Meet Your New Neighbors, OxyContin and Heroin

Back in the ‘70s, heroin use was on high alert.  But, many would say that the problem was more isolated to inner city minorities from major metropolitan areas; not a problem for suburbanites or middle and upper classes.   That has changed - prescription opioid and heroin use has moved in to the suburbs and is prevalent among your neighbors.

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5 Ways to Rethink “The Bottom” for Addiction, Alcoholism, or Substance Use Disorder

Too many myths persist around addiction and substance abuse that would be reprehensible if applied to other chronic diseases.  The idea that we should wait for a loved one struggling with chemical dependency or addiction to “hit bottom” before they can be helped, or inferring or stating that there is "no hope" are perilous statements.  Why don’t we change the conversation about drug addiction or substance use disorder?

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What Do I Need to Know About Co-occurring Disorders?

In the past, someone who abused alcohol or drugs would “go to rehab” with the expectation that they would quit drinking and doing drugs then return home and begin attending 12-Step meetings.  The vast majority resumed their former addiction within a year’s time. The fact of the matter is that many of these people were not simply drinking to excess - they also had a co-occurring disorder.

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He (or She) is in Recovery ... Now What?

Today, Michael Plahn was featured as a guest expert on Shatterproof.org, discussing the need for family involvement to attain successful recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism.  In my practice, I often see family members that are so focused on getting help for their loved ones that they have long forgotten to help themselves.  Now that the loved one is in treatment, this focus can be a double-edged sword; if the families are not equipped for the changes their loved one is experiencing, they could threaten the recovery process.  Here's how they can prevent that from happening ... 

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Breaking the Fall for the High-Functioning Addict

A High-Functioning Addict is the description for an individual who may appear (key word: appear) to have it all together – they’re productive and seem to be managing their life at a high level.  At times these people appear to live an almost idyllic life, on the outside.  Behind the success, however, is what often is later found out to be their secret – that they were living a dual life. It's often denial coupled with fear of the fall from grace that keeps them from seeking recovery - until tragedy occurs.  

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How Families Can Best Help While a Loved One is in Treatment

Getting a loved one to accept help and start treatment for addiction is a critical first step.  Whether it's your son, daughter, parent, or spouse, family involvement remains very important for setting up recovery success.  However, knowing when, where and how to be involved is often confusing.  Since early recovery is an emotionally charged and stressful time for everyone, I’ll keep it simple and offer three suggestions – the three P’s – for family and concerned loved ones to make treatment an effective time for everyone.

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The Invitational Intervention

As an addiction consultant and interventionist, it's no surprise that I am a big fan of interventions.  I have seen drug, alcohol, and behavioral interventions work miracles and restore hope and healing to the lives of hundreds of families who feared they would never see the other side of drug addiction or alcoholism.   There is one approach in particular with which I have seen and experienced the most success - the Invitational Intervention.  Here is what is an Invitational Intervention and why it is my preference.

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5 Key Components to a Successful Drug or Alcohol Intervention

Statistics show that more than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse.  Family and friends suffer along with alcoholics or addicts and often want to intervene.  Invitational interventions are a way for these loved ones to "raise the bottom" of the addicted individual and get them to accept much needed help before they continue to do damage to themselves and their relationships.  Interventions can seem to work miracles, when done properly.  Here are 5 key components to conducting a successful drug or alcohol intervention.  

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