battling addiction

How to Help an Alcoholic Family Member or Friend

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Education, Understanding Addiction

Addictions consume lives of both addicts and those close to them. An addict’s entire existence, as well as that of his family and friends, gravitates towards alcohol, whether it is in an excessive drinking phase, or during their efforts to quit. And it seems like a never-ending cycle of ups and downs, with each falling being more devastating than the previous one. Countless theories and numerous common sense advices don’t help the cause of aiding a loved one to liberate oneself from an addiction. If you try and search the internet, you are likely to find either generic advices (which are not without value, just may not be enough), or a confusing maze of different psychotherapeutic approaches to the problem.

We will here outline some of the possible roots to the predicaments everyone involved in a healing process may encounter. And to do so, we will follow the experience of Claude Steiner, a well-known psychotherapist who explored and treated alcoholism using transactional analysis, and was fairly successful in this endeavor. We recommend his book “Healing Alcoholism”, as a comprehensive yet easy to read literature for all engaged in a process of battling the addiction.

Why Isn’t a Good Will Enough?

Several misconceptions surround alcoholism, and all of them can be equally damaging to a person’s attempts to heal from it. If you are trying to help someone you know fight the addiction, being aware of these wrong beliefs is crucial for the process. Among the most dangerous is an attitude of “It is just a matter of choice, nothing more”. And here is why…

Even though there is a strong motivational effect in the conviction that everything we do is a matter of our own choosing, this needs to be taken with caution. If your loved one is suffering from an addiction, and you believe they can simply decide to quit, this might put a lot of strain to your relationship, and hinder their healing as well. Even alcoholics themselves may fall under this conviction; and it can be devastating to deem oneself as a weak-willed person.

This sort of belief may sound courageous and mature. However, it disregards numerous possible causes and incitements in an intricate web of addiction. There are questions of social pressure, maladaptive habits, biological factors, messages from the Enemy, and many others. An alcoholic is not an alcoholic simply because he or she chose to be. They might be genetically predisposed to an addiction. They might have learned from their fathers that problems are “solved” by drinking oneself to oblivion. Modern age might advertise social drinking as desirable behavior. Being over-worked and trying to establish a career, a family, to be a good friend, and find enough time for a hobby –  all that may push a person into an addiction if they have a predisposition as well. It is never simple, and it is a combination of choice and different influences throughout one’s life. By assuming a “you can choose to quit” attitude, we are pushing an alcoholic into an unrealistic belief that is doomed to backfire, leaving him or her feeling guilty and powerless.

Of course, wanting to change, and being willing to undertake this daunting task, is a necessary prerequisite; however, believing that it will be enough is what can cause more harm than good.

Help is Needed – But Not a Rescue

The fact that an alcoholic may not be able to simply cease his habit by choosing to quit drinking, and countless stories of failures in fighting an addiction off, can confirm an intuitive conclusion that if you know someone who is an alcoholic, they might need all the help they can get. But the help needs to be of the right kind. In the spirit of Claude Steiner’s examination of alcoholism, we will make a difference between helping a loved one and playing the role of a Rescuer. The distinction is crucial, as falling into the game of Alcoholism, and playing the Rescuer may be completely counterproductive.

How to recognize that we are in fact playing the game of Rescue instead of trying to help a loved one? Well, it may not be easy, as admitting to oneself that we got caught in a game may come with self-doubt, feeling guilty, and questioning our own good intentions. However, it is our responsibility to be honest to ourselves and find the right way to help the person who needs it. If we are really trying to help someone, we will be able to determine how much time and effort we’ll invest, and how many attempts we will make. And when we’ll stop and leave it to the person to try and help themselves. It might sound harsh to some; but it is just an adult thing to do.

However, if we actually play a game of Rescue, the situation is completely different. We might feel as if our Victim will be doomed if we leave the scene, as if there is no other way and no other person who will be able to help them. We get trapped in a feeling of an utter responsibility for someone else, and carry the load for them. We are doing most of the work, and most of the effort is on our back. We couldn’t possibly leave them like that, right? Be careful if you catch yourself thinking like this, it might be a warning sign!

Acting as a Rescuer does not help the person we love. We just continue playing according to their (and our own) life script, and rob them of the opportunity to quit all the games, regain control over their lives and actions, and become productive, healthy people. Bare that in mind the next time you catch yourself Rescuing your husband or your friend.

Family Member May Be Struggling with Addiction

The Role of Family in Addiction

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Addiction does not only affect the person addicted to drugs, but, it affects all those connected to the one abusing drugs, including their family members and friends. Their family often experiences a great impact and rippling effect from the abuse as well. Family members might feel shame, guilt or anger because of the other person’s drug use. They are also often left to experience the consequences that come from the family member’s drug use as well. Sometimes those abusing drugs may have isolated themselves from their family, the very people that care the most for them, leaving their family members hurt and confused. Even more, sometimes family members can be enabling the drug abuser by helping him, either directly or indirectly, obtain drugs. Regardless of the situation, family typically plays a tremendous role in the drug abuser’s life and can also be extremely beneficial in aiding in their recovery process. Continue reading “The Role of Family in Addiction”

alcohol the long and winding road

Healing Alcoholism – A Long and Winded Road

Alternative Treatment, Articles, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

The path towards recovery from alcoholism, as any sort of healing, is never easy. And it’s not supposed to be. A quick fix for this sort of problem, as anyone who had encountered addiction knows, never yields solid and durable results. It may even cause more damage than good – the addict and his surrounding faces yet another disappointment when the easy solution doesn’t hold water anymore, and his self-confidence drops, substantiated by examples of failure. Continue reading “Healing Alcoholism — A Long and Winded Road”

A Resort Environment Can be a Bridge to Addiction Recovery

Alternative Treatment, Treatment

A-Resort-Environment-Can-be-a-Bridge-to-Addiction-RecoveryThe right recovery resort may be the key towards successful addiction recovery. Substance abuse is a life altering issue that causes pain and suffering to the user, their family and their friends. The first step towards getting help is admitting there is a problem. After that initial step, picking the right type of treatment for the individual patient is important. Every person is different and will respond to a different type of environment. Pricing and comfort levels are two of the most important considerations when choosing a recovery resort. The right environment could be the answer towards successful addiction recovery.

Why the Right Environment Matters and How it Helps

There are several things to look for when choosing a resort for recovering from addiction. It is very important to have the most comfortable and welcoming environment for anyone who wants to seek treatment. Often times, mentioning treatment brings an extreme picture of a stark white facility that is unappealing and impersonal. However, a recovery resort presents a warm and welcoming environment that eases the fears for those seeking treatment. The following are the essential services leading towards a more fulfilling life:

With two facilities in Thailand, DARA provides cost effective treatment plans for individuals looking forward towards a second chance at life. DARA supports and works with the 12 step recovery program. For those taking the initial step, the First Step Recovery Program is designed to aid people in taking first steps towards recovery. Additionally, clients can choose between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. There are benefits and drawbacks to both and experienced staff at DARA can help patients choose the perfect treatment. DARA is the perfect recovery resort with a well-trained professional staff providing a warm, welcoming environment for addiction recovery.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.


Findings of the 2014 Global Drug Survey

Alternative Treatment, Education

Findings-of-the-2014-Global-Drug-SurveyThe largest and most comprehensive survey of contemporary drug use was conducted in the last two months of 2013. Known as the 2014 Global Drug Survey (GDS2014), it has been published in 8 languages and represents data from over 80,000 respondents. Highlights include the following:

  • Internet access to drugs is increasing, with over 20% respondents from the UK reporting online drug purchases.
  • Alcohol (91%), tobacco (57%), and cannabis (48%) continue to be the top three drugs among consumers.
  • Cocaine and MDMA were voted, respectively, the worst and best value for money.
  • Alcohol was responsible for the largest amount of emergency room visits.
  • Hangovers at work are a concern for respondents, with Ireland leading the pack at 50% describing it as problematic.
  • Heavy consumers of alcohol have skewed perceptions about the frequency and amount they drink in terms of what they believe is normal drinking. Regarding this, the study’s authors suggest that drinkers utilize tools like the drinks meter app, which “provides you with instant feedback on your drinking . . . It compares your drinking against the Drinks Meter community to give unbiased, anonymous feedback.”

The study also produced a “Net Pleasure Index,” which aims to investigate the pros and cons, from a consumer perspective, of different drugs. Respondents were asked to rate each of eleven drugs according to a variety of positive and negative metrics. One of the drugs (GHB/GBL) did not appear in the results, and opiates were conspicuously absent from the list. Heading the list with the highest net-positive effect was MDMA, with LSD a close second.

Users were also polled on the effects of cannabis in terms of various criteria and the contrast between the product they have access to and an idealized cannabis that would only produce desired effects. Restlessness, hangover effects, forgetfulness, anxiety over other people’s judgment, and harm to lungs were the main shortcomings of cannabis products that respondents wished to have mitigated.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.