Man and woman practicing communication skills in recovery.

Communication Tips to Practice With a Recovering Addict

When discussing relationships of any nature, there are two key components to establishing a solid personal foundation while simultaneously building the relationship into a longstanding
bond. These components are trust and communication.

In order to enter into a relationship with someone, whether it be a child and parent or choosing a sober support, there must be a fundamental level of trust to ensure that you will not be hurt by the other individual.

Once the relationship is established, effective and honest communication allows the relationship to work through difficult situations and build depth by discussing any and all topics.

This constant dialogue allows those within the relationship to share various emotional experiences that enables the relationship to grow and flourish. But do not be mistaken, communication can be difficult at times, and even result in disagreements and conflict.

However, this is when the first component of trust helps both people in the relationship work past the issues, trusting that the other person has their best interests at heart.

As a loved one to a recovering addict, one of the top questions on your mind is probably: How do I effectively communicate with the recovering addict in my life?

If there is trust between yourself and your addicted loved one, then establishing and maintaining an open channel of communication requires patience and persistence.

Why Communication in Substance Abuse Recovery Matters

As previously stated, communication works to build a relationship, effectively address misunderstandings, and encourage both parties to remain open and honest.

When dealing with an addicted loved one, consistent communication decreases feelings of isolation in both the addict and yourself. By actively initiating daily communication, regardless of the topic or the purpose, you are establishing a habit of constant dialogue that will inevitably lead to important interactions and disclosure of feelings.

Be prepared to avoid verbal conflict if your loved one is dealing with excessive emotionality or experiencing exacerbated symptomatology. The fact of the matter is that recovery is hard, and the process of maintaining sobriety can increase feelings of stress and anxiety within your loved one.

However, by establishing an effective channel of communication, you can be better informed when your loved one is experiencing a difficult day and give them a bit of space to process their emotions.

Communication Skills in Recovery to Practice With an Addict

Implementing effective communication skills is an essential component to establishing consistent and substantive dialogue with your addicted loved one. They can increase both the method in which you communicate and whether or not your loved one feels safe to disclose personally sensitive information.

Consider communication skills like anything else in life: you have to practice the techniques in order to become good at them. These include:

• Being mindful of your loved one’s individual space
This technique helps to establish an appropriate tone at the onset of the conversation. Making sure not to infringe on your loved one’s personal space allows them to feel comfortable and secure throughout the interaction, which typically results in them feeling less restricted and more open to engage honestly.

• Understanding their non-verbal cues
One of the most important factors in communicating with others is our nonverbal communication. You are aware and in control of the words you speak, but you may not notice the nonverbal cues you’re sending. Your loved one does, however.

That is why monitoring your body language and actions, such as fidgeting, rolling eyes and clenched fists, is essential to conveying to your loved one that you are ready and willing to communicate in a loving manner.

• Applying active listening
Communication goes far beyond the words you speak; it also includes how you receive and interpret the information you are hearing. Listening is an active process that involves analysis and processing the information that’s being provided, including cadence of the person speaking, the tonality of their voice, and the actual words they use to describe their feelings. Actively listening enables you to digest all of this information and compose an appropriate response.

• Using positive body language
There are a number of techniques that can be implemented in order to convey positive and supportive body language. Watching your loved one and mirroring their actions can help, as well as making sure not to cross your arms or turn away from your loved one as they speak. Positive facial cues also fall under this category and can aid in conveying optimism and empathy to your loved one as you actively listen to their issues.

• Maintaining eye contact throughout the interaction
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. While this isn’t factually based, maintaining eye contact with your loved one does encourage open dialogue. It makes them feel as if you are actively participating in the conversation and genuinely ingesting everything they have to say. Eye contact increases a person’s investment in the conversation and shows them that you are not simply waiting for your turn to talk; you are taking everything they have to say to heart.

Achieving success in any conversation can be achieved when parties listen to and understand each other. By actively practicing these skills when you communicate with your loved one, you are increasing the likelihood that they will become increasingly more comfortable in their communications with you and include you in the conversations that genuinely impact their future well-being and sustained sobriety.

Luxury Rehab & Holistic Addiction Therapy at Ranch Creek Recovery

As your loved one’s biggest advocate, we understand how crucial it is for you to help your loved one get
clean and stay sober. If they are ready to get help, or you are seeking insights from addiction recovery
experts, Ranch Creek Recovery and our holistic approach to substance abuse recovery can help.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including our what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A happy family embraces during the holidays.

How to Keep Thanksgiving a Stress-Free Holiday for a Recovering Addict

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time for moving a little slower, being more present with family, friends (and even strangers), attending a plethora of gatherings, expressing your utmost gratitude, and – of course – raising a glass to the many blessings of life.

For a recovering addict, however, these moments and feelings of tradition can create a heightened level of stress and allow temptation to flood their mind.

Staying Sober During the Holidays: Why Holiday Relapse Prevention is Imperative

You’ve battled this addiction right alongside your loved one, and you know what a long, arduous journey it has been. Days are much lighter since your loved one achieved sustained sobriety, but the hard work is never done – as addiction triggers still linger in blind spots and have the potential to dangerously stir the pot of addiction again.

For most recovering addicts who are currently sober, relapse can be a new source of anxiety. While they are working purposefully to ensure relapse remains out of arms reach, they know the risk of relapse is always present. Because of this, you know how crucial staying sober during the holidays is for your loved one – and your entire family.

During the feasts and celebrations, especially, where crowds, conversations, and the presence of alcohol can prove to be overwhelming for a recovering addict, a loved one’s holiday relapse prevention efforts can often be their saving grace and the reason they are able to enjoy Thanksgiving and remain sober.

A safe and memorable Thanksgiving is more than possible when you plan and prepare a stress-free holiday for recovering addicts.

While nothing can completely prevent relapse – you can take important, effective steps to help keep your loved one accountable. Here are four holiday relapse prevention tips you can enact:

Four Holiday Relapse Prevention Tips

1. Discuss or Practice Stress Reduction Techniques Beforehand with Your Loved One
One of the most effective and proactive steps you can take to ensure a stress-free holiday for the recovering addict in your life is to have them understand how to reduce stress before it enters the atmosphere.

Stress reduction techniques can minimize or cast away excessive emotions – such as anxiety, impulsiveness, restlessness, irritability, and so on – and help to neutralize toxic situations and process all feelings of stress.

Some simple and effective stress reduction techniques include, but are not limited to:

  • Breathing Exercises
    While sitting or lying flat in a comfortable position, your loved one should focus on taking deep, controlled breaths to flood the body and mind with oxygen, calm down and focus on reducing stress levels. This is not intended to be a long exercise, as it can be effective after just 5 to 10 deep breaths. But they can stay in this exercise for as long as needed.
  • Prioritizing Physical Activity
    Before a holiday event or between gettogethers, it’s a great idea to go for a run or walk to get the blood pumping and mind centered. Even if stress started to creep in during a holiday gathering, it’s exceeding advantageous to step outside and take a walk around the block to keep the mind right.
  • Meditating
    More involved than deep breathing exercises, a quick meditation session is where your loved one removes themselves from an overwhelming or stressful situation to find a quiet place to be still and silence their mind for 2 to 3 minutes (or however long is needed). With closed eyes and deep breaths, the goal is to purposefully drop all thoughts, clear the mind, and return to the event with a calm, clean slate. This exercise is very beneficial if the temptation to drink becomes excessive.

2. Keep Good, Supportive Company
With your loved one’s new commitment to sobriety, it may be time to reassess how you celebrate Thanksgiving.

If you host Thanksgiving, staying sober during the holidays for your loved one can be advanced if you ensure you’re only inviting people who fully support your loved one’s sobriety.

When the most understanding and encouraging people are in attendance, everyone can help keep your loved one accountable and only act in ways that will support a stress-free day – including not drinking or allowing alcohol to be present.

3. Sidestep Negative Influences and Unhealthy Interactions
If you travel to a friend or family’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving, you know that there is the possibility of seeing people who don’t act in ways that support your loved one’s sobriety and – often times – can be negative influences on your loved one.

If it’s not possible to avoid toxic individuals or social gatherings, try to talk to these individuals ahead of time and ask that they are mindful of your loved one’s new commitment.

Remind your loved one that they can say no to a negative influence and they can opt to not engage deeply with someone who brings them stress. Discuss how they can politely decline a drink and respectfully decline talking about certain topics.

4. Read the Room
Being your loved one’s biggest advocate can prove to be an invaluable asset with their continued sobriety during Thanksgiving. Monitoring the stress level of your loved one’s environments can help to avoid unnecessary stressful situations and hard-to-reverse temptations to drink or do drugs.

When you take the time to read the room, no matter where you’re at, you benefit from the ability to leave stressful scenarios before they become overwhelming and drive your loved one to crave something that will artificially control their emotions.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The most important skills your loved one learned in addiction treatment is relapse prevention techniques. Now, in sobriety, continued relapse prevention education and practice is vital to truly sustain this new, clean way of life.

With the holidays upon us, from all of us at Ranch Creek Recovery, we wish you a safe and truly wonderful holiday season.

Always remind your loved one of how strong they are and how far they’ve come.

Should your loved one find them self in a situation where their substance of choice crept back into their life, they need to get back on track as soon as possible – and we’re here for them.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs.

Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with your loved one to create a custom treatment
and recovery plan that will help them feel confident and ready to re-enter their sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Finding purpose after addiction

How Meth Addiction Affects the Family

Addictions never exist in a vacuum. The choice of one individual to abuse a drug always produces devastating consequences. It doesn’t take long for the ramifications of one’s addiction to pry into the innocent, unassuming lives of friends and loved ones.

As families of meth addicts quickly become aware of, their loved one’s twisted reality becomes the driving force behind dismantling their family unit.

If your loved one is addicted to meth, it can be incredibly hard to make sense of all you and your family are going through. While meth addiction affects every individual and family differently, the following situations are common, ruinous ways it can severely damage your family’s dynamic:

Meth Addiction Effects on the Family

How Meth Affects Families When a Teenage or Adult Child is Addicted to Meth

For any parent, realizing addiction has entered their child’s life is nothing short of terrifying. To witness them suffer, to watch them struggle, to seemingly have a front row seat to the deterioration of their life produces a paralyzing feeling unlike any other. And, it gets worse.

When a child is addicted to meth, the entire family endures pain and hardships because of:

  • Isolated behavior
    Meth fundamentally alters how an addict thinks and acts. For some meth addicts, they may have sobering moments where they feel embarrassed for their addiction or specific behaviors they displayed and, thus, will withdraw from relationships or distance themselves in hopes that their addiction won’t hurt their family anymore.

Isolation, however, only causes more despair to loved ones, as family members are left frantically trying to reconnect and support the addict in the hopes they get clean.

  • Enabling treatment
    Understandably, parents will do anything for their children. Because of this, parents are especially apt to enable a child who is contending with a meth addiction. While the intentions of enabling family members are only to help guide their loved one toward quitting and getting healthy, enabling behaviors – bribing, incentivizing and bargaining – actually do just the opposite.

Enabling only helps a meth addict continue to abuse the toxic substance. Enabling family members are unknowingly protecting addicts from the real consequences of abusing meth and allowing them to continue their calamitous behavior.

When family members realize their efforts are ineffective, it can cause additional stress, arguments, and serious dysfunction within the family.

  • School issues & Employment problems
    Depending on an addict’s age, meth can destroy their academic or professional performance.

When a child begins to fall behind in school, receive failing grades or display inappropriate behavior toward other students because of their meth addiction, the entire family can feel the immense pressure that these actions cause. Parents become upset, tensions rise and siblings can be left to wonder what’s going to happen next in such a turbulent home.

When an adult child begins to display poor work ethic, inappropriate behavior and a subpar performance at their job responsibilities because of their meth addiction, termination is very likely. When an adult child becomes unemployed, parents, siblings and even extended family members are often left to put a roof over their head and provide for their needs until they get back on their feet. Meth addiction, however, rarely allows anyone to get back on their feet by themselves, forcing an adult child to overstay their welcome and become a source of worry, stress and resentment for other family members.

  • Criminal charges
    Meth addiction can cause an individual to go to great lengths to support their habit. In turn, they can run into problems with the legal system by:

    • Stealing money or items to sell in order to get more meth
    • Assaulting people while trying to rob them
    • Potentially robbing a known dealer to steal more meth
    • Other situations

When a child incurs criminal charges, it places the parents in a position where they could be forced to attend court dates or sacrifice their own hard-earned money to pay for their child’s legal defense, bail or other miscellaneous legal expense.

Regardless of the above situation(s) a family finds themselves in, a child’s meth addiction can take a significant emotional toll on every family member. Addiction can make parents feel fundamentally inadequate in regard to parenting techniques, and every family member can develop depressive disorders or feelings of excessive anxiety.

How Meth Affects Families When a Parent is Addicted to Meth

When a parent is addicted to meth, children of all ages are often the recipients of selfish, neglectful, dangerous parenting. When a parent is absent or makes incredibly harmful decisions, children suffer the most without any warning or means to make their situation better. A child can endure trauma and/or develop life-long mental and emotional issues because of:

  • A parent’s financially instability
    A meth addiction is not cheap. Unfortunately, it is very common for parents to spend entire paychecks on their addiction or dip into the family’s savings or a child’s college fund to get their next fix. It doesn’t take long for a meth addiction to drain a family’s bank account and cause deep financial stress that children can sense and experience first-hand.
  • A parent’s failure to meet responsibilities
    Because addictions rule an individual’s life, parental responsibilities come second to meth. When a parent is addicted to meth, they are no longer focused on their child’s needs. Failing to remember to feed their children or provide them with a healthy, nutritious meal; neglecting to bathe their children; forgetting to take them to practices or other activities; disregarding the importance of helping children with schoolwork or talking about their day can place an incredible amount of hurt and burden on a child. Many times, a child of a meth addict is left to care for themselves and/or their siblings on their own. This can create dangerous situations and feelings of abandonment.
  • A parent’s unstable emotional state
    A meth addiction can cause an individual to experience paranoia, excessive anxiety, feelings of hopelessness when coming off the drug, and bouts of heavy depression. Children are the unfortunate innocent bystanders of these unstable emotional states. These emotions create an unstable home environment lacking attentiveness, comfort and guidance. Worst of all, children can start to feel responsible for their parent’s actions, as if something they did caused their parents to stop showing them love and affection.
  • A parent’s disintegrating career
    Addictions leave no facets of life untouched. When a meth addiction begins to seep into an addict’s work life, the risk of demotion or termination becomes incredibly high. Employment issues can result in more financial issues causing a person to question, “what’s going to happen next?” From an early age, children understand the necessity and importance of a job. When they sense a parent’s job is rocky or no longer existent, it can cause them to stress about the future of the family and how things will unfold.
  • A parent’s criminal activity
    When a parent gets caught up in the legal system because of their meth addiction, it results in a lack of structure and behavioral expectation due to the parent’s inability to monitor their own actions, let alone their children’s.

A parent’s criminal activity sets into motion systemic-levels of criminogenic behavior. A child growing up in this type of environment – where their parent is constantly fighting drug addiction and the legal system – could normalize this type of home life, leading the child down a criminogenic path as well.

Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Meth addiction can easily burden a family with intense pain or tear a family apart. Having a meth addict in your life can make every day feel like the wheels are coming off a little more and you don’t know what to do or who to turn to.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through. You are arguably living the hardest, most distressing days of your life. But there is hope and life-changing support.

Through our holistic methamphetamine addiction treatment program, we go beyond the normal twelve-steps and focus on tailor-fitting treatment to address each patient’s unique needs. It’s about individualized treatment at Ranch Creek, and your loved one can discover a new beginning here and help your entire family start anew.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recover, including our meth addiction recovery program.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A father sitting and talking with his teen about how to help a drug addict recover.

My Child is Refusing Help. Now What?

Addiction. It’s something you never thought would enter your life, but it has. It’s manifested itself in your child and you’re terrified.

You’ve watched your child suffer. You’ve watched their life – relationships, goals, career, health – deteriorate. You agonize that their next binge or fix could be their last.

You know your child’s life depends on them getting help, but they refuse to go to rehab. You feel paralyzed, scared, hopeless. If your child refuses help, you wonder, what can you do?

Dealing with Denial: How to Help a Drug Addict Recover

As a parent of an addict, you exhaust every avenue and resource to help your child quit abusing and get better. When your child refuses help, it can seem like you’ve hit a devastating dead-end.

Nevertheless, there are still ways you can guide your child toward recovery. The following three steps take a no-nonsense approach to helping your child get support and recover.

Draw a Hard Line in the Sand

Understandably, you’ll do anything for your child. But, when it comes to their continued addiction and refusal to get help, there is no room for bribing, incentivizing and bargaining.

Your child is ruled by their addiction, which weakens their ability to reason and make sound decisions. At this point, they probably see your negotiations and consequences as empty threats.

You must begin to show your child that their actions have serious consequences and you will not enable their addictive habits anymore. Draw a hard line in the sand and if your child crosses it, you must follow through.

Start small:

  • If you tell your child, “The next time you use, I’m not lending you money for food, gas or entertainment anymore,” follow through and place your wallet in a spot where they will not find it.
  • If you tell your child, “The next time you use, I’m not letting you borrow the car anymore,” follow through and place the keys in a spot where they will not find them.

Consistency is key. As consequences grow in intensity, the impact becomes more substantial, such as telling your child they cannot live under your roof anymore.

Organize an Intervention

If you’ve tried hard and fast boundaries, followed through and your child is still not coming around, consider organizing an intervention. It’s important to note that not everyone responds favorably to interventions, so they must be strategically executed.

Some of the most effective interventions involve hiring a professional who is well-versed in planning and running these types of events. Hiring an outside expert also adds neutrality to a very emotional and sensitive situation. Emotions and adrenaline tend to run high during interventions, and a neutral host will know the best way to start, moderate and conclude the event.

During an intervention, the host can present to your child the various types of treatment options available to them. The host can also work to remove the stigma around going to rehab. It could be that your child never knew the breadth of treatment routes they could take, or they’re hung up on the shame or disgrace that society can place on rehab individuals, and that’s why they’re refusing help.

Remove Support Altogether

The mere thought of walking away when your child needs you the most is excruciating as a parent. But when you’re all out of options, sometimes the best way to provide support is to remove support altogether.

For most parents, this means removing them from the home and stopping all forms of communication with their child.

Walking away doesn’t have to be a goodbye forever. Let your child know that when they are ready to get help and recover, you will be there for them and help them through the process night and day. You never know, this could be the exact thing your child needs to wake up and realize it’s time to get help.

Treatment for Addiction at Ranch Creek Recovery

Ultimately, an addict’s recovery must start with them recognizing they have a problem and wanting to get better. Rest assured, no one is beyond recovery. At Ranch Creek Recovery, your child can stop the cycle and start the journey toward recovery. Learn more about us and our luxury treatment center, including our holistic non 12-Step approach to rehab, and the addiction treatments that we offer.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A concerned mother feeling guilt about a loved one's addiction embraces her teen daughter.

Dealing with Parental Guilt over Loved One’s Addiction

Parents with children suffering from addiction often wonder, “Am I to blame for my loved one’s addiction?” One of the most painful, trying challenges in life is enduring a child’s addiction. Instinctively, parents feel compelled to take responsibility for their child’s actions. It’s common for parents to embody their child’s issues and feel guilt, shame, and as though they did something wrong.

If you’re feeling guilt about a loved one’s addiction, and your child is suffering, it’s imperative to first realize that you’re not alone. According to a 2014 report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):

  • Approximately 5 percent of adolescents (aged 12-17) in America – about 1.3 million teens, or 1 in every 12 – suffered from a substance use disorder.
  • Approximately one in every six American young adults (aged 18-25) battled a substance use disorder – representing the highest percentage out of any age group at 16.3 percent.

As you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, you must next understand that in many cases, your child’s substance abuse is not your fault.

But where do you go from here? Find support and guidance with four strategies for parents of children struggling with addiction.

4 Tips for Parents Dealing with Guilt Over Child’s Addiction

It’s time to stop asking yourself, “Am I to blame for my loved one’s addiction?” Instead, utilize these four strategies to navigate exactly how you feel and take the first step in healing and finding peace.

Understand your feelings.

Before you can overcome feelings of shame and guilt, you must first understand the extent of your emotions. This may seem overwhelming to do, but don’t over think it. Start here:

  • Label your emotions. Get out a sheet of paper and write down every emotion you feel when you think about your child’s addiction. Step outside the box and try to identity exactly what you’re feeling. For example, you’re probably feeling sad, but could your emotion be labeled as more disappointed or mournful than simply ‘sad?’
  • Rate the intensity. Once you have a list of the emotions you’re feeling, rate each emotion on a scale of 1-10. Sit with each emotion for a moment and dig deep. How strong is the feeling? How urgent does it feel?
  • Define your why. When you have a firm grasp on what you’re feeling and how deep the feelings go, define why you’re feeling each emotion. This should round out the exercise of understanding your emotions by giving you clarity as to why a particular emotion lives within you when it comes to your child’s addiction.

Talk with a therapist.

After you’ve searched your soul to understand your feelings, take the next step and discuss what you’ve uncovered with a therapist. We understand that going to talk with a therapist is a substantial step, but if you’re serious about learning, growing, and forging a better life for you and your loved one, removing the stigma around therapy and finding a good therapist is essential.

Therapists are unbiased, professionally trained sounding boards that can help you further understand your feelings, navigate your situation, and start to release the guilt and shame you feel.

Take care of yourself.

As a parent to a child who is contending with a substance use disorder, it’s easy to place their needs ahead of your own. Overtime, however, this can lead to several physical and mental health concerns, such as stress, anxiety, burnout, depression, a weakened immune system, etc.

It’s not selfish to make yourself a priority. Think of it this way: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Make sure your needs are met – eat well, sleep well, exercise, take time to do things that make you happy and fulfilled – and your child will receive better care and assistance.

Improve communication with your child.

Addiction weakens relationships, but there are ways you can combat this. Communication is fundamental to all healthy, prosperous relationships. Take the lead with your child and employ assertive, open, nonjudgmental communication every day.

  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Listen intently.
  • Respond appropriately.

By effectively communicating with your child, you’ll be more apt to catch issues before they arise and better prepared to offer your child the insight and support they need.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we’re addiction recovery experts, but most of us are also parents. We understand your innate feelings and acknowledge the burden you carry.

Let us help you lighten the weight you feel. Discover our Family Education on Addiction program or contact us today to learn about our recovery programs. You can release the guilt, and your loved one can overcome their addiction.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Accessed March 9, 2018. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf.

help for family members of drug addicts

Help for Family Members of Drug Addicts

Self-Care for Parents of Patients in Drug Rehab Centers

Having a child suffering from addiction is incredibly heartbreaking, and it’s natural for you to do whatever you can as their parent to help them. While you’re watching them go through detox, taking them to counseling at drug rehab center, and worrying constantly about a relapse, taking care of yourself can slip to the wayside. It’s very necessary for you to take care of yourself when you’re devoting yourself to your child’s recovery. Read more