My Personal Experience
I know first-hand the damage dependency can do to families. I am an adult child of a dependent drinker and experienced my family as well as myself trying to navigate this disease, that ultimately left us hurt and confused and feeling alone.
My approach is simple: loving boundaries, understanding and self-care.
It takes courage to face addiction and furthermore to learn new ways of being you, to forgive yourself and others and to build a life worth living.
For families; when you truly understand that the addiction isn’t anyone’s fault, that you can’t control it, and that arguments and threats don’t work – that’s when you’ll stop blaming and start healing. Read more about how Substance Abuse affects families.
Learning to practice self-compassion is important:
Treat yourself as someone you are responsible to care for, as someone you are responsible for protecting. Think about how you care for a friend. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is an antidote to the self-critic as well as negative rumination. Remember that you’re not alone. Other people have walked this journey and have had similar experiences.
Work with a supportive therapist or coach. Cultivating new thought patterns and behaviour takes hard work and you don’t need to do this alone.
Read more about the importance of self-compassion.
Drug Addiction Help: Your journey to wellness
- Is your substance use impacting your life?
- Do you find yourself needing more?
- Thinking about your next use or recovering from your past use more often than not?
- Are your loved ones showing concern?
- Is your substance use a cause of arguments or resentments has it distanced you from those you love?
- Does any of this sound familiar?
Addiction is a curable disease consequently, it is not a moral failing or due to lack of willpower. You do need support education and understanding to begin to recover from addiction.
In the video below Nora Volkow, a world leader in the neurobiology of diseases of reward and self-control shares research showing how drugs affect the human brain. Nora’s research has been instrumental in demonstrating that addiction is a brain disease. The disease undermines the function of circuits that underlie reward, motivation and self-control.
You might find this article helpful: What’s happening inside that brain of yours.
When you take the substance away there is not enough naturally occurring dopamine to feel okay, there is often no interest in life – (in early recovery it is not uncommon for people to enter a state of depression). Furthermore, the inability to feel pleasure contributes to “cravings” which are physiologically highly uncomfortable that can influence a decision to keep using or precipitate a lapse following a period of abstinence.
The good news is that the brain can recover and learn new ways of functioning this however takes time. Read more about what is happening inside your brain