NY Times article about addiction treatment

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Calamity Jane, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Very interesting article, thank you for sharing it. My husband has said many times that most addicts will quit on their own when the pain of staying the same gets too much. Now I realize some need additional medical help and counseling but basically I think he is right. I do feel that the money we spent on treatment was a waste in many respects. It introduced her to the sober communtiy and it also educated her about addiction but did little to get her to quit and stay sober.

    I like that many are recognizing the benefits of cognitive behavior therapy (Kathy you have converted me) and would love to see this made available to people with no insurance, then we would possibly see more progress.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Meth and anything else he could get his hands on were my difficult child's substances of choice. We were desperate to get him into treatment, but nothing "clicked" in time. Someone suggested a well respected psychiatrist in our area that specializes in SA and adoption issues. Hel-lo! Well, he's $350/50 min. (we have coverage, but with deductibles and maxing out, it was expensive). The initial 6 months were a total waste of time on difficult child's part and money on our part, but husband and I actually met with him several times and we found him to be helpful. We kept sending difficult child, knowing/hoping psychiatrist could get somewhere. difficult child just blew off the visits and we put it on hold.
    A few months passed, and difficult child was in a bad place: he lost his treasured job, which he loved, lost his girlfriend, barely graduated, and drugs were no longer fun, but were a chore which made him very unhappy, but unable to stop. difficult child actually asked us if we could set him up with psychiatrist again - I guess HE was finally ready. He had several sessions over 3 months and he has made tremendous progress since then. He's a good student, responsible, health conscious, not using now, and has a p/t job while away at college. He's still got a ways to go, and unfortunately the psychiatrist is in another state, but the traditional rehab path was not the magic bullet for him either. I guess the one-on-one with the psychiatrist, who has a very nurturing, compassionate yet forthright approach somehow resonated with difficult child.
    husband always maintains that there was nothing the psychiatrist could have possibly said or suggested that husband or I hadn't already done before. difficult child was just not ready to listen until he was ready to change.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That just makes so much sense. My difficult child was not ready to change then either. She is finally learning some small lessons by experience that hopefully will lead her to want to change but she's doing it on her own, with our support. Just today she told me she was upset at her roommmate and the roommates boyfriend who she let live with her, never do anything around the apartment to help clean or pay the bills. No matter how much we preached that she has to pay bills on time and any roommate needs to pay half she just dirregarded all our advice. Now the gas is subject to be turned off on Friday and rent isn't paid. I told her now she knows how we felt when she lived here and did nothing. and maybe next time she would be more careful about who she let live there.

    But these are lessons she has to learn on her own.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Exactly! Like your previous thread about scammers - difficult child's are wily con artists who end up being the victims of scammers themselves. My difficult child's roommate has not given us half the utility/internet expenses since Sept. husband is ready to not renew the lease, so roommate will have to find somewhere else to live. Our difficult child still needs to work on discernment skills when it comes to people he gets into "business" relationships with. He thinks we're judgmental, but we're just discerning, which comes with unfortunate experiences that we've learned from. difficult child and roommate worked out a schedule whereby difficult child agreed to wash all the dishes/pots and dry and put them away, no matter who cooks. His rm makes chili and mac & cheese and doesn't soak the pots, so they're encrusted by the time difficult child gets home from school and he's like a charwoman washing these grimy things, but he's too intimidated to say anything. RM doesn't hold up his end of the bargain by cleaning the bathroom. It's a filthy pigsty, and if difficult child doesn't clean, no one does. That's unfair, and difficult child has to learn to speak up for himself. Funny, but he had NO problem telling US what he expected of us!
    So they will learn by experience, a little at a time, but it's ironic that the difficult child's, who are notorious victimizers of their families are victims of "friends." Hang in there, Nancy. The lightbulb will come on in her head - she's no fool!
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Thank you for the link. There are a couple of suggested books I think I will read just in case I am ever in a position to help my difficult child again. I really wish I had the back up and support of his siblings and my husband the next time but they have put much distance between themselves and difficult child's problems. They will only see him and speak with him if he is in a healthy state. I totally understand. husband has enabling issues so stays out of it. Two sibs have children and one has his own difficulties to deal with. Unfortunately it makes trying to get difficult child help and supporting him through it totally up to me. Sigh. I have plenty of time to come up with a plan though since he belongs to the state for a while. Will know how long in a few weeks. -RM
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a great article. It goes along with everything we have been learning in our NAMI Family to Family classes. Last week we learned that effective treatment for people with the dual diagnosis of a mental illness and chemical addiction needs to have both treated concurrently.

    Nancy, while I have been a proponent of DBT, I have to admit I had trouble understanding it. Last week, an older lady in our class who is borderline explained it so I could understand terms like wise mind and mindfulness. She said that when she experiences an emotion, she has to stop herself and ask if that would be the reaction of someone with a wise (well) mind. If not, she corrects her response to the situation. It is a state of being mindful that her initial reactions may not be the correct reaction and enables her to stop herself before acting on it.

    I liked how she explained it.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I have become rather cynical in a way... and have come to the conclusion that the most important element in treatment is that the person is willing and wants it (however they get there... and sometimes being forced into treatment is how they get there) but to some extent I am not sure what the program is matters as much. I do think that programs that can deal with all the issues are better than those that don't.... but I did feel from the article a bit of the "you just need to help your loved one find the right program".... and maybe that is my own tired reaction from that attitude. For me it has come down to letting go and letting my son fall hard enough that he is willing to do the work, whatever it is and wherever it is to help himself get better.

    And at the same time continuing to let him know we love him and support him in his journey. So yes we will help when he is helping himself and we will not help when he is not helping himself.

  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you so much for sharing. One of my biggest complaints, after 10's of thousands of dollars spent, was the lack of individualization in programs.
    They had what they had and like our public schools, the square peg just has to be shoved in the round hole. Our daughter had a sexual compultion
    which i now believe is an addiction an emerging Borderline (BPD)....both are hard to treat and hard to find qualified people to treat. Yetboth
    treatment centerz said they could do it..........neither did a bang up job.
    I am very exited to read the books. While i attend FA off and on and have spent a lot of time at NAMI, none of the philosophies settle well. Peices do, but not all.
    I like the idea that it needs to be individual, research based, and ongoing....30 days what a joke! I thought it was really quite interesting that some of the public places do a
    better job than the high priced places. If i had only known.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm very grateful we got lucky in this. I strongly believe that my difficult child would not had done well in traditional twelve step or similar program. I believe it would had been very bad fit for him and he would had just rebelled and made mockery of all that. And that of course would had only worsen his problems. He seriously lacked that kind of humility and maturity those approaches need from the person.

    We got lucky that the program that was easy ta access and recommended and dealt with his addiction specially was research based, lead by educated specialists, individualized and more or less ongoing (he was discharged from the program after year and half but can easily go back if he feels he has more difficulties handling his addiction or if he slips or relapses.) It was mostly out-patient with some weekend camps. And for him the approach that it was something he could control, he could learn to keep in bay and handle the urges and educating him about addictions and new research concerning them was much more beneficial than trying to get him to eat that much of humble pie twelve steps for example require.
  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    When we were having all kinds of SA issues with difficult child when he was in 10th grade, we were told by the guidance counselor as well as other professionals that most of the time, you can't "wait" for someone to want to change, particularly if they are your minor children, that sending them away for wilderness, rehab, etc. has to be sort of mandated, either by the parents or by the courts. I'm certain there's plenty of evidence to support that, as well as common sense. In our case, though, our difficult child was SO stubborn, SO resistant, that there was nothing effective we could do until he was finally ready. Luckily, the psychiatrist we had was excellent. The psychiatrist was always excellent, it's just that we wasted our time and money initially because difficult child wasn't receptive. Once difficult child was receptive, things moved along with psychiatrist. I really had given up on difficult child before that point because he was just so combative and skeptical. It was as though he was taken over by an alien - that's how much he changed because of drugs.

    I cannot think of anything that husband and I did that enabled difficult child to become receptive, other than continue to encourage him and hold our ground. When he became 18 and was no longer a minor, we just told him what we wouldn't stand for in our home. husband and I were completely united on that front, but with psychiatrist's help, we put it in a loving, supportive way, rather than in a "get the heck out of our house you bum" way that I was ready to express! The adoption issue was a complication, and he needed to work on that, too. Currently, as far as any parent with a kid in college in another state can know, it has worked out, but I maintain we were all lucky, because plenty of people have done exactly what we did, and are still waiting for their difficult child's to get the message. Plus, I'm always sure the other shoe is going to drop and we will be back to square one. I bolt up out of bed sweating in the middle of the night many, many times - even now.