I ran across an email I had filed away several years ago and felt I should share it with you.
I am not sure who the author is and there were some of the 99 original suggestions that were no longer usable. Others needed updating, so I took the liberty to do that.
My suggestion is to read through this and pick out those suggestions you find helpful. Forget the rest.
* It is vital to have a supportive relapse plan.
*Your Addicted child knows how to live in his/her addiction. They will never go without food and water. There will always be shelter available. There will be medical and dental attention whenever they choose to seek help. There will always be a phone for them to call you. They do not need any help.
* The craving an addict has is not a choice, a “want,” but a very real physical “need.” It develops through changes in the network of cells that have been changed due to the damage the chemical(s) have created over the time of usage.
* A generally accepted statement, “Wherever your child gets clean is where he should stay.”
* Do your best to always remain teachable.
* Society does not understand addiction. Do not expect them to ever understand.
* “Let go, Let God.” This means that you must learn what you are powerless to change. It means to start working on yourself because you are the only person you can change and change is necessary. “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.” Francis Bacon
* Interventions, both formal and informal, is your opportunity to “challenge” the disease of addiction. Ask yourself, “If I was the diseased family member what would I want my family to do to help me seek recovery?” You will likely find that you have much more leverage than you think!
*It is a statistical fact that Addicts who are not “active” and stay “active” in a recovery program will eventually relapse.
* Addiction is a brain disease and in order for it to survive it must create new realities for itself. The disease convinces itself that it always has more time than it does. It is a disease that tells the individual he does not have a disease. He will believe he is always in control regardless of the consequences he has had in the past or is presently faced with.
* Research studies have confirmed that a child addicted to heroin can not use a “different” drug believing he can do it responsibly. A “different” drug includes wine, beer, alcohol, prescription meds and marijuana.
* “First our child becomes addicted and then we become addicted to our child” George R. Ross, author. To understand enabling and codependent behavior read the butterfly story at: http://www.hawaiiswim.org/business/TheButterfly/TheButterfly.html
* You must understand that addicts are just as confused due to their distorted thought processes as their family is.
* The more intelligent and/or intellectual the addict, the more difficult for him to understand addiction.
* The majority of addicts want instant recovery and only those willing to wait will maintain long term recovery.
* Never miss an opportunity to tell the addict the positives, how well they are doing in their recovery. Building pride and self-esteem is very important in the recovery process. Many addicts will make great strides in their recovery and then “sabotage” all their successes. The addict, in his addictive thinking, feels like all his success aren’t “real” and he will not make it, just like all the other times he has tried and failed in recovery. Never believe any “promise” the addict makes as it is only an “escape” plan.
* Some parents, as well as their addicted child, resent the 12 steps due to the first step of accepting one’s powerlessness but unless the addict admits (accepts) his powerlessness recovery will not be possible.
* The biggest problem for our addicted children is once they have success in recovery they begin to be depressed because they are not experiencing the joy, happiness, excitement, contentment, pleasure that they were expecting. His reality of life is far removed and depression is to be expected during this period of recovery. The addict has to wait this period out. What might be helpful to understand the phase is to understand PAWS, “Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome” at http://www.tlctx.com/ar_pages/paw_part1.htm
* It has proven to be the most successful in the long run if you allow your child to experience the “natural consequences” of their actions. It is best not to intervene and/or create the consequences.
* Any change that is possible for your addicted child will first begin when you and other family members accept recovery. It is here that you discover how and why the addict thinks the way he does. Now you have the protection you have been lacking so not to be conned by the disease of addiction.
* Unfortunately, only an estimated 35 percent of parents follow through with what their alcohol/drug counselor recommends.
* “We will be at the most peace when we grieve the loss of hopes and dreams about the past or hoped for relationship with our addicted child. This process of grieving is necessary so that each of the family members can accept our individual powerlessness over our child’s life; only when acceptance has been accomplished can we stop enabling, stop the fear and “Let go and let God.” Parent Post
* Many parents believe that their child’s problem is due to him hanging out with the wrong crowd. We later find that it is our child who is actually “the wrong crowd.”
* It is naive to believe that sending your addicted child away to live with his Dad or any other relative/friend will “fix” him. It won’t happen.
* Please avoid entering into any type of “negotiations” with your addicted child.
* Finding your child a job sounds like a loving act on your part but it works against his recovery.
* This is very difficult to do or accept but the parent’s primary focus should be on detaching both physically and emotionally from your addicted child. It is the most loving thing you can do for both of you. This is the most important step in everyone’s recovery. See Ephesians 6:10-18
* You will likely find that a “Mastermind Group” will be priceless in helping you understand the process of change. These are individuals who know you and/or understand the disease of addiction. They are “your team” so ask for their prospective when dealing with difficult issues.
* Recovery didn’t show up late, you are just too early.
* What you need is high quality G.A.S. (Good Action Steps)
* In order to establish “understanding” in setting your boundaries there must be a solid foundation of respect and honesty with all members of the family. Failure is likely when you “surprise” others with your boundaries. It has proven to be successful when you allow all members of your “family agreement” a say in the final draft. There may be times when boundaries become flexible but there should never be an “escape” clause.
* Spirituality is key to recovery but far too many recovery attempts are sabotaged because the person has preconceived notions about God. These “notions” come from numerous sources but the key is to cleanse the mind of all such clutter and develop a one on one relationship with God void of others opinions and/or beliefs. Come to God with a willingness and a pure heart for change and you will receive recovery. It is a “personal” relationship with God, no one else is necessary!