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Recovery, Addiction, and Children of Drug Addicts
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Many people come to me with questions about recovery, addiction, and children of drug addicts.  What are some things to watch out for?

If a child has parents who are addicted to drugs, then the chance that they too will be addicted increases by quite a bit.  In short, they are at high risk for developing drug addiction or alcoholism at some point in their lives.

One thing that you might try to instill in such a child is that alcohol is a drug.  Period.  Alcohol cannot be viewed as separate from other drugs, or it will get them into trouble one day.

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 photo credit: Andreas März

Most people cannot wrap their minds around this, because they view alcohol as separate from other drugs.  It’s not.  It is a drug.  Think very carefully about this for a moment.

Any drug you can think of, be it Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed, whatever–ANY drug you can think of can be arranged into a liquid form.  That goes for any drug on the market.  Anything can be procured as a liquid, just like alcohol.  And, some drugs are distributed as a liquid.  But because our society sells alcohol on every street corner, it is somehow more acceptable than other drugs that are typically sold from a pharmacy or cooked up on the streets.  But in reality, alcohol is a liquid drug.  It is just another drug.

You have to convince at risk children of drug addicts that alcohol is just another drug, and that they need to approach it with extreme caution.  Ideally, they should recoil from alcohol just as if it were heroin or other illegal street drugs.  The chances for addiction are not identical, but they are close enough that it is foolish to think that they can enjoy alcohol for their whole life without any risk of addiction to it.

If a child does start to show signs of abuse or addiction, the best thing to do is to try to get them into long term treatment.  The problem with treating younger people and addiction is that they have such a high level of peer influence from their friends.  So if you put them into group therapy or introduce them to NA meetings for young people, these can actually have a detrimental effect on their chances to get clean.  Why?  Because of corruption and their peer group.  They have actually done some studies that show that group therapy among younger addicts is worse than no therapy at all.  They would be better off having no treatment then having treatment with a group of their peers, because the children and teens tend to corrupt each other.

Counseling or therapy is probably a better choice in this case.  Having a young person see an individual therapist may not work 100 percent of the time and get them clean and sober forever, but it is better than sending them off to a group where kids are selling drugs to each other.

Perhaps the best method of recovery for younger people in this situation is long term treatment.  The problem with that is that no kid in their right mind would ever like the idea of long term rehab, as it basically removes them from their friends and sort of destroys their whole world.  But some kids are miserable enough and desperate enough that they may not care too much about this, and long term treatment may be the perfect choice for them.

Younger people have the additional challenge in recovery of dealing with strong peer influence.  Most of them would rather die than to give up their friends, which can make recovery a very tough proposition.

Does Hypnosis for Drug Addiction Really Work?
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Many people want to know if hypnosis for drug addiction really works or not.  They are hoping to get enough evidence in front of them to go spend the money on hypnosis and all of their problems will be solved.

Well, here is how it actually works.

Hypnosis is a tool.  You might say it is a similar tool to other things such as meditation, cognitive therapy, or yoga.  It can help, but it probably cannot make or break your recovery.

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 photo credit: pb3131

Let’s look at the evidence.  I have direct evidence in my life that hypnosis can be helpful for treating addiction.  I have a friend who is a recovering drug addict who has been smoking cigarettes for over 30 years.  He wanted to quit smoking and nothing he had tried was working for him.  So he decided to give hypnosis a try, and lo and behold, he has not had a cigarette for over 4 years now.  I believe he had 2 sessions with a hypnotist that he thoroughly trusted, costing him less than 200 dollars.

Now before we get carried away with a story like this, let us consider the fact that my friend actually wanted to quit smoking.  This is a critical piece that many people seem to miss when it comes to treating addictions.  Most addicts want the benefits of recovery without having to put in the work.  Most addicts wish that things were different and that they did not spend thousands of dollars on their drug of choice.  But just because they wish that things were different does not actually mean that they want to quit using drugs.

Think about that for a moment.  The difference between:

Wishing that things were different, and that you were not addicted to drugs and wasting money on them all the time.

AND

Wanting to stop using drugs.

There is a huge difference.  But most of us equate them with being the same thing.  We think that our wishes for a better life really mean that we actually want to stop using drugs.  We might make a feeble, half hearted attempt at quitting and then feel frustrated because we relapse or fail.  But the problem is that we are actually lying to ourselves, and we do not really want to quit using drugs yet.

Now the key point I am trying to make here is that hypnosis can be an excellent supplement to your recovery strategy, but it cannot make you want to quit using drugs.  Understand this point because it is very important.  Hypnosis cannot make you want to quit drugs.  All it can do is to help you if you have already made the decision that you truly want to quit drugs.

You cannot fool your own mind.  If you just wish that things were different and try to convince yourself that you really want to stop using drugs, it will not make any difference at all until you actually, deep down, want to stop using more than anything in the world.

The fact is that most people have a pretty low bottom with addiction and therefore they need to experience a whole lot of pain before they are ready to stop using.  We can fool ourselves very easily into thinking that we can use some trick or some gimmick in order to create a desire to stop using drugs, but the truth is that there are no gimmicks for that.  Drug addiction may be helped by hypnosis but only if you truly want to stop using drugs, not just change your life.  Your desire to be rid of your drug of choice must be specific, and intense.  You have to truly be sick and tired of it, right down to the core.  All joy and fun with the drug must be gone.

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