Drugs, Alcohol, Sex- We Can Do Plenty About Addictions. Seminar Saturday January 9, 2016

shutterstock_54830533Are you feeling out of control, anxious, angry, sad and helpless about someone’s compulsive behavior? Are you baffled that despite all evidence they have a debilitating or embarrassing condition, your loved one continues to harm themselves?

Or perhaps despite your best efforts and intentions, you keep going back to behaviors that do not meet your values, do not reflect the best you? Is what you are doing baffling you, and interfering with being a successful and whole human being?

You can help yourself and your loved one with a few simple techniques. Learn to give yourself a chance at happiness by attending this important and worthwhile seminar.

What: A three hour seminar that addresses compulsive behavior such as drugs and alcohol, sex, work, shopping and gambling.  You can expect safety and an emphasis on confidentiality. The leader, Andy Quinn,  has been working with families with compulsions for 25 years.

Who: All family members and/or those struggling with compulsion are welcome. Trust that you will not have to self-disclose or even state why you are present for the seminar.

When and Where: 8AM- 11AM, Saturday January 9, 2015. The building is 215 East Bay St., Suite 5, Lakeland, FL 33801.

What to expect:  Teaching includes

  • The truth about addictions and compulsions
  • What the recent science says about what works to help people recover from addiction
  • How to get help for yourself or your family member who has an addiction or compulsion
  • How to find a reputable treatment program
  • Plenty of question and answer time

How to Register: The seminar cost $50. Space is limited so RSVP soon. Call/text  Andy 863-683-9600 or email abquinn2010@gmail.com

 

Help for Families of Addicts, Part I

Andy Quinn 2014Just the word “addict” makes us cringe! Then to think that our child or husband may be an addict is certainly unsettling, even devastating. Despite our best efforts at convincing, controlling and cajoling the addict to quit they keep on. And despite all the tragic events and difficulties they just keep on. Truly we are baffled and most of us in the helping professions have been confused and frustrated by trying to help these people.

So what can you do? I tell folks  that if you are going to cure addiction you have to understand the addict. There are a lot of myths about addiction, that if held onto, can actually can contribute to the problem. Even mental health professionals are still working  on outdated models of assisting families and their loved ones. The culture that we live in devalues asking for assistance,  the idea of helping one another.. Having addiction in the family can cause family members to feel shame. These dynamics can cause families to isolate and control, desperately trying to help in ineffective ways. This can lead to increased shame and more acting out by not just the addict but by family members themselves. So misguided, misinformed methods make things worse!

Most of us are going  to be traumatized by the substance using of our loved one. Susan Johnson, an attachment theorist that developed Emotional Focus Therapy, defined trauma  as a psychological wound that leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. This is how spouses and parents of addicts often feel. When human beings are traumatized, physically, emotionally,  mentally, the mind contracts to a form of tunnel vision. Our assessment of the situation is inaccurate and our reaction is off the mark. We will spin  into anxiety  and shame and become controlling and reactive. We are often  reliving  some of the same trauma from our childhood. I would not trust such a mind for solid decision making.

Lenora gardener

This sense of losing  everything important, the trauma, reinforces a need to isolate. The isolation will reinforce, make stronger the anxiety around having substance abuse in the family. Our American culture values “being strong,” and devalues being vulnerable. Paradoxically what we are typically running from is fear…..”what will people say? (when they find out my son is an addict)”  or “what does it feel like to me to have no control?” So in a round about way it takes courage to face the pain, and relief that I do not have  to have all the answers.

Working with professionals and support groups like Al Anon leads to the most important part of helping the addict….getting help for yourself. Research consistently confirms that people are happier when they have loving relationships and talk about their problems. So getting help for yourself stabilizes the mind. Once the mind is stable, it can become more malleable, flexible to entertain new concepts about the nature of addiction. The open mind will also become more intuitive about how to help my particular addict. This openness can also be conducive to loving our addict, a powerful force in getting better.

We learn to soften toward the addict when we understand that their destructive behavior has to do with impaired neurological functioning, that may have been genetic or due to childhood experiences. Family members learn that their loved one is not of sound mind, their mind so impaired that they can not control their use. Families can learn that the addicted person is suffering, and deserves compassion like we all do. So the first step in getting help for our addict is to begin the process of understanding, forgiving and loving our addict.

by Andy Quinn

Don’t let addiction rob you of the health and happiness you deserve!

Take back your life! Every compulsive behavior, from drugs and alcohol to work and sex to focusing on others and overeating, has it’s roots in unmanageable emotion, disconnection from safety, love and intimacy. We can help. While recovery must happen in relationship with other people, it is possible to begin in one-on-one counseling with a compassionate, trained professional.