Coping with an addict in the family

I came across an article which had no date, however based on some of the statistics they sited, it is at least ten years old.  Regardless, the points made in this article entitled, “10 Ways to Cope with an Addict in the Family” by Maria Trimarchi are still valid and on target.  Her piece was posted on a website called, How Stuff Works.

As the title suggests, the author lists ten ways to cope with a family member’s addiction.  They are, in reverse order:

10 – Understanding that Addiction is a Disease

9 – Educate Yourself

8 – Are you an Enabler?

7 – Attend Family Therapy

6 – Seek Professional Financial Counseling

5 – Seek Legal Counsel

4 – Attend Individual Therapy Sessions

3 – Maintain Open Communication

2 – Maintain “Normal” Family Activities

1 –Take Care of Yourself

Take time to read the entire article as Trimarchi has some very insightful thoughts on each point that will help families.  The article, which can be read in full by clicking this link:  https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/10-ways-to-cope-with-addict-in-the-family.htm OR click on any of the listed points above to go to that specific topic.

Tomorrow starts the New Year 2020.  A Place For Mary will be here with useful information to help guide you on your journey with your loved one’s addiction.

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America’s Opiate Epidemic – book group – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Harbor’s Heroin/Opiate Initiative and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library have partnered together to offer a book group focusing on America’s opioid epidemic in the book, Dreamland, by Sam Quinones.  Harbor, with the support from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, is working to bring awareness and education to the community around the heroin and opioid epidemic in Northwest Ohio. The epidemic is portrayed in Dreamland, through the author’s chronicles of how the distribution and sale of heroin has evolved over the last 15 years.

Book group discussions of the heroin/opioid topic and Dreamland will be offered from 7:00 pm – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28th at the King Road Branch Library, Thursday, April 9th at Main Library or Monday, June 15th at the West Toledo Branch Library.  Dreamland can be borrowed from the branch 30 days prior to the scheduled session. Register at toledolibrary.org.

A Dreamland Book Group or a Harbor Heroin/Opiate Initiative presentation can be made available to any Lucas County organization by contacting Kathy Schnapp: kschnapp@harbor.org or 419.214.3631.

Dreamland is a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner.

Harbor is a behavioral health and substance use provider located in northwest Ohio.

Surviving the Season of Stress

‘Tis the season, so lets continue the conversation about the upcoming holidays, and the stress they put on anyone dealing with addiction, from the addict to their families and friends. 

I’d like to direct your attention to an article written back in 2011 for Social Work Today magazine by Christina Reardon, MSW, LSW.  The article is titled, Families and Addiction — Surviving the Season of Stress and can be read in its entirety by clicking the magazine cover, or the title above.

This article has so much useful information for families as the holidays approach.

Highlights of this article include:

  • Managing expectations
    • Expectations that the addict will be magically “cured” over the holidays will likely cause more stress and frustration
  • Handling actively using addicts
    • Firm ground rules and expectations of behavior should be set and agreed upon prior to a holiday event, with strict consequences if not met.
    • Is this a good time for a family intervention?
    • Realize that family gatherings can be very stressful for the addict too
  • Supporting the recovering addict
    • If alcohol is the problem, refrain from cooking with wine or other liquors or serving candy with alcohol centers.
    • Respecting the needs of the addict does not mean everything has to be perfect
  • Learning to let go
    • Take care of yourself!
    • Accept that you are not responsible for whatever happens

Take some time and read through this helpful article.  Then start setting your expectations for the upcoming holidays.  May they be joyous.

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Happy Holidays!
Betsy

 

 

Mary is not forgotten

December 9th, 2019 is the sixth anniversary of Mary’s death.  Mary wawith Mary (2)s a close friend, and also a coworker at The Blade, the newspaper in Toledo, Ohio.

On the morning of December 9, 2013, I received a call from a former co-worker (I had retired) at The Blade, informing me that Mary had not shown up for work that day.   They had sent someone to her home and had found her laying dead on the kitchen floor.  She had been stabbed to death.  Her son was convicted of the murder.  He was a loving son, and her only child.  But, heroin got the best of him, and this was the result.

Today I ask everyone who knew Mary, worked with Mary, or seeks help with an addicted loved one to take time to explore A Place For Mary.  Remember Mary.   Find help for yourself here.

This site is a good first step in understanding addiction, realizing you are not alone as you struggle to know how to help someone you love, and finding the help you need, whether it’s just reassurances that you’re doing the right things or finding professional help for yourself.

Mary, you are missed.

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