Educational Family Therapy’s Role In Recovery

educational family therapy

Educational family therapy, sometimes called psychoeducation, is a type of therapy that involves members of an individual’s family. The therapy helps provide information and education on drug detox, treatment, and other aspects of recovery. Sometimes this type of therapy involves both the client and their family, as well as other peers and family members. Educational family therapy is an essential component of drug treatment for dual-diagnosed people, meaning they live with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.

Why Is Educational Family Therapy Important?

Family is a big part of healing for many people in recovery. Family can play a supportive role for people in recovery. Without help, they may feel discouraged by their family members. Some family members may enable an addicted person, while others may over-criticize or try to take control of the person’s recovery. These situations are often emotionally charged. They can lead to conflict when there are communication problems. Therefore treatment centers often want to involve family members in therapy to educate them about their loved one’s disease.

Family psychoeducation is an essential service that treatment providers can facilitate. Through education and talk sessions, knowledge of addiction can help family members understand substance use disorder more clearly. Family members may also need to be educated about co-occurring conditions such as PTSD symptoms.

Educational therapy can help increase the family’s awareness of substance-use risk factors, symptoms of a substance use disorder, treatment options, and other recovery-affirming options for their loved one.

Many people who get sober do so with the support of their families. While this is not an option for everyone, when the family wants to be involved, they can help individuals make better decisions about their recovery.

More Awareness and Compliance in Recovery

For many people, a family can help keep them on task. After all, not everyone is aware of a recovering person’s schedule unless they are told about it. Knowing a person’s schedule and needs can help family members keep their loved ones on task.

Something as simple as having the family keep a calendar with the times and dates visible can help clients and their families to understand the obligations a person in recovery has. They’re working on themselves, after all. But sometimes, family members don’t know unless they are told about all the moving parts in a loved one’s recovery program.

Some family group sessions also use problem-solving to address dysfunction or negative dynamics among family members. The goal is for the family to be able to provide ongoing support and monitoring, with particular awareness of their loved ones’ needs and responsibilities in early recovery.

Bringing families together to support each other in a larger group can be a powerful experience. When peers and their families get together, they have a wealth of knowledge, strength, and hope to share. Ultimately, these types of support groups can help create a network that continues to keep in touch and support each other even once treatment has been completed.

About By the Sea Recovery

We offer safe, structured community homes with the highest sober living standards. Living in a house with a sober living culture can help you or your loved one build a strong foundation as they start their recovery journey.

Many people find comfort and community in a group setting focused on sober living. Learn more about your options and how our programs work by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Addiction is a problem throughout the country, and California is no exception. Much of the focus around the country has been placed on fentanyl use. After all, fentanyl overdoses outrank all other drug addiction deaths. However, meth addiction has been rising steadily in the past several years. As a result, overdoses have been increasing as well.

Meth’s Growing Popularity

Pop culture such as the popular show Breaking Bad has helped glorify meth use even as it portrayed characters stuck in horrific cycles of addiction. As pop culture brought a resurgence of popularity to meth, cartels have created more pure products as a result. This has made meth more addictive and more likely to cause an overdose.

According to the California Overdose Dashboard, deaths from illicit psychostimulants such as methamphetamine increased more than 250 percent between 2008 and 2015. California is, after all, a popular state to traffic drugs through. The Central Valley is considered one of the most active meth markets in the US. Some of the meth is manufactured in California, but now it is often more likely to have been made in Mexico and distributed through trafficking networks.

Meth and Fentanyl: A Fatal Combination

Drug dealers often use fentanyl as an adulterant to other drugs to make it more addictive or more potent. For inexperienced opioid users, this can be a fatal decision. It’s caused people to overdose on drugs like meth or cocaine more often. Combining uppers with downers is also more likely to cause a heart attack.

Many people who take meth with fentanyl don’t know that they’re doing it. However, some meth users also use other hard drugs like heroin or fentanyl.

Many harm reduction proponents recommend all drugs users consider acquiring Naloxone, an opioid reversal drug. Some people even use fentanyl testing strips to test for the presence of fentanyl in other drugs.

Help With Sober Living

Are you or somebody you love looking for a living situation that helps you stay sober? We can help! Our sober living homes offer structure, safety, recovery, and community. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help at 760-216-2077.

Young people in San Diego County, like around the US, have a problem with fentanyl. They’re not using it on purpose but instead are experimenting with drugs that somehow contain it. This is one reason younger people, including teenagers, are now dying at record numbers from overdose deaths.

Fentanyl is a drug typically used for people in severe pain, such as stage 4 cancer. It is also used as a sedative for surgeries. According to the CDC, the drug itself is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.

And now America has a fentanyl problem – not large amounts of people addicted to it, but large amounts of people dying after accidentally using it.

Fentanyl Overdoses Are Getting Younger

Roneet Lev, an emergency room physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, told Bloomberg that most of the overdose deaths she’s seen in teens are accidental overdoses. One of her young patients, 14 years old, died from a fentanyl overdose.

“The problem is both supply and demand,” she said. “There’s already a lot of fentanyl coming into our market, and now we have a pandemic where people are isolated and not working, or not in school. These teenagers probably don’t have a substance use disorder, they’re experimenting, making a bad choice, and they end up dead.”

Education And Prevention Efforts

Many cities and nonprofits say that harm reduction is an integral part of tackling the opioid epidemic. After all, many of the young people who are dying don’t even mean to take fentanyl. They often believe they’re taking a pill such as Percocet, Adderall, Ecstacy, etc. It may be the first time they have ever taken a drug at all.

Many law enforcement agencies are trying to get the word out about counterfeit pills and the dangers of fentanyl.

Some nonprofits offer fentanyl testing strips as a harm reduction measure that can test drugs for the presence of fentanyl. Then, the user can decide if they want to take it or flush it. Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, is also available to people who use opioids and other concerned community members. Carrying this drug can help reverse fatal overdoses, but when it’s a drug like fentanyl, reversal may require multiple doses of Narcan.

Staying Sober in Sober Housing

If you or somebody you love needs a safe living space to continue their recovery journey, sober housing may be the answer. We have an excellent, enthusiastic, peaceful environment where you can learn to live life on its terms, substance-free. Call us to learn more about our programs at 760-216-2077.

Everyone has done things in life that they regret. People who live with mental health disorders or addiction often struggle with self-esteem and self-worth. You may have done something that hurt yourself or others in the course of your addiction. Maybe you feel anger or self-loathing when you think about the past. If so, it’s time to let go of that self-hatred and start thinking about the future. Forgiving yourself can be the first step to becoming the person you want to be.

Why Are You So Hard On Yourself?

Like many people in recovery, you may be hard on yourself. People who struggle with addiction often carry guilt and shame.

Addiction can change who you are, how you act, and how the world perceives you.

Maybe you lied, cheated, or stole from others. Perhaps you acted out in a sexual way that made you feel ashamed. Addiction can poke a lot of holes in a person’s moral fabric. Remember – it’s a disease of the brain – and as such, it can change the way you act, react or feel about things.

You’re not responsible for your disease, but you are responsible for your recovery.

Powerlessness and Forgiveness

You are powerless over the past. You are powerless over your addiction. The only thing you can control is what actions you take in the future. And today, you are in recovery, being the best person you can be.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up and start letting go of the past. The future, after all, is a blank slate. In recovery, you can make better decisions. So, just for today, be the best person you can be. Remind yourself that you are doing this, even when you feel low.

Taking suggestions from others in recovery can help you begin to forgive yourself. Once you learn how to forgive yourself, you will also be more forgiving of others. But you have to let yourself begin the healing process and stay sober.

Being a Good Person, Just for Today

As a person in recovery, living a day at a time is a survival skill. So just for today, you can stay sober and focus on being the best person you can be.

You are in the process of changing. It won’t happen overnight. But by working in a recovery program and getting guidance from others, you will eventually not only learn to forgive yourself but also earn the forgiveness of people you’ve wronged. (Asking forgiveness from others is much later in the 12 steps.)

Be the best person you can be today – it’s what you can do. You don’t have to do anything more than stay sober and try your best to be a good person.

Be kind to people, hold doors for neighbors, and stay sober just for today. It’s okay to make mistakes – don’t give up! Every day sober is a new opportunity to learn to be the best person you can. Making mistakes is part of the process. How else would you learn?

Consider Sober Living

Sober housing provides an intimate, recovery-focused environment where you can focus on your well-being and future. You’ll learn to live a day at a time in a supportive, structured living environment.

If you or somebody you love needs structure and support in their living environment, recovery housing is an option. Call us to learn more about how it works at 760-216-2077.

Many people in recovery feel nervous when the holidays approach. This is especially true if they are estranged from their family or have triggers related to those in their life. Holidays are an emotional time for people from all walks of life! Whether you’re worried about family trauma or want to avoid triggers like your Uncle John passing the wine, your feelings are valid. Thanksgiving can be a tricky day for emotional health, so having a plan is important.

Celebrate Thanksgiving With Whoever You Choose

Celebrating Thanksgiving in recovery means whatever you want it to mean! If your family is estranged or substance users, you can begin building your “chosen family” now. Ask around to see if there is an open celebration among 12-step members. Often, there will be at least one person who has a gathering where everyone is welcome.

You may want to stop by your family gathering, then head over to a 12-step meeting. For some holidays, AA meetings and NA meetings host marathons that go for 24 hours – so you can stop by whenever you choose! Check your local meetings online to see what holiday events are listed.

Have An Exit Plan If You Celebrate With Family

Thanksgiving can be a trigger for many people. After all, we often think about the past (and get reminded of it) when we see relatives or celebrate with family. Sometimes these memories are raw and painful. As a result, you may feel unprepared to cope with your feelings.

If you plan on spending time with family, make sure you have an emergency exit plan! This can be texting your sponsor, calling your best sober friend, or letting people know you’ll be leaving to go to a meeting.

If you feel uncomfortable, acknowledge your feelings. Take some time to gather your thoughts if you feel triggered – you can always go to the restroom for some privacy. If you didn’t drive, make sure you have the Uber or Lyft app as well as the address to the closest 12-step meeting.

If you feel like using, please give yourself a minute at a time! Just stay sober until your ride comes. Then stay sober until you get to the 12-step meeting. Then stay inside with others in recovery until the feeling passes.

Consider Sober Living

If you’re looking for a supportive, safe environment to get back on your feet, sober living may be the right arrangement for you. We offer community, structure, and recovery in a fantastic location for making a new sober life! Give us a call to learn more about your options at 760-216-2077.

Months ago, California was part of a historic lawsuit win against pharmaceutical companies and their distributors. A large payout was allocated to the state after four companies -  Allergan, Endo, Johnson & Johnson, and Teva – were ruled to have used false and misleading marketing to push massive amounts of the addictive drug, Oxycontin onto the public.

Early this month, the results were reversed. A state judge in California ruled that the companies cannot be held liable for the raging opioid epidemic; it was simply too much of a reach to hold them responsible using a public nuisance law.

California Counties Were Counting On The Money

Many Californian counties needed the lawsuit money; they had already planned on how they would spend it. For example, San Diego County would use it to invest in more treatment centers and other public health initiatives.

Much of the money was also slated for opioid addiction training and prevention initiatives. Now, there may not be an expansion of treatment opportunities for people who need them.

Treatment Options Still Available

Many people are still able to get treatment, even if it’s not what they envisioned. Medical can help people get on waiting lists and get coverage when a bed is available. People with private insurance companies tend to have better options.

Addiction treatment is an integral part of healthcare, but there will still be limitations without new funds. The pandemic also has brought new challenges as well as healthcare delivery options. Some people find that therapy and groups online make treatment available almost everywhere.

Many people find that a sixty or ninety-day inpatient program benefits them, but they’re not ready to return to everyday life right away.

Consider Sober Housing

Sober housing options are still available for people who need aftercare and support as they live life on its own terms daily. Sober housing provides an intimate, recovery-focused environment where you can focus on your wellbeing.

If you or somebody you love needs structure and support in their living environment, recovery housing is an option. Call us to learn more about how it works at 760-216-2077.

 

Many people in recovery have trouble regulating their emotions. After all, we live in a world that has a lot of natural ups and downs. As a result, life can be upsetting, frustrating and leave you feeling like you can’t cope. But those are just feelings! In recovery, you learn to live with your feelings and healthily express them.

Anger is a normal human emotion. You’re allowed to feel it. What you don’t have a right to do is hurt others because you feel angry. You don’t have a right to drive aggressively or mistreat your spouse.

If you’re angry, you don’t have to act out in anger.

5 Ways to Cope With Anger

Instead of freaking out when you’re angry, give yourself a minute. Coping skills don’t just naturally appear overnight; they must be practiced. By stepping away from a situation when you’re angry, you give yourself time to react.

Take a deep breath, then try one of the following:

  1. Go for a walk and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can help calm anxiety, relax stress, and put you in a better mood. Youtube has a lot of videos you can check out or check your phone’s app store.
  2. Take a quick jog or bike. Getting moving can help calm your anger and fill your brain and body with the feel-good hormone, endorphins.
  3. Vent in a journal. If you don’t like to write, draw your feelings. These are private thoughts you don’t have to share with anyone. But once you’ve vented your emotions on paper, make a vow to leave them there for the rest of the day.
  4. If you’re in an argument, ask the other person to give you time to cool off. Then, sit down with your sponsor and plan what you’re going to say. Remember that each of you has the right to your own feelings. Try to look for solutions to the problem, not get “revenge.”
  5. Accept that sometimes you’re going to be angry. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Working on acceptance is a part of recovery; not everything will go your way all of the time. Talk to your sponsor about acceptance. Learn and practice the serenity prayer. And if things get complicated, take yourself to a 12-step meeting. There are plenty of people to reach out to and learn from there!

Consider Sober Housing

If you or somebody you love are looking for structured, compassionate aftercare, we’re here to help. Our community offers independence as well as structured therapy. Learn more about what we have to offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.

A recent letter to the Acting Director of Health and Human Services in the Biden administration urged action for expanding the availability of Medication-Assisted Treatment through the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This comes on the heels of Biden suspending the former administration's OUD (opioid use disorder) guidelines.

Who Sent the Letter on OUD Treatment?

In response to a recent retraction of Trump guidelines, the letter announced on January 27, 2021, was written by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and signed by representatives from seven representatives with over 150,000 members and 2200 treatment centers. The Biden administration recently decided to withdraw the previous administration's Practicing Guidelines for Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder to update them and provide better access.

Medication-Assisted Treatment: Science-Based OUD Tools

The letter from AAAP implored the Biden administration to expand access to science-based medication. Buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone are all medications that have been proven to help people get and stay sober.

Medications that help people addicted to opioids are crucial in assisting them to avoid the compulsion to use. Buprenorphine and methadone help people prevent painful and challenging withdrawal symptoms.

For many treatment programs, the idea of medication carries a stigma. Because of this, it's vitally important that more doctors are educated about how MAT works and how it should be administered. Many medical professionals have felt uncomfortable prescribing it because of a lack of education.

Opioids are notoriously tricky to cease using due to the problematic withdrawal symptoms they cause when a person quits using.

Opioid Prescribing Education and Guidance

The letter for AAAP also says that the Biden administration needs to begin a focus on opioid addiction prevention. They say that this means requiring all prescribers of opioids to be taught about opioids dependence, addiction, and withdrawal.

Preventing opioid addiction is the best long-term strategy for ending the opioid epidemic. It's unclear what path the Biden administration will decide to take regarding new addiction recovery health policies.

Sober Living San Diego

Do you or somebody you love need a space to get back on your feet now that you're sober? Our homes are bright, cheerful, friendly homes with both community and structure to help you stay on your path to recovery. We have a lot to offer our residents! Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more.

- By Philip, Milgram, MD

Worry, fear, boredom, anxiety, loneliness, escapism, insomnia; these are the emotions that plague our society. The plague that is COVID is making these human imperfections more frequent and more pronounced. There are healthy effective ways we can not only deal with these feelings and situations. But it is human tendency to take an immediate and effective way to escape: The Devil’s Drugs. They are readily (too readily) available. There is easy access to someone who can promise you the gates of heaven. You are invincible. And you want it now. From a friend or family member who has some. Or from a prescriber who will prescribe, sometimes inadvertently but often as a legitimate dealer. Hey, maybe it‘s even covered by your insurance. Maybe you know somebody who knows someone who can get it for you in a park or a parking lot. Trust me. You are not invincible. These are not your grandparent’s drugs. These synthetic drugs have a high addiction potential. I don’t think they should have ever been released to the public, like Quaaludes. You give these drugs to a thousand white mice…and a thousand whit mice will be pushing that button for more. Physiologically, we are not dissimilar from a white mouse. They use these same white mice to test the drugs and extrapolate to human consumption. WE WANT MORE OF THAT!!

These drugs cause what is known as hyperalgesia. Let’s say you stroke the hairs on your arm with a feather. These drugs make a stimulus that would be a tickle or an unpleasurable event and convert it to pain. What do you do? I WANT MORE OF THAT!!

Then you develop tolerance to the drug. Until you rapidly, sometimes within days, need more to get you to that place where you want to be. And you then know. I NEED MORE OF THAT!!

We have been very successful treating alcoholism and drug addiction to heroin, opiates with our innovative and experienced team and the magical molecule of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which detoxifies and fixes your brain, relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings with much greater regularity than your neighborhood rehab center. But these are The Devil’s Drugs. And they require an all out and effective therapeutic approach to avoid the gates of hell; loss of you job, your family, your money, your home. And finally you lose yourself and then you lose hope. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonipen, Ativan, Ambien and the sort) are not a good solution. You solve a problem by creating another problem. But prescribers too readily whip out their prescription pads to give you a stopgap that may be as bad or worse than the original problem. Please don’t take Kratom either. Often the addiction to Kratom is worse than heroin. Unfortunately, it is readily available and touted as “natural”. When you are addicted to Kratom, you may be suffering such terrible withdrawals that you have to use through the night every two hours.

The best way to avoid this whole situation is to not allow these drugs into your body. Avoid them all-knowingly because I have here told you of their power, their danger, and the high percentage for your physiologic tendency as a normal human being to succumb to the power of these drugs. But it is human tendency to think you are different, stronger, better, even invincible. I WANT TO FEEL IT, NOW!!

We have an alternative therapy here in Carlsbad, with the magic molecule (NAD+) that is already present in every living animal and plant cell. And that the body naturally uses to detoxify, heal, pump up immunity, and create new neural pathways that results in less cravings, less withdrawal symptoms and a high degree of long-lasting sobriety, health, longevity and wellness. We help restore restful sleep, use additional therapies, and get you on the road to a new life free from the influence of these drugs.

NAD+ is the magic. There is an art to the administration of it—starting with the best NAD+. Then there are therapies that enhance and propagate the NAD+ effect. Then, once off the drugs, you need to deal with the emotional, physical, depression, anxiety, any underlying mental disease, situation, and establish an ongoing program of healthy nurturing lifestyle.

There is such a thing as recovery, let us show you.

Phillip Milgram MD

Affirmations can be used in recovery to help you stay focused on your goals and achieve a better, more positive attitude. Many people in recovery feel plagued by negative thoughts or self-defeating beliefs. These are the kind of issues that keep people stuck in recovery and perpetuate negative attitudes. They can also stop you from trying new things or succeeding.

Negative Self-Talk

“I’m no good at this” or “I never manage to learn” are examples of negative self-talk that affirmations can help you change. You may have heard that you weren’t good at certain things when you were growing up, so you never tried them for yourself. In your mind, when you try something new, these beliefs may pop up and discourage you. Negative self-talk can keep you from trying new things or becoming the person you want to be.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk:

  • “You idiot!” “You’re so stupid!” “You’re a loser!” – All of these phrases are abusive, and you hopefully would not say them to another person. So why are you telling them to yourself?
  • “Nothing ever goes right for me.” When you tell yourself this, you’re giving up before you give yourself a chance.
  • “I just don’t have any talent.” For many things in life, you don’t need talent anyway. You need to practice and learn new skills.
  • “I don’t have enough time.” Many people make excuses to avoid 12-step meetings, therapy, exercise, meditation, and other things that can help them get their lives on track. If you had infinite time to use and find your drugs, you can now make the time to put in the work for recovery.
  • “Why should I bother? Nothing changes for me anyway.” Another easy way for people to avoid putting in the work to change their lives is defeatism. You won’t know what can change until you work on change.

Think about your most negative thoughts. You probably have a few of them going through your mind throughout the day. Write them down. Think about how they affect your decision-making. Think about how you feel when those thoughts arise. You probably can even think of a few times you were completely wrong when you were having these negative thoughts.

Let’s work on changing your inner narrative.

Affirmations and Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk takes practice. Affirmations are an easy way to practice thinking better thoughts about yourself. Self-affirmations can help you to challenge and overcome negative thought patterns and establish better self-esteem. When a thought is repeated enough, you can start to believe more positive things about yourself. You’ll also have a better attitude.

Write down your affirmations on some index cards and keep them in your pocket. When you have a quiet moment during the day – in the bathroom, on lunch break, etc. take the time to read them. Try to read your affirmations at least three times a day, every day, even when you’re having what you consider a bad day.

Affirmations should challenge the negative thoughts you have about yourself.

If you’re not sure how to do that, here is a list of affirmative statements that you may want to choose from:

  • I can learn from my mistakes.
  • I am learning new things every day!
  • I don’t have to be perfect; I am only human.
  • I forgive myself for the past and am working towards a better future.
  • I accept what I can’t change.
  • I strive for excellence in everything I do.
  • I don’t give up on myself.
  • I have a lot to offer.
  • I am becoming more open-minded every day.
  • I deserve to stay clean and sober.
  • My past is in the past! I focus on today.
  • I am grateful for the things I have.
  • I accept others, and they accept me.
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • I find inspiration in all parts of my life.
  • I accept where I am in life today.

These are just a few examples of how you can use affirmations in your life. Try to use them whenever you feel stuck in a rut or negative. If you’re having trouble writing your affirmations, ask for help from a sponsor or recovery friends.

Consider Sober Living

For many people in recovery, sober living is an integral part of their journey in recovery. Living among peers with similar goals helps you stay focused, and you’ll also be part of an intimate, recovery-centered community. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.

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