With St. Patrick’s Day and all of the talk about alcohol, it reminded of some valuable information that I could share.
I have been hearing a lot about alcohol abuse causing dementia through the years, but I am beginning to hear more about it nowadays. So let’s start here, what is alcohol abuse? Moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Anything above that is abuse, we will just say that.
Excessive alcohol consumption has a horrible effect on the central nervous system. Your central nervous system is vital and is responsible for some of the main functions of your body. Alcohol also affects the brain, your brain sends signals to different functions of your body, and these signals tell them what to do. When you consume large amounts of alcohol, your blood absorbs it and messes with the regular functions of it.
There is no guarantee that alcohol consumption causes dementia, but it is guaranteed that it could potentially have a perpetual effect on your health. It is now being said that even moderate drinking can lead to different forms of dementia. The need for more studies on this is high, so that there can be more accuracy in the findings. Of course if you drink heavy amounts of alcohol consistently for a long period of time, then your chances are higher. They previously conducted a lot of studies on the elderly and Alzheimer patients screening them for alcohol abuse. Recent studies on this have been controversial and have had different findings, either way the facts remain the same. Alcohol abuse is dangerous and can lead to long term health concerns, so during the holidays and summer months, take it easy and be careful.
My mild-mannered friend and former classmate is gone, thanks apparently to gang violence in which he had no involvement.
An innocent man lost his life because he and his young daughter were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were looking for a birthday present for his wife in a Tulsa business when a stray bullet crashed through a store window and struck him in the chest.
His daughter lost her loving father, a loving husband to her mother. Outside the store, another man, this one with a past of criminal activity, also died. Police say that man was the target of the gunman. My friend’s death was totally unintended.
As of now, the shooter remains at large. His image appears on surveillance video at the time of the slayings. Authorities believe there are those who know him. Authorities, along with my friend’s family, have asked for assistance from the public in locating the killer.
Unfortunately, this incident, which resulted in the death of former Ponca City resident Wesley Brown, is one of many similar events that have made news recently, too many of them. Often, it is an innocent person, such as Wesley, who dies.
For those who knew Wesley, this incident is unfathomable. We remember him as a cheerful, intelligent individual, always smiling, always kind. His personality was warm and generous.
Unlike the individual responsible for his death, Wesley didn’t harm people. He helped them. I remember him as a good student, a friendly sort. He wasn’t big into athletics, but rather more into intellectual challenges.
After we graduated from high school, I didn’t hear much from him until we hooked up again on Facebook. But I hear and read that his interests were about the same as they were when we were in class together and young friends: family- and community-oriented.
I can only hope his family, in particular his young daughter who was with him at the time of the shooting, will recover from this tragedy. I hope the individual responsible for his death will be caught before someone else is harmed.
See the resources area of KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MENTAL-HEALTH-OKLAHOMA for information on the grieving process and how to cope with the loss of someone close to you.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents has just completed a short video of what parents can expect by attending a Parents Helping Parents meeting.
I encourage you to review this video as it makes some powerful statements concerning how parents are affected by addiction. Please pass it on to others who may also benefit.
The video is posted on Utube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ccV5TPQqw
I believe this video does a wonderful job of letting extended family members and friends of parents who have an addicted child better understand what the family is truly up against.
With a new understanding of the impact addiction has on the parents, everyone will be better prepared to be a real help to the family.
Parents heap a ton of needless blame and shame on themselves. They need to hear the truth: they are not to blame.
I look forward to your responses.
Why, even in the face of the most devastating consequences, can’t our children stop abusing alcohol or other drugs?
And if addiction is a disease, a brain disease, is it conceivable that science might someday find a cure?
I encourage you to watch the explanation from Dr. Nora Volkow on a segment of 60 Minutes which aired April, 29, 2012, titled, “Hooked: Why bad habit are hard to break.”
Volkow is the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has revolutionized how science and medicine view addiction as a disease, not a character defect.
Here is a special song for parents of chronically addicted children written and performed by Steve Dan Mills about parents agonizing over the whereabouts and well being of their alcohol/drug addicted children.
It’s called “Where Is My Child Tonight?”
“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (email@example.com), Matt Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (email@example.com), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
The Edmond Chapter of Parents Helping Parents recently received a grant. The funds from the grant were used to create video testimonies from parents and professional cousnelors who attend the Edmond Chapter parent support meetings.
Following are comments you may find very helpful:
“As a person in recovery, it was vital for me to have one or two people who I knew were there for me. You know, healthy people who were ready for me when I went into recovery. That’s the first place I went when I needed help to find recovery. If I would not have had that support then, I would have just gave up and stayed out there using.” — CJ (daughter)
“After attending our first meeting, we then realized how long we had been steeped in denial and that denial allowed the addiction to progress and that was a dangerous place.” — Paula (Mom)
“My greatest satisfaction when speaking at the Edmond chapter meetings is when I see the light bulb go off; you can see it in the parents’ eyes.” — Patty Gail Patten PLC, LMFT, LADC
“At my first meeting, I felt a lot of despair, no hope. Today, I don’t feel that way and I give the meetings I attended the majority of the credit.” — Doug (Dad)
“I can see how some parents might think this is a very private matter if their child or loved one has a drug problem but they need to understand that by going to the Edmond chapter meetings everyone there is in the same position and you will never find a better support group.” — Julie (Mom)
“The meetings became such a reassuring and comfortable place for my husband and I.” — Leslie (Mom)
For more information about the Edmond Chapter of Parents helping Parents, please go to www.parentshelpingparents.info and click on “Chapters.”
I believe one of the most difficult terms to understand when dealing with an addicted child is acceptance.
My experience has lead me to accept the fact that our children are not at fault. They did not choose to become addicted.
Here are other things I have come to accept:
* I have accepted that I did not cause the disease of addiction.
* I have accepted that I have absolutely no power to control the future actions of another person.
* I have learned that my own peace and serenity only can be restored and maintained if I accept addiction as a disease — a primary disease, a brain disease.
* I have accepted that I can trust God and through my trust in Him I can maintain a loving and caring detachment from the chaos that addiction creates.
* I have accepted the suffering that addiction has caused our family and our loved one. It is through this suffering that God now uses me for His purposes.
* I have accepted that there will be others who do not understand my pain but that my healing was made possible by those who do.
* I have accepted that I will not do for my child what he can do for himself.
* I have accepted that my own recovery is not completed. I will improve with each new day.
I once took a call from my child who was threatening suicide. I can tell you nothing in my life, including my tour of duty in Vietnam, scared me more.
The good news is, I was seeing a counselor at the time and she told me that I should prepare for the possibility of such a call. We discussed it at length and I feel that perhaps the way I handled the call may have given my child the hope and support he needed to not follow through with the threat.
There is a suicide every 16 minutes in the U. S. Substance abuse is the biggest risk factor for suicide in America.
Edmond is hosting a “Suicide Prevention Summit” on Monday, April 23, at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh Center, Constitution Hall. The event will be 6 to 8 p.m.
This program is specifically designed to equip every person, including children over the age of 12, with the proper tools to recognize the signs of someone who may be planning suicide and what they can do about it.
There will be several professional counselors explaining the tools available to you.
Here are some of the breakout sessions:
* QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
* Parents Helping Parents
* Heartline’s HELP Youth Suicide Prevention Training
* Signs & Symptoms of Adolescent Depression
* Youth Suicide Prevention Tool Kit
* Worried About Your Friend.
If you would like more information, please email email@example.com
At the Edmond chapter meeting of Parents Helping Parents, we received an exceptional presentation on boundaries by Patty Gail Patten, M.S., LPC, LADC, LMFT.
I believe that every parent who attended left the meeting with a better understanding on how to adopt appropriate boundaries, which will lead to a positive change for all family members.
Patty Gail said: “The best relationship advice includes recommending behaviors that consider boundaries. The worst and most damaging relationship advice denies considering boundaries.
“When (you are) faced with a relationship problem, no relationship advice can be helpful without a determination of your personal responsibility to identify where you start and end, and where the other person starts and ends. Just as an owner of real estate may be angry to have someone trespass on land that is owned, we become angry and hurt when another person trespasses on our personal boundaries.
“If we do not know what they are, we cannot respect others’ boundaries and cannot enforce our own. This can be one reason for us to have very destructive and dysfunctional relationships.”
Depression, co-dependency, anxiety and many other conditions can improve by becoming aware of and enforcing our personal boundaries.
Patty Gail conducts workshops on boundaries and related relationship issues. I have attended one of her workshops and highly recommend it.
Her next workshop will be April 21 at her office located at 1700 W Britton Road in Oklahoma City. If you would like more information contact her at 818-1585, or on her cell at (918) 284-0733.
The Families Anonymous organization has a priceless Emeeting for parents of addicted children.
This organization is specifically tailored for parents’ who are dealing with an addicted child.
You simply read the stories and/or questions parent’s summit, then read the excellent responses they get from the more experienced members.
The Emeeting is an email (LISTSERV-styled) discussion group. It is the largest and most active group in the fellowship consisting of more than 500 members. It is available to the members 24 hours a day /seven days a week.
Members of the group hail from all over the world and share their Experience, Strength and Hope by typing their message to the list. The Emeeting averages more than 2,000 email messages per month.
One Important Note: many members choose to open a separate email account to keep this separate from their private email There are many free accounts you can open for this purpose
Those looking to subscribe to the Emeeting can do so by sending a “BLANK” email (nothing in the subject line or body of the text) to: TABW-On@mail-list.com.
You will then receive a confirmation email from the server that you must “REPLY” to without