Monthly Archives: May 2016

detox sign

I’ll Go Tomorrow: Avoiding Detox

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last Syllable of recorded time

These words written by William Shakespeare are probably of little to no interest to you if you are facing the possibility of going detox. Your life may in shambles, either physically, emotionally, or both. Your relationships may be strained. You may or may not be facing legal consequences. If you do decide to go you are facing the uncomfortability of withdrawals. So at a time like this why would I give you a soliloquy written four hundred years ago? The reason is because those three lines encompass the greatest lie that an addict or alcoholic will ever tell themselves. It is I will get clean and sober tomorrow. The problem is, as Shakespeare points out, tomorrow never truly comes and days, weeks, months, and years pass in the blink of an eye without us even noticing.

It is a sensible dilemma that every person with a desire to get sober goes through. I want to get clean and sober but I just can’t today for any myriad of reasons. Unfortunately, for many the decision to finally go to detox and seek the help they require is only made after their self-imposed crises have piled up to such an extent that they are left with no option but to seek help. This, however, does not need to be the case and if you are on the fence as to whether or not you should go to detox today, hopefully, the information presented here can help make your decision easier.

Justifications for Putting Off Going to Detox

If you are contemplating putting off going to detox until tomorrow and this is not the first time you’ve done this, then you may want to exam your justifications for the delay. It is understandable that you want to put off going because one of the most frightening things we can do in life is step into the unknown. No matter how intolerable drinking or drugging has become, it is still known, and so it is more comfortable than the alternative of getting clean and sober. That being said, it doesn’t need to be. Below is a list of justifications and excuses that you may be telling yourself right now are the reasons why you are avoiding detox. Only you can honestly answer if these justifications are valid or merely fear masquerading as truth, but take a look through the list and see if any match up.

  • I am too busy with work
  • My bills are due this week
  • I am afraid I will get fired if I go to detox
  • I am afraid my spouse or significant other will leave me
  • I don’t want my parents to find out
  • I have plans for later in the week
  • I just need to get high or drunk one more time
  • Maybe I don’t really need detox, my habit is not that bad
  • I can quit on my own

While all of these justifications and excuses may be valid on a certain level, none of them are worth risking your life over. The reality is that if you have thought of any of the above then you more than likely need to go to detox. Most people without a problem with drugs or alcohol never need to come up with excuses for avoiding detox, so if you have arrived at that point, it may be time for some honest self-examination.

woman struggling with her thoughts

Do I Have A Problem with Drugs or Alcohol?

The most common justification for avoiding detox is, “maybe I don’t really have a problem. Maybe I can manage and control my drinking and drugging this time.“ This is the hardest justification to combat and it is also why the first step in every 12-step program addresses it. Coming to the realization that you are powerless is not a pleasant idea for many people. It goes against our very nature and what society has taught us since a very early age. Never admit defeat and never let them see you sweat. The reality is that admitting defeat in this aspect is the most freeing thing you can possibly ever do, but once again this is a decision that you yourself must make. Luckily, if this justification is the only reason you are avoiding detox, then the questionnaire presented below will hopefully give you clarity on your situation.

Answer Yes or No to the following questions as they relate to you.

  1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking or drugging for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
  2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking or drugging– stop telling you what to do?
  3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink or drug to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting intoxicated?
  4. Have you had to have a drink or drug immediately upon awakening during the past year?
  5. Do you envy people who can drink or drug without getting into trouble?
  6. Have you had problems connected with drinking or drugging during the past year?
  7. Has your drinking or drugging caused trouble at home?
  8. Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks or drugs at a party because you are afraid you won’t get enough?
  9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking or drugging any time you want to, even though you continue to use when you don’t mean to?
  10. Have you missed days of work or school?
  11. Do you have “blackouts“?
  12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink or drug?

If you answered yes to four or more of these questions then you may have a problem with drinking or drugging and may need to seek detox today.

Stop Avoiding Detox and Seek Help Today

 It is understandable to have trepidation about going to detox, but if any of the above information rang true to you then you may want to stop delaying and start seeking the help you need. You can start by calling the professionals at SoCal Detox today, at toll-free 888-590-0777. Their trained staff knows what you are going through and understands how difficult of a decision seeking treatment can be. Remember tomorrow may never come so act today.

addiction written on paper

When Your Parent is the Addict

A question posed by many children of drug addicts is, “how do I get my parent sober?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question rests solely on your parent’s willingness to get help. If they are willing to seek the help necessary to get sober then the answer is you can help your parent by being supportive and offering your assistance in finding a treatment center or 12-step program for them to attend. If they are not willing to get sober then there isn’t much that you can do except take care of yourself, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and not enable them so hopefully they can find their bottom quicker. The decision to finally get clean and sober is a personal one that must be made by the person afflicted with the addiction, but that does not mean that all hope is lost if they are not ready yet. If this is the case remember you are not alone in this struggle and hopefully the information below will help you in some modicum way to deal with the trying situation of having an addicted parent.

Learning to Cope With an Addicted Parent

Dealing with an addicted parent is not a modern concept, although the age that we currently live in offers more options for coping than any other time in human history. In the past, many people were forced to keep their parent’s addiction a secret and suffered quietly for fear of judgment and misunderstanding. The shame that a child can feel when their parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol is very real and having the proper outlet for these feelings is extremely important.

Some of the greatest resources for children who have parents addicted to drugs or alcohol is Al-anon, Alateen, and Nar-anon. Theses are 12-step based programs for people whose loved ones suffer from addiction. Many of the people that you will meet there have been through what you are going through and will be able to relate and help unravel the tangle of emotions that having an addicted parent can bring. This act of relating is so important when learning to cope with a parent who is actively addicted to drugs or alcohol because it lets you know that you are not alone. Alcoholism and drug addiction is a great isolator, in that it not only hopes to isolate the alcoholic or drug addict, but it also hopes to isolate those around them so that it can continue to grow unimpeded. Knowing that there are others out there who have suffered what you have suffered and made it through to the other side is an important step in ending the isolation and moving towards the self-care necessary to cope with a parent’s addiction.

If you are not ready to seek out help from a 12-step based program just yet, there are other options available to you. It can be a very difficult thing to open up to strangers, especially after living with an addicted parent for years, and so in this case, there is a plethora of literature available on the subject. A suggestion for related books is below.

  • Healing The Child Within by Charles L Whitfield M.D.
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz
  • For Teenagers Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs by Edith Hornik-beer
  • When Parents Have Problems by Susan B Miller

Besides these books, which are widely available, you can also read some of the materials offered from 12-step based programs by visiting their websites and buying pamphlets and literature there.

scotch and cocaine

Helping Your Addicted Parent Reach Bottom

Helping a drug addict or alcoholic reach their bottom is one of the toughest things that a loved one can do. It goes against the very nature of the relationship of secrecy and enabling that has been established through years of living with the addict, and at times, it can also feel like you are abandoning them. Add to this dilemma the fact that the person who you are attempting to help hit bottom is your parent and it can be a very confusing and difficult task. This is why it is suggested that you seek help from a 12-step based program, where those who have already been through this process can help you to navigate it.

Below is a list of actions you can take to stop enabling your parent and start helping them reach their bottom. Depending on your age and the nature of your relationship, some of these may be more applicable than others. A disclaimer as well, if you are currently living with an addicted parent who is abusive, you may want to seek counsel from a professional before engaging in any of these actions. Actions you can take are:

  • Stop lying, covering up, or minimalizing your parent’s behavior. This does not mean that you need to tell everyone in the world about their addiction, but if someone makes an honest inquiry, tell them the truth.
  • Do not make excuses for them or “help” them by calling out sick to work, or apologizing for them not attending events that they were supposed to attend.
  • Do not clean up their messes, both figuratively and literally. If your addicted parent falls and breaks something in the house, leave it for them to find. If they make a social blunder, let them get themselves out of it.
  • Do not do things for them that they would be able to do if they were sober.
  • Do not give them money. If you are not currently living with them, do not help to pay their bills.
  • Set boundaries for yourself and live up to them.

Seeking Treatment

If your parent is not ready to seek treatment for their addiction then continue to take care of yourself, remembering that none of their actions are your fault. You did not put them in the situation that they currently are in and you are not responsibility for it in any way. Hopefully, by following the suggestions for disengaging any enabling behaviors they will hit bottom and want to seek help. Once your parent is ready to seek treatment you can contact the professionals at SoCal Detox, at toll-free 888-590-0777. They will give your parent the tools necessary to seek a life of recovery, as well as offer you the familial support to make it through these trying and difficult times.

empty work office

Dangers of A Work Addiction

Work addiction sounds like a misnomer to many, especially in our fast-paced modern society where the constant striving for more is not only acceptable but is expected. However, there is a distinct difference between a hard worker who wants to improve their station in life and someone who suffers from an addiction to work. Like many other addictions, it is not always clear-cut who has an addiction to work and who is just a hard worker, but the main difference is the compulsivity involved with someone afflicted with a work addiction. This means that there is an obsessive-compulsive drive to continue to work regardless of the hours necessary to complete the task at hand. Work addiction can also be characterized by a certain euphoric feeling or high that is felt when the person is working. While this may mean increased productivity at first and even the possibility for advancement, being addicted to work has its dangers and this seemingly harmless addiction can wreak havoc on relationships and greatly affect a person’s mental wellbeing.

Signs of a Work Addiction

Being able to distinguish between having a work addiction and just having a good work ethic can be difficult. Adding to this is the fact that work addiction, unlike other addictions, is often rewarded in our society and the person afflicted could use this positive reinforcement as means to justify their addiction. This means that the only person who can truly admit and diagnosis a work addiction is the person with the addiction. Self-diagnosis is the first step in achieving freedom from addiction and it is often the most difficult step. So if you are not sure if you have a problem, below are some common signs attributed to people with a work addiction and this may help clear up any confusion you have.

  • Working long hours even when it is not necessary
  • Consistently losing sleep in order to work
  • Obsessions about work
  • Preoccupation with success or failure at work
  • Paranoia
  • Relationships are negatively affected by work
  • Working as a means to avoid relationships, stress, obligations, or crises
  • Working in order to deal with feelings of guilt or depression

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale was developed by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Cecilie Andreassen and is a method used in order to help identify an addiction to work. The scale uses seven basic criteria to identify work addiction and rates these criteria based on frequency of occurrence. The scale has been published in psychological journals and is accepted by the wider medical community as a means to distinguish between people with an addiction to work and those who do not have an addiction to work. The test is presented below.

Look at each of the following statements and rank yourself on each one according to the following scale.

1 = Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often and 5 = Always

  1. You think of how you can free up more time to work
  2. You spend much more time working than initially intended
  3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression
  4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them
  5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working
  6. You prioritize work over hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise
  7. You work so much it has negatively influenced your health

If you scored 4 (Often) or 5 (Always) on four or more of these seven statements it may be indicative of a work addiction.

computer mouse ties to workers hands

Dangers of a Work Addiction

As with any addiction, the severity of a person’s addiction to work will usually get worse over time if treatment is not sought. The obsessive working which initially lead to praise and promotions can in time lead to a person becoming burnt out, which can actually cause a reduction in productivity and lead to problems at work. Besides the less severe consequence of work-related trouble, suffering from a work addiction can eventually lead to health issues, due to the elevated levels of stress and neglect of personal care, and can in some cases even lead to drug or alcohol dependency in order to cope with the guilt that the addiction brings.

Possibility the most common consequence that people with an addiction to work experience is damage to their personal relationships. One of the main reasons for this is the extended period of time that the person is spending at the work place, but besides this when a person suffers from a work addiction, their preoccupation with work will mean that they are never really present with their loved ones because they are always thinking about work. This will in time lead to strained familial relationships and as the person falls deeper into their addiction, they will further alienate those closest to them.

Treatment Options

Unlike with substance abuse, where abstinence is required for recovery, the answer for work addiction is not to stop working altogether. Although taking a leave of absence or switching jobs may be necessary. The key to recovering from an addiction to work is to establish a healthy work-life balance so that you can continue to pay your bills and support yourself without destroying your health or relationships. Luckily there a number of options for treatment and overcoming a work addiction is completely possibly when the proper help is sought. Many people have successfully overcome their work addiction with the help of 12-step programs, such as Work Addicts Anonymous. However, sometimes a greater level of care is required in order to overcome this addiction and a person may need to attend either an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center. This may sound like a frightening proposition, but take solace in the fact that many before you have walked the same path and are now free from their addiction. If you are in need of help with your work addiction, contact the professionals at SoCal Detox, at toll-free 888-590-0777. They can give you the tools and resources necessary in order to overcome this often overlooked and misunderstood addiction.