Training Wheels

city-street-house-brokenMost people can remember learning to ride a bicycle for the first time, and falling off as a result, of not having the understanding of balance and gravity. Understanding the disease of addiction and managing recovery of that disease can be compared to waiting for a new bicycle as a present, and wanting to ride it as soon as it is opened, whether or not one knows how. Just as families members help teach one how to ride a bike, family members are needed to help a recovering addict to remain in sobriety. Not only do family members need to help the recovering addict, family members need recovery as well. Family members and the addict need continued support in sobriety.

One thing many family members do not recognize is that addiction is a primary disease that is not caused by something else. Addiction is also chronic, progressive and fatal, if left untreated like many others diseases. The disease of addiction has many contributing factors genetics, culture, early use, mental illness, trauma, and other emotional problems, yet these are contributors not causes. An experienced recovery guide is prepared to help the recovering addict identify these contributors

Addiction is also a brain disease that causes the behavior of the individual to be baffling, and even volatile. This disease of addiction can be identified by a loss of control, meaning once the substance is ingested the outcome is unpredictable. So the quick answer is take the drug from the addicted person, put them in a treatment center for a few weeks and problem solved, well that’s easier said than done, because no one treatment is right for every person.

It would not help to take the bicycle away because some one falls off the first few times. It will not help to give up on family members who do not make it the first time around. The brain in control wants more of the substance and there is very little that can get in the way of the brains need for more. That’s why the addicted person continues to return to the substance that creates the problems.

 One of the biggest problems many addicts face is denial. Denial is the psychological mechanism that protects the addicted person from seeing and realizing there is a problem. As a result many addicts face the obstacles of usage. pexels-photo(2) Here are a few notable signs there is a problem with addiction, when family members face being arrested, getting tickets for driving under the influence, getting into fights, job loss, loss of relationships, health problems, financial problems, moral dilemmas, accidents, psychiatric problems, the list goes on. Families in denial will often times enable the user in effort to try and minimize their connection with the problem. Many will go against promises they made to not let them come back home, or will call the addicts job to say they are sick, some will loan the addict money, or even tell their lover or spouse that they were home when in fact they were out using.

Denial is powerful! For most people would say, “that’s the last time I do that” the addicted person and the family members really believe they can beat the consequences, handle the effects, take care of the problems tomorrow or just deny that there is a problem at all. Sometimes tomorrow is too late.

So what is the best way to for family members to address the problem? Where can the family go and what can the family do to help?

Recovery Guide is designed to help not only the addict, but firmly believes the family is the most important part of the recovery process. After learning how to ride a bicycle, whether it be with or with out training wheels sometime one will fall off. The stress and embarrassment of having an addicted family member can eventually lead other family members to turn away from the problem. Just as one would not leave a child on the ground, tangled in the bicycle chain and wheel spokes, we do not want to leave our family members.

Trying to get up the courage to get back on, after falling off is similar to starting life anew after addiction, without the safety net of treatment centers and training wheels. Someone to go along the road of recovery, holding us up by the seat of the bike, or pretending to, as the addict adjust to the new lifestyle is very important. That is why Recovery Guide is different from a treatment center.

Statistics show that many addicts return to the substance abuse without someone to help guide them on the road to sobriety. Statistics also show that many doctors and pilots, who have someone to help guide them, after treatment have a success rate in the 70-80 percentile. What many people do not know is, one does not have to be a doctor or pilot to have continued support.

Recovery Guide helps families understand what is involved in the life of an addict in recovery and prepares family members to help decrease the chances of a relapse. Recovery Guide educates the family with effective strategies to address problems that evolve as a result of having an addicted family member and help copilot the progress of the addicted member.