Substance use and addiction are serious problems, whether it’s something you see in your child or it is an issue you are battling personally. If you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, you may feel like you’re spinning out of control. Maybe you go to a party and swear you won’t drink too much, but then wake up the next morning not even remembering what happened. Or perhaps you go to great lengths to get a fix and your children or partner feel neglected.
Seeing substance use in a child can be even more devastating than facing the problem personally. You watch your teenager’s behaviors change from sweet and kind to reckless. You know it’s because of drug use, but he won’t listen to you. He misses school and his grades are slipping. You’re worried for him, but you don’t know how to help.
Addiction Ruins Lives
The feeling of despair you get when you watch a child suffer from the terrible disease of addiction is just awful. You hurt for your child. You watch him suffer. You see his life spiral downward and on top of it all you feel helpless. Maybe you talk to him. Or perhaps, you scream at him, but he doesn’t get the message. He keeps using and his disease keeps getting worse. He may need more help than you can provide.
Young people are not the only ones who are susceptible to substance use and addiction. If you see your own habit getting out of control, but don’t know how to stop, it can be terrifying. You know better than to spend the last of your paycheck on drugs or alcohol, but you can’t help it. Your kids need new clothes for school, but you need your fix even more and you feel awful about it. Your addiction is a disease and you can’t fight it alone. You need support.
Some Answers for Substance Use/Addiction
So, what helps reduce or alleviate someone’s substance use/addiction? Here are our top three suggestions, based on our work with children, teenagers, and adults who struggle with substance use/addiction.
- Overcoming addiction may be difficult and overwhelming. Breaking it down into smaller steps may make it more manageable. For example, at the start of the day saying “What do I need to do to stay sober today” is less daunting than worrying about how to stay sober for the rest of your life. Things you can do: avoid high-risk situations (places where substances are readily available or being consumed by others), lock up or remove substances (i.e. alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over the counter medications etc.) from the home.
- Reduce obsessive thoughts about using substances by using a “thought-stopping” technique. Try shouting STOP to yourself (or have your child or partner shout to him/herself) silently while picturing a red traffic signal and then think about a calming scene. You can also try using a self-control strategy such as “stop, think, listen, and act” to delay the need and inhibit impulses to use substances.
- Attend an addictions support group (alcohol addiction (www.aa.org), drug addiction (www.na.org), drug, alcohol, gambling, sex and other addictions (www.smartrecovery.org), For Teens (www.smartrecovery.org/teens/); For Families (www.al-anon.alateen.org).
Getting Help for Substance Use/Addiction
The tips above are among those we have found to be most impactful when working with people who struggle with substance use/addiction. Sometimes, people feel comfortable implementing these on their own, and other times they want help from an agency that uses this approach. Unlike traditional approaches to therapy, we don’t require that you or your family come for office visits. We can help you where you need it most and will come, if you prefer, to your home, your community, or your child’s school.
If you live in Arizona and would like assistance overcoming your substance use/addiction or the substance use/addiction of your child or partner, we would love to help. A great starting place is talking to one of our support specialists to figure out which services would work best for your or your family and to find out what is available in your area. Fill out the request form for a free consultation and let us know the best way to communicate with you. A friendly and helpful support specialist will be in touch using your preferred communication method to help discuss the various ways we may help, including the financial options that are available. Get started right now by completing the short form to the right (or click here on mobile devices). Hope is on the way.
Hope for Relief from Substance Use/Addiction
If you, your child or maybe even your partner is struggling with substance use/addiction, there is hope that you can make positive changes. Addiction is a serious disease. Whether it is you or your child battling this disease, getting better requires medical attention, psychological help, and support and guidance from caring people who have been in your position. At CFSS, we start with an assessment so that we can get to the bottom of your child’s, your partner’s or your own addiction. We then work with you as a team to come up with a plan to you or child stop using and get your lives back. What the plan will include depends on your unique needs, but we offer counseling services, individualized behavior services, psychiatric services and mentoring. We will use a variety of resources and action-oriented strategies to help you get your life back on track. If we agree that you or your child needs more intensive support, we will find the right facility for residential care. When you come out of care, we will be there to support you in recovery.
CFSS provides services in offices in the Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Tucson and Flagstaff areas, but we will also come to you in your home or community locations. We accept a variety of avenues of payment for services to best meet your needs. Public or private insurance plans are welcome, but you can also pay privately and be free of insurance plan restrictions. Contact us to get started today.