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During the last Anecdote, we discussed the fact that the user of drugs is in pain, had developed self-defense mechanisms that adds further isolation. We discussed the fact that addiction is a mental disease that hijacks the ability to self-control and lastly, we discussed that recovery from addiction is five (5) years period. Now we will turn our attention to the actions a parent can take.
Actions a parent can take
Arm yourself with patience: You will need the patience of a saint, because you are trying to help a person who wants none of your help. Use the Directed Free Association and the Master Mind Alliance to come up with different topics of discussion and strategies of behavior towards your child. Expect your strategies to be ineffective and yield little result. Keep in mind that you do not have the luxury of giving up on your child. Keep on consulting with yourself, professional help and keep on keeping on, even when the situation looks like nothing is working.
Neither you nor your child can solve the problem of addiction on your own: Seek out the help of a support group like Nar-Anon. Nar-Anon stands for Narcotics Anonymous which is the equivalent of Al-Anon (Alcoholics Anonymous). If you cannot find a Nar-Anon meeting in your neighborhood go to an Al-Anon meeting, the two follow an identical program. While you attend Nar-Anon, you need to encourage your child to attend NA and better yet, attend Rehab first. NA also stands for Narcotics Anonymous and is a support group for the habitual user. NA is the equivalent of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous which focuses on the alcoholic). NA follows the same program as AA.
Trust your knowledge and instincts: I recommend that you evaluate the suggestion of any external advice, be it an advice from a support group member, a health professional or anyone else, then apply the given suggestion only if it makes sense for you. Use caution when you take an advice from an advisor having no skin in your game and none or little knowledge of the specifics about your situation. This is, for the most part, true for professional counselors who listen to you for a period of 45 minutes during which your counselor remembers none of the information that you shared during any other counseling session. I do not mean to imply that there is no benefit to be had from a professional psychologist, I am asking you to evaluate their advice—or my advice for that matter of fact.
Common sense: Be honest with yourself, with your child and with your family. (Being honest with oneself can prove to be most difficult as the adage says: A person can lie to strangers half of the times, a person can lie to their own spouse seventy five percent of the times, but a person can lie to her/himself a hundred percent of the times.) Say what you mean and mean what you say. My advice is not to let your emotions run away with you. Don’t make threats, especially not idol threats. Be consistent with your opinion, your message and your goals. Then, stay positive and work tirelessly toward achieving your goals even in the face of no-progress and defeat. Keep in mind that your struggle will take some five years, so expecting success overnight is not realistic. Then if you do not succeed, this lack of success does not mean that you failed or that there is no solution, it means that what you had done did not work, right now.
Next Anecdote: We will continue the discussion of actions a parent can take
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You are not invincible—Stew Birbrower
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