HELP! I Can't Decide on a Recovery Program for my Family Member

This can be such a hopeful and stressful time in your life. You’ve possibly had quite a few conversations in the past with your loved one about finally getting help. Some have gone terrible and ended in arguments and others have shown glimmers of hope. Today is one of those days. They have finally acknowledged that they are ready to get help.

You sit down at the computer, open your internet browser, pull up google, and type the words “Drug Rehab” as you start to search for a location to send your family member.

You’re, undoubtedly, immediately faced with a variety of options as your sort through all the different programs that are available.

Short Term
Long Term
Transitional Living
Faith Based Alternatives
How can anyone possibly look through all of these options and make a wise decision?

Which one will be right for my family member?

Take a second right now and just breathe.

There are plenty of amazing options out there for your loved one to...

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Letting Go of the Bike

Just this week I took my oldest daughter to the park to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time.

This is an exciting, yet nerve racking moment. Chloe, my oldest daughter, is so excited to graduate to her big girl bike. She is ready to conquer the world on one hand. But on the other hand she isn’t ready for Dad to not be by her side as she learns something new.

On my side, I am excited for my little girl, ready to see her learn how to finally ride this bike on her own. As we spent time on the bike, we began to learn the basics. I showed her how to get on the bike. The importance of her balance when on the bike. The importance of holding on, learning how to pedal, etc.

Even after all this Chloe doesn’t know that I’ve never taught anyone to ride a bike before. I mean, I know how to ride a bike myself. I have seen videos on tv where parents have taught kids. Though I don’t recall when my parents taught me. I know they did teach me, but...

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If addiction is a disease, Jesus is still the great Physician.

I think I live in the minority. I have a hard time viewing addiction as a disease.

I am not so opposed to some of the reasoning this label exist today when it comes to addiction. I can certainly understand the physical and mental effects that addiction can have on an individual. Very often pursuing “cold-turkey” methods of quitting can be dangerous and life threatening without the help of a medical professional for detox.

There are also cases where children are born addicted to drugs because of poor choices made by parents and these children didn’t choose to be addicted and this could be a scenario where this label also fits.

But that's where the definition ends for me.

I am no stranger to health issues in my family. I have, over the course of my life, watched many loved ones battle different medical problems. Many of which there is no real cure for, just medicine to maintain quality of life, while the medical community still searches for an answer. I have watched...

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Getting Clean It's More Than Just Quitting

The story of Naaman is a very interesting story in the scripture. When we dig into this story, it gives us a really good perceptive on Getting Clean.

In 2 Kings 5:1-14, we read the story of a great and powerful man that had an issue that he tried to conceal well from everyone around him. He was a commander of a Syrian army, who was stricken with a terrible condition.

We know from the scripture that the King, Namaan’s wife, and the servant girl knew about this issue. I wonder how many others knew.

The servant approaches Namaan and gives him a scenario of how he can get free. After a few conversations and some controversy with the kings, he ends up at Elijah’s door.

Elijah gives Namaan a very clear way to get healed. The caveat is that Elijah gives these instructions through a servant. “Go wash in the Jordan 7 times.”

Namaan’s pride is hurt. He’s furious because he has traveled all this way and Elijah doesn't even speak to him.

Isn’t it...

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Letting Go and Letting God

Such a frequently used phrase yet in reality is a challenge for the majority of us to do. The other day I began to contemplate the story of Joseph’s life. What an amazing story about letting go and trusting the purpose of God irregardless of what he suffered.

I saw the correlation here with Joseph and to those of us who have suffered on account of family members battling with addiction.

If you really think about the life of Joseph the beginning of his struggles started at the hands of his family members. Gen. 37

The story of Joseph is a commonly told story but in short, Joseph spoke out about a dream that he had to his brothers and as a result they got angry, wanted to murder him, and settled for selling him into slavery.

Think about this; Joseph was sold into slavery by his family.

That is tough! How could the people we love and care about so much be the result of so much pain and hardship in our lives?

While we have never experienced exactly what Joseph did many of us...

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How do I really help the Addict?

This is the all-encompassing question. The truth that every loved one is searching to answer. So often these topics of codependency and enabling come up when folks begin making attempts to help their loved one that is an addict. They are not just topics or ideas, but quickly and easily become realities when the family that is helping is not careful and focused in the direction of their efforts to help.

I am certain that codependent and enabling relationships are simply healthy efforts to help, turned unhealthy.

Let’s be honest. When the struggle shows it’s face in our families, we are not prepared for it. We don’t expect it and so we have absolutely no clue how to cope with the thought of the children we love and care about living bound by a life-controlling problem.

So how do I help?

Get Help

We know the addict probably needs rehab of some sort. Whether inpatient, outpatient, medicinal, or non-medicinal. Do they need a doctor? Do they need a therapist? Should I...

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Can this Hurt Have Meaning?

The grief of watching a loved one battle an addiction can be absolutely overwhelming. It can leave a person depressed, worn out, physically & emotionally sick. Just to name a few.

As we go through this struggle of helping someone we care about we will never be okay with the addiction. The pain of this battle can cut deep over and over again. If we don’t find a way to channel all that we have been through into something positive and life giving, it can eat away us.

I don’t think I have to spend time elaborating on the hurt. I think we all connect to what it means to grieve pain and hardships. I think what’s important here is that we focus on finding a way to use this hurt to help others.

I was thinking about this and how my parents were able to use this struggle. They initially got the call of God to launch the Teen Challenge program around the same time 3 children were beginning to actively fight addiction.

At the beginning, they fought with the thoughts of...

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You Didn't Cause the Problem..Dealing with False Guilt

I grew up in a great home. I had two amazing parents that cared for me and loved me so much. They did their absolute best to ensure that I had everything I needed to live a successful and productive life.

My parents never gave me drugs or encouraged me to party. Yet there was still a point where I chose to follow that path. I share my personal experience with this because it would be absolutely absurd for me to realistically blame my family because of my poor choices.

Yet many parents; after making attempts to help their loved ones, will live with a false sense of guilt. They take the blame on themselves.

“I remember a lot of emotionally, charged conversations with my parents during the end of my addiction. When the topic of finally going into a program would come up, I would do a lot of blaming. In the midst of the moment, Mom would reply with comments like “What did I do to cause this?” “What could we have done differently?” My addiction existed...

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Am I Enabling or Empowering?

One of the topics that often comes up in the world of recovery is the topic of enabling. This is a common issue for those close to anyone with an addiction.

Often times it’s hard to see the difference between whether we are helping or harming those we care about.

Enable is defined as: give authority, to allow, to permit, to make it easy.

I want you to think about this. When you enable, you shield your loved ones of the consequences of poor choices. Stephanie, who is currently serving as our receptionist, recently shared her story about this.

She said, “My parents compromised with me, agreeing with me that using in the house was okay because it was only marijuana.  That little compromise my parents made with me enabled me to take it and run with it.”

Again, look at our definition here; enable is to allow, to permit, to make it easy. You have to be careful that you’re not making it easy for your loved ones to make poor choices that will lead to their...

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Stop Avoiding the Problem...Start Now!

You're overwhelmed. Life is going on all around you and suddenly crisis happens. You're faced with a problem.

Ever been there?

You don’t need to have experience in addiction or have had to battle with a family member in addiction in order to understand the nature of dealing with a problem.

Though for many of us our initial reaction is to try and find a way to avoid dealing with the problem. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by what we're facing so we move on and tell ourselves we will get to it later.

The bigger concern is sometimes this becomes a pattern. We move from problem to avoidance to a new problem to avoidance. After a while we end up standing on top of a mountain of issues.

I’ve been involved in a few remodeling projects throughout the course of my life. One of them we worked on is a building that had been built in 1937. It seemed that every time we pulled a piece of Sheetrock off or began to work on a room, we would uncover another issue that we...

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