Pactical Help For Drug And Alcohol Addiction by monkey6


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									Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Four practical steps to finding help for yourself or a family member. George Fyfe


Hi my name is George and I’m an addict! We have all heard this statement. Unfortunately this is something that we sometimes laugh at or jest about, but it can become our nightmare overnight or very subtly like the boiling frog syndrome. We live in an era where the pressure of life is down to the second. We are like a bunch of pressure cookers on two legs. In South Africa walk into the mall and count how many people are smiling. Read or listen to the headlines, children killing each other at school, road rage, family shootings, and crime. This produces a society of instant gratification for pressure release. Many adults cannot get through a week without using the so-called legal drugs or therapists of one kind or another. Add to this low self-esteem, low self worth and low self-confidence… and that’s the adults. What do the children do? They have issues with themselves already, to tall, to short, to fat, to wide etc. What do they do? Well some of them find their equilibrium amongst their peers, good or bad. If you look at the penguins at the polar caps, each of them gladly takes their chance in the outer circle. In this way they break the icy wind so that the group can survive the cold. God intended for the family unit to be one so that where a member finds them-selves under pressure, the rest would step in and help to dissipate it. In South Africa the concept of labola is practiced. What this means is that you have to pay a price for your bride. I sometimes wish that parents would have to be licensed in order to get married and to have children. This is not a judgment. I say this in a positive way. Many parents have not yet finished growing up or dealt with their own skeletons. If you add children to this then the pressure is really on. No matter where you find yourself in life, when you empower yourself with wisdom, life gets a whole lot easier. When you have a plan, it helps to relieve life’s pressures and stresses in a positive way. We begin to see a way out, light at the end of the proverbial very dark tunnel. I am going to base this helper document on four principles and present them in such a way that it has a meaningful practical outcome. This is not a medical document, and is based on my own QBE life story in lay ministry and as an alcohol addict who by Gods grace has been dry for 25 Years.


Principle 1: Allow yourself to get in touch with the world you and your child live in.
Many parents fall into the trap of believing that they know it all. That they lived through a time when they weathered the same temptations and survived. For today’s generation we can liken this to the ostrich that is about to meet its fate in the veld, and all of a sudden it sticks its head into the ground and says “if I can’t see it I can’t feel it”. Oops… newsflash When we were young alcohol, obees, acid and pot were the drugs of choice. Truth of the matter is, life has changed a whole lot since we were young. We have to reeducate ourselves to the realities of today. When we were young, you had to go looking for the drug/pushers. To day they are everywhere. In our homes, our schools, our suburbs and towns. You might even find that 10-year-old Mary from the corner home is the local drug dealer. When you begin to work with these youth you find that they don’t have to have all that much money. The dealers love to sub-contract or franchise dealerships based on the user getting their weekly requirement. One of the sadest statements I have heard from adults is its OK for my son or daughter to do pot. They’ll grow out of it. The sadness about this is that when I ask the same parent weather they drink, they will say YES but I can manage it, I only do it recreationally. Truth is… the parent has never grown out of it. Well what’s the problem? Boundaries! With the same boundaries you apply to your own life as a parent, these are the boundaries you will end up applying to your child. An afrikaans saying paints a perfect picture, “jy doen nie wat ek doen, jy maak soos ek se”. Well this won’t work anymore, as the children will do what they see their parents doing and more. Adults and kids who use drugs tend to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana first. These are all known as gateway drugs. They can be used recreationally by restless, bored or risk-taking adult/teens simply to fill their time or to instantly bond with a group of likeminded peers. Adults/teens may also turn to drugs or alcohol medicinally to cope with problems and pressures, unhappy feelings or uncomfortable situations. However, very soon drugs define their existence. 3

Principle 2: Plan for children - Earnestly seek out and create motivational teachable moments about drugs at an early age.
The real cost of children is a lifetime commitment. The Bible tells us that children are a blessing from God. Go and speak to a couple of parents who have teenagers and you might just get a few different answers . Just kidding… God is not a liar. Children are a blessing. We are biblically living in the end times (my view). Life is hot-ting up for us all. My Son is 33 and my Daughter is 26. We have Grandchildren who will view a very different world to the one we live in today. But in all cases we should look at not just teaching them what they should do but empowering them personally to make good life skill choices. We are not born winners or losers… we are born choosers. You are the adult. What are your boundaries? If you and your child see a group of people drinking or smoking, create a motivational teachable moment to talk about the negative effects of alcohol and tobacco. Kids love to act A phenomenal way to help kids prepare for situations where they might be offered drugs or alcohol is to act out skits. The youth that know me will smile when I mention skits… I love creating skits. If you create a skit and really get into character and you get your child/youth to play the part of the targeted user. If they have practiced a number of times to say NO, then that will come to remembrance one day in real life. The Bible tells us that faith comes through hearing… in the same way saying NO is easier every time you’ve heard yourself say it. Romans 10:17 It’s never too early to start talking with your child about drugs and alcohol. Seek out motivational teachable moments and start talking at an early age. Empower your child with positive affirmations that build self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence. Teach your child that it’s OK to say a friendly NO to his or her peers. It’s not the end of the world. Always remember to reinforce your love and do not be critical. Create an open, warm dialogue path at an early age.


Principle 3: Identify the signs of drug or alcohol abuse
Teenagers by nature can be moody and unpredictable. Do not mistake normal teenage growing pains for drug abuse. There is a fine line that separates the two. In my own walk with addiction - bruises, bloodshot eyes, lies, car accidents and dents, failure to fulfill responsibilities at home or work and theft to fund my addiction were my physical and behavioral characteristics. Some Physical Characteristics Change in sleeping patterns Skin abrasions/bruises Bloodshot eyes Neglected appearance/poor hygiene Slurred or agitated speech Sick more frequently Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain Accidents or injuries Some Behavioral Characteristics Hiding use Sense that the person will Lying and covering up "do anything" to use again regardless of consequences Loss of control or choice of use (drug-seeking behavior) Emotional instability Depression Failure to fulfill responsibilities at school or work Reports of intoxication at school or work Avoiding eye contact Going out every night Change in clothing or appearance Heavy use of over-the-counter preparations to reduce eye reddening, nasal irritation, or bad breath Hidden stashes of alcohol Money missing Disappearances for long periods of time Secretive phone calls Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities Hyperactive or hyper-aggressive Missing school or work Complaints from teachers or coworkers Furtive or secretive behavior Locked doors Change in friends or peer group Unusual smells on clothing or breath Alcohol missing from your supply Prescription medicine missing Valuables missing Running away Unusual containers or wrappers

Have you found any of the following in your home: pipes, rolling papers, small medicine bottles, eye drops, butane lighters, homemade pipes or bongs (pipes that use water as a filter) made from soda cans or plastic beverage containers.


Principle 4: Intervene NOW if you identify the signs of drug or alcohol abuse
No parent, child, or family is immune to the effects of drugs. Some of the best Adults/youth/ kids can end up in trouble, even when every effort to avoid it and proper guidance has been given. The sooner you intervene the more positive the outcome can be. • • • • • • •


• • • •

The Bible tells us that our motivation should always be love. Remember this is not about you… but about your child. You’re the adult. Hopefully your own boundaries are intact, as you will now need to set some. Choose to have a positive intervention when your child is not high. Choose to be calm… Remain neutral and non-judgmental… Have a discussion with your child about all the warning signs you have observed. Listen, to what your child has to say, let the child/youth talk, you listen, don’t shout or make idle threats (you loose face and your authority). If you discuss other topics write them down and come back to them after the drug topic has been dealt with, they could be the reason for the drugs. If you need help during this intervention, involve another trusted family member, religious minister, youth leader, guidance counselor, or professional. Whatever you do, make sure the child does not perceive itself as being ganged up on, or they might just keep quite and nothing will be gained. Get a professional / lay evaluation. There are many support groups. Decide on a path that will produce the outcome you want… This will not go away overnight… This is just the first step of a process… As a parent it’s left to YOU to seek help for your child. Do not for one moment believe that the life support system you find yourself in will automatically do this for you. Ideally your child/youth needs to want to be helped, but remember you’re the adult. Make good Godly decisions on their behalf. This process can give tough love new meaning. You might need to seek support for yourself. DON’T DESPAIR, pray much and don’t stop until you have achieved the outcome God wanted you to have in the first place.

REMEMBER: A warm, open family environment, where children are encouraged to talk, where children are praised, and where their self-esteem is bolstered encourages kids / youth to be less vulnerable to peer pressure, and to come forward with their questions and concerns. REMEMBER: If you censor your child in their own home, they will go elsewhere to find support and answers to life’s questions, weather they be right or wrong.
Copyright George Fyfe - eGarageBand - 2007.


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