Parents of children (of any age) with a mental health, alcohol or other drug problem can hang onto hope for a very long time. Some never give up. And good on them! Hope is well worth hanging onto because change is possible. But the tricky thing about this scenario is that change is possible if and when someone wants to change. And this is where things can come unstuck. Because the person with the mental health, alcohol or other drug problem may not be ready to change. And eve
Shame is an awful feeling. It fills our body and mind and creates a situation where talking about things like alcohol and other drug problems is not allowed. And we usually stay silent due to shame. It's as if alcohol and drugs have aligned with shame and become best friends against us. Shame can stop us speaking out about drug and alcohol problems unless behind closed doors. "Keep it in the family " whispers Shame, "we can sort this out". Meanwhile Shame, alcohol and other d
It sounds so easy doesn't it? Just separate the person from the problem (alcohol or other drugs) and everything will be OK. Well actually this is something family members can do. How? We can put the focus on us. We can change our thinking and our conversations. And we can stop blurring alcohol and other drugs with the people we care about who are misusing substances. For example, we might think he's an addict, a drunk, a druggy, a dealer. Or, she's a user, a junky, a liar, a
Family members who seek help for alcohol or other drug problems just want the problem fixed and fixed quickly. But the problem with these types of problems is that there are no quick fixes. If there were then we would have solved the problem of alcohol and drug dependency and there wouldn't be a need for services or health professionals trying to solve this problem. It's important to remember that drug and alcohol problems are complex, can be tangled up with mental illness an
I was so inspired recently when I saw what the Netherlands are doing to close their prisons due to lack of prisoners! Check out the following link to see how the Netherlands are dealing with crime in a humanistic way. They have even started renting out their prison cells to Belgium because of how they changed the way they view offenses in their court system. I'm ever hopeful that Australia and New Zealand will become as sensible as the Netherlands! https://qz.com/644914/the-n
There is no doubt that alcohol and other drugs can become all consuming for the person dependent on these substances. But what is worth remembering is that alcohol and other drugs can also become all consuming to family members. In my view, alcohol and other drugs want to take everyone down with them and it's so easy for this to happen, if we let it. Family members desperate to understand and help their loved ones to stop using can become obsessed with alcohol or other drugs.