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Archives March 2012

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Top Ten Enabling Behaviors

28.03.2012 20:10:12

Take a close look at the life of any person struggling with addiction, and you will likely find at least one family member or friend “helping” that person. Somebody making it easier for the addict to continue in the progression of their disease. This behavior is called enabling. The problem is that this form of helping is actually hurting.

So how do you know the difference between helping and enabling? Helping is doing something for another person when they are not capable of doing it for themselves. Enabling, on the other hand, is doing things that the person could and should be doing for him or herself. Enabling behavior makes it easier for an addict to continue drinking or using drugs because the consequences aren’t bad enough to convince him or her to stop.

Following are the top ten actions that fall under the category of enabling.

Warning Signs of Relapse

25.03.2012 16:11:33

When we convince a loved one to accept treatment for an addiction, we may feel a wave of relief. We think that finally the nightmare is over and now life can go back to normal. But we must be careful not to hold unrealistic expectations from treatment. For the addict, and for those who choose to stand by him or her, recovery can be a lifelong battle.

Recovery First, a drug rehab center in Florida, offers the following article to help family members and friends recognize the warning signs of relapse. I have no connection with Recovery First, but I thank them for this informative article.

Experts in the fields of addiction and alcoholism have estimated that as many  as 90% of all people who become addicted to a substance and then abstain will  subsequently relapse at least one time in their life. Furthermore, a large  percentage of those people will fall victim to multiple relapses - each usually  with more disastrous results than the last. Consequently, relapse prevention is  a serious lifelong concern for any person who is in recovery from substance  abuse or alcoholism. This means that recognizing and understanding the warning  signs of relapse is critical for people who are unwilling to risk their sobriety  - and possibly their lives - just to use one more time.

One common myth that only serves to perpetuate relapses is that once a person  has completed an addiction program such as residential inpatient treatment or  intensive outpatient treatment, they have effectively been "cured" of their  addiction or alcoholism. However, this is simply not the case. Post Acute  Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) sets in shortly after detox and can cause a wide  range of symptoms for up to two years. These symptoms include depression,  inability to think clearly or organize thoughts, inability to solve simple  problems, inability to deal with stress, insomnia and severe cravings for drugs  or alcohol. PAWS symptoms cause many in recovery to self-medicate as a form of  relief.

When a person begins having difficulty coping with PAWS symptoms they often  exhibit a series of behaviors that can serve as clear warning signs that a  relapse is imminent without some type of intervention. Recognition of these  behaviors is absolutely vital in order to properly address them: