the addict working a program. So many times a mother or father will get so caught up in the child’s addiction that they suffer emotionally and physically. To avoid this it is important to put together a program that allows you to be healthy both mentally and physically for you are of  no value to anyone if you are not healthy.  In many cases it is as simple of working your own 12 step program.

 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Read More→

Addiction: Staying Calm Cool and Collected!!!

  Today I have a lesson learned from my dealing with Verizon Wireless that will translate very nicely for parents dealing with addicted children and how to face the challenges of having an addicted child head on. It all started the other day when my battery for my Droid Razr swelled and began creating issues. As many of us have experienced our lives today often revolve around the cell phone as it has become the main source of connection for us. I went to a Verizon Store only to find out  that it was a third-party dealer for Verizon and they couldn’t help me. I was told go to the service center which I did only t find out it wasn’t a service center but a Verizon Corporate Store. Upon entering I explained the situation and was told well you need to buy a new phone as your phone is no longer in warranty and the fact that I didn’t have insurance on the phone I would have to buy a new phone at the retail price. Upon hearing this I stated calmly there must be something you could do to which the reply was no I can’t call customer service. I called customer service explained the situation and by the end of the phone call I had a new phone at no charge. All I had to do is pay the upgrade fee. The phone is being shipped to me later this week. Now you might ask what does this have to do with dealing with our addicted children. The answers are this when dealing with your addicted child be patient, remain, calm, cool, and collected and you will achieve the desired outcome that you want.  In some cases when seeking treatment you may be told people can not help you and there is nothing they can do. Instead of getting angry take a breath and calmly ask them to search out other alternatives. This may take time however in the long run you can find the assistance you seek to help face the challenges of having an addicted child.

 In dealing with Verizon I thought of the 12 steps and many applied as I accepted there was a problem, the phone had to be fixed. With addiction the person must be fixed. I forgave the man who said he couldn’t assist me, I prayed to GOD to help me keep calm to resolve the problem, I then thanked GOD for resolving the problem. The 12 steps can apply to every aspect of your life as you move forward in a positive direction of reclaiming your power and stepping into your greatness.  It took much self-control to not get angry today at the Verizon Sales Person, however getting angry would not have reached a pleasant solution. Getting angry never serves us and only accelerates the negative aspects of the situation. When dealing with your addict you have the opportunity to step back and breathe and come from a calm, cool, and collected point of view. The addict may be upset when they contact you, they may point fingers, play the blame game, and try to manipulate you however if you step into your power in a calm manner you may deflect the challenge that this contact has created. A hard  thing to do is to say from day one,  when the issue of drug and alcohol use rears its ugly head is to set boundaries like if you don’t stop using you don’t receive the privileges that I have afforded to you. If the problem gets worse and your addict becomes an adult upon them turning 18 you set boundaries that if not followed consequences are enforced. Read More→

Jun
19

Addiction: You Are Not Alone!!!

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Addiction: You Are Not Alone!!!!

 

 As I prepared for the day today I heard this rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone by Barbara Streisand and thought about all the parents who have addicted children. I began to think how you are not alone in your challenge and desire to have your child become clean and sober. I then visited www.addictsmom.com and The Addict’s Mom Facebook page and saw the similarity of patterns of dealing with this cycle of addiction. As I saw some of the troubling stories I also saw many stories of hope dealing with the turn around the addict has made to become clean and sober as they stay on the path or recovery.  The important fact is to realize you are not the only one dealing with this as addiction has become a great health concern in our society.

 Once you accept the fact that your child is an addict and there really isn’t much you can do about it you will be able to move forward in a positive direction to get back on track with your life. The key is to accept the fact that your child is an addict and to understand you are not alone. After accepting the fact that your child is an addict do not try to figure out why or how it happened understand that there are groups you can turn to  in order to get yourself help to cope with this situation. By understanding that the addict made choices that were perhaps brought on by their perception of how they were treated you remove the problem of playing the blame game.  In many cases it is the attitude you bring to the situation that will determine the outcome. Take a step back and evaluate your behavior and see how it is affecting the behavior of those around you. Ask yourself how are my actions serving me in a positive way?  One phrase I always recommend to people is: In the past and up until now I had a problem with (fill in the blank), starting today I will (fill in the blank) to move forward in a positive direction. Read More→

Addiction: Saying Goodbye Gracefully!!!

 

 Today’s blog entry was inspired by this Seals and Krofts song, We May Never Pass This Way Again. As I listened to the lyrics I began to think how important it is to realize that we get one chance to positively impact the circumstances that we are facing and how saying goodbye gracefully plays an integral role in all that we do.  As a parent of an addict you may have had to say goodbye to a child that was called home to GOD or you may have had to let go and let GOD as you have realized that you did all that could. having to bury a child is the hardest thing a parent will have to do. This challenge is magnified when your child was an addict because all types of  guilt comes over you as you wonder what could I have done differently? You begin asking why and you may never find the answer as we never know why, we can surmise that they felt unloved, unaccepted, and lacked self-worth. The key is to say goodbye gracefully by honoring their memory the best way you could by helping other families who are struggling with the challenges of addiction.  When your child is living and still choosing to live the addicted lifestyle all you can do is to say goodbye gracefully telling them you love them however until you are clean I can no longer support you. There comes a time to let go and let god. This takes a lot of courage because the second hardest thing for a parent to do is to separate from their child. In many cases saying goodbye gracefully and allowing things to unfold have proven to be the best as the addict decides to get on a path of recovery and the parent then is able to reunite with the child by being loving and supportive. As a parent it is important to realize that you can guide your child, you can educate your child about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, and you can be their emotionally for the child but despite the greatest efforts they may still use drugs and alcohol. The road your child takes will be mostly determined by the way you handle the 1st incidence of use. It is at this moment when you must commit to saying goodbye gracefully.

Addiction: Tools To Say Goodbye Gracefully!!!!

Mandisa expresses the importance to saying goodbye to the person you used to be in her song  Say Goodbye. When you use music as a tool and you truly internalize the lyrics you can say goodbye gracefully and move in a positive direction of your goals. Read More→

May
22

Addiction: Changing Your Attitude!!!!

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Addiction: Changing Your Attitude!!!

 Today’s blog post was inspired by Whitney Houston’s song, The Greatest Love Of All, as it helped me to shift my attitude and move forward in a positive direction. Whitney Houston was called home to GOD as a result of an overdose. Her beautiful messages delivered in song were a mask for the pain she was suffering. This led me to ask a question what pain are you masking as a result of having an addicted child? I then began to ask what challenges are being heightened because of the attitude you are showing toward the addict?
  Think about all the interactions you have with your addicted and the attitude you displayed when dealing with your child? Did you come from a position of love or a position of anger? Did you come from a position of hope or a position of fear?  When the phone rings and it is your addicted child do you cringe and say now what or do you take a deep breath and say I will be loving and supportive? When you see their name in an email do you say oh no delete or do you read and respond in a caring and loving way? The energy and attitude that you display will be the energy that you get back.  I know it is hard to do what Beverly Buncher suggests and Be a Loving Mirror. In past blog entries we touched on forgiveness, which generally leads to having a better attitude when dealing with the addict. Read More→

Addiction: Love Is Thicker Than Water!!!

 

 This song was written and performed by Andy Gibb, who died of what appeared to be a heart attack on March 10, 1988. It was believed that his abuse of cocaine led to his heart failing. Andy Gibb was 30 years old. This got me to thinking when are we as a nation really going to take on the issue of drug abuse? When are we going to stop glorifying celebrities like Lindsey Lohan and those who continue to make poor choices?  When  are we going to begin to focus on prevention? If your child never started using the problem of his or her addiction would not be interfering with your life and having a negative effect on your other family members.

 Andy Gibb wrote about love however as you read interviews that he conducted you would see that he didn’t love himself and felt his accomplishments were minor. This could explain his turning to cocaine for like most addicts they turn to drugs because of their lack of self-worth. They do not believe they are deserving of the best and thus they get into a self-destruction  mode and one day they are gone. May parents reading this blog know to well the feeling of loss as they have experienced it first hand and when they hear these songs they bring memories of better times.  Tracking the life of an addict that is still deep into their addiction  brings many answers but also leaves many questions?

 Parents who are dealing with an addict know this cycle all too well and do their best to break the cycle. The question is how did this start? The answer is that your child was lacking a sense of belonging and turning to drugs gave him or her what they were seeking. The next question is why did it continue? It continued because they didn’t feel a need to stop and did not realize the problems their drug use was creating. In some cases what a parent thought was loving became enabling and thus never forced the child to fend for themselves. In some cases it was just the simple fact that it was easier to blame everyone else instead of being accountable for their actions. The question remains how do you break the cycle? The answer is you do not break the cycle the addict must break the cycle. When the addict is serious about recovery then and only then is progress made. You can not guilt your child into getting better, you can not continue to through money at the problem because that doesn’t help, you can’s make excuses as that worsens the problem. The best thing you as a parent can do is to set boundaries and keep to the boundaries. The worst case scenario is that you get that knock on the door saying your child is dead can you identify the body. This happens everyday in America and it is sad because in many cases the loss could have been prevented. The best case scenario is that the addict decides that his poor choices as a result of using no longer serve him or her and they make an effort to stop and get sober and remain sober. Read More→

Addiction: Why The War On Drugs Is Failing?

 This quote by Carl Jung explains why The War On Drugs Is Failing. It is that simple what you resist persists and tends to become a controlling factor.

     The war on drugs is failing because it is actually a war on society and people for many people in power do not want to solve the problem of drug abuse as it has become a big cash cow for them. Just look at this paradigm we are spending millions of dollars in Afghanistan to protect poppy fields which lead to drug production which leads to the destruction of people and thus allows those who wish to exploit others to stay in power. We are so busy fighting the war on drugs that we continue to create resistance and thus drug abuse persists. Think about it  when you found out your son or daughter  was an addict, what was the first thing you said?  You probably expressed a disdain for you were fearful and you began to ask what did I do wrong? The answer is simple you didn’t do anything wrong. If someone wants to use they are going to use. If someone wants to stop using they will stop using, however as long as drugs and alcohol are readily available there will always be abuse. By declaring war on anything you only make the situation worse. Read More→

Addiction: Spirituality A Path To Prevention And Recovery

Many studies published in The National Journal On Alcohol and Drug Abuse show that  having some form of spirituality in your life can lessen the chances of addiction and even prevent drug use in the first place. I have found that when you bring up the concept of spirituality and being connected to source that many times people are skeptical because they do not understand the concept. We are not speaking hocus pocus here we are speaking about recognizing your divinity and the divinity of others and being a lifter and an encourager. For parents it starts from the moment the baby comes out of the womb as you now have a responsibility to be a nurturer and a protector. When you child shows an interest is something such as art, drama, music, or sports, do not tell them it cam not be done tell them to do their best and regardless of what happens you will be there to support them emotionally and spiritually. Most children are searching for love and acceptance without judgement and they will find it somewhere. If you have rituals in your home like waking up early and preparing for the day by listening to meditative music or exercising than this should be instilled at a young age. The child may not like it or understand it, however after a while if presented properly they will come to accept it.

SI: The K... In the movie The New Karate Kid, The Character Dre Parker is frustrated by the retentiveness of taking his jacket on and off and throwing it on the floor and hanging it up and Mr.Hong then shows him what each motion means and as they journey through the training Dre begins to understand the idea of focus and begins to accept the teachings on Mr.Hong. There are many emotional scenes in this movie and one can see the trials and tribulations that are overcome with spiritual teachings. I know life is not a movie however in life when you begin to understand spirituality you begin to see that you can prevent certain issues and if those issues arise you can recover from them. Read More→

Addiction: Obama And Romney We Have A Problem!!

As the elections approaches in November I begin to ponder which one of these guys is going to truly address a major issue that is plaguing our country and that is the issue of addiction. They both claim to have a healthcare plan, however will there plan fund prevention programs? Prevention Programs such as Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education have proven to work as it reduces the occurences of drug and alcohol use amongst children. Will their plan fund treatment and make it easily accessible when it is needed. Many parents are not in a position to spend $20,000 for a 30 day program and thus try to solve the issue of addiction on their own, when if a third-party arbitrator could be involved it would help. Read More→

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