Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Treatment

     I had another topic for tonight but felt as though I should follow up on how to help the alcoholic or addict in your life.

     So if for some reason you have been able to get through the delusional head of an alcoholic or drug addict and they finally come crawling for help, then first things first.

     Get them to detox.

     Nobody can even begin to heal, grow and change without a clear head. Many hospitals have detox programs that can be accessed through their Emergency Rooms. Walk in and tell the intake nurse that you're an addict and need help. It's as simple as that. If the addict tests for cocaine only, the hospital may reject him or her based on the fact that there is no immediate danger from cocaine withdrawal. In that case, I hate to say it, but go get them drunk and then walk back in. This way they'll test positively for alcohol. Alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, etc.) are the only two classes of drugs that can be lethal to withdrawal from. This is why they won't turn you away if you test positively for alcohol.

     It's very important for parents or spouses to understand that detox is NOT treatment. Don't let the addict or alcoholic fool you, as they will often have a change of heart once they get the drugs out of their system and start to feel better. Suddenly, they want to leave the hospital as they declare that all is well in their world. They convincingly assert how they have never been better and have a new lease on life. They will tell you how motivated they are to stay sober and make positive changes.

     Trust me, it's all bullshit.

     If they think detox is all they need, you might as well watch them walk out of the hospital door and follow them to the bar or the dealer's apartment... because that's where they'll end up sooner or later.

     After detox, it gets a little tricky. Why? Because I'm not aware of too many treatment centers that take addicts and alcoholics through a rigorous Twelve Step program, that is to say a place that takes the Twelve Step program of spiritual action directly out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The instructions are in there, but have to be interpreted by someone who has taken Steps personally. Doctors, therapists, social workers and pills of any kind are pretty much useless. Aside from such rare programs, the other option is for the addict to be put in touch with a recovered alcoholic or addict who can take them through the Step process individually.

     A warning. There are a slew of treatment methods out there, including individual and group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, role play, triggers (which don't exist) and relapse prevention, pills such as anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, methadone or suboxone. I have tried just about every conventional method that exists in the world today and FAILED every time. The only thing that worked for me was to thoroughly and fearlessly take STEPS right out of the Big Book - the AA text book, if you will.

     Originally, AA had nothing to do with meetings. It was simply a program of rigorous action capable of expelling the various poisons within in order to achieve sanity and establish a relationship with God. Today, this process will get watered down at every opportunity. People are always looking for easier, softer ways. If you can find any that honestly work, let me know...

God, help those who still suffer find their way to the Steps and to You...

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