Recovery winter2015

Page 1





Families Fighting Back from Addiction


Thorpe’s Family Program

Dad’s An Addict...Mom’s Going to Rehab

The Cost of Addiction on Families

The Drew’s - One Family’s Story

Impact of Addiction on Intimacy




Beginning the Family Healing

In This Issue

At Thorpe Recovery Centre, we understand that addiction is a family disease. We offer a 4 day Family

Addiction destroys families as much as it destroys individuals.


Living with an addict is both

Program to help families better understand addiction and how to begin their own recovery.

heartbreaking and exhausting.

You Don’t Have to Do This Alone

Family members are torn

Addiction obliterates families. It shakes the very

between how to help the addict

ground of all that we know and trust. Whether it is a

and how to avoid being sucked into the addict’s world.


dealing with an addict: You didn’t CAUSE the addiction.

You can’t CONTROL the

affects everyone.

Dad’s An Addict...Mom’s Going to Rehab

Remember the Three C’s of

spouse, parent, child or sibling addiction in the family


Some difficult questions that you may need to answer for your children.

addiction. •

You can’t CURE the addiction.

One Family’s Story When you hold your child in your arms for the very first time, you never envision an addict. One families


journey and how the TRC Family Program changed their lives.

The Cost of Addiction on Families Addiction costs are insidious, often creeping into a

If you would like to receive this publication on a regular basis please contact: Pat Henry

person’s finances without notice.


The Impact of Addiction on Intimacy


Thorpe Recovery Centre P.O. Box 291 Blackfoot, Alberta T0B 0L0

One of the earliest casualties from substance abuse is


intimacy. With the obsession of substances there is no room in their lives for anyone else.

PH: 780.875.8890


In Our Next Issue: Spring 2015 •

TRC - Celebrating 40 years of Recovery

The Stigma of Addiction & Mental Illness

Stories of Recovery


WINTER 2015 addict feel like walking away is the


best solution because they are lost

our office for a list of meetings in

in understanding addiction and how

the Lloydminster area, or your local

they can support their loved one in

addiction service centre for a listing in

recovery upon his/her return home. At

your community.




Thorpe Recovery Centre, we strive to educate and include a client’s family

An addict should not go through

as much as possible—with respect

recovery alone; neither should his/

to privacy legislation and the client’s

her family. Thorpe Recovery Centre


provides holistic addiction treatment services

Mrs. Teressa Krueckl Executive Director Thorpe Recovery Centre When a client comes into the Thorpe Recovery Centre they are looking for a safe place where they can begin to understand the disease of addiction and make those first steps toward living life in sobriety. But, what about the loved ones who are left at home feeling defeated? In many cases the spouses, partners, and children of an






One of the best ways for a family to

recovery is informed and built with a

learn about addiction and recovery is

strong foundation. If you, or someone

to attend our four day Family Program

you know, would benefit from our

Workshop. This

workshop is held

programming please phone our main

monthly, depending on attendance,

office or use our contact form on our

and educates adult family members

website; in both cases, your information



will be kept confidential.




relationships, boundaries,

communicate effectively, and grow

I hope you enjoy this edition of

in recovery with their loved one.

RECOVERY as much as we enjoy

Although the program is designed for

sharing the information.

family members of an addict, it is also valuable education for close friends, and professionals in social services. In addition to our programming, we recommend family members attend Al-Anon Family Group Meetings for

Recovery, Growth & New Life Thorpe Recovery Centre offers a large scope of treatment opportunities for those struggling with addiction, their families and loved ones. 40 years of Overcoming Addiction to Improve Lives 2015.

• • • • • •

Medically Supported Detox Unit Client Assessments Residential Program (42 - 90 day programs) Specialty Outpatient Groups Refresher Program Family Program

Telephone: 780.875.8890 Toll Free: 1.877.780.875.8890

Thorpe Recovery Centre

Overcoming Addiction to Improve Lives




Begin the Family Healing

Thorpe Recovery Centre’s Family Program is specifically designed for families to help them learn new ways of coping with addiction: methods that will promote recovery for both the family and the addict. It can be incredibly confusing

Who Should Attend? •

Anyone whose life has been affected by addiction.

Anyone whose life has been affected by someone else’s addiction.

Anyone who is in close relationship with an addict. This includes: parents, spouses, siblings, grand parents, friends, extended family, adult children, employers etc.

Anyone who wants to learn how to support someone in recovery.

Professionals looking for information on addiction and the family.

You do not need to have a loved one in the residential treatment program at Thorpe Recovery Centre to attend our Family Program.

for someone who is not addicted themselves to understand someone else’s addictive behaviour. The four day program runs Tuesday - Friday, on a monthly basis. Our Family Program provides an opportunity for clients and their families to gain a better understanding of their family of origin and current family systems and begin the process of healing together. Families and clients learn how to better communicate, support each other emotionally and establish appropriate boundaries.


both the families and clients together fosters the healing process and brings the family closer together. This has also been proven as a significant factor in long term healing and recovery. Topics covered include:


Family Dynamics

Recovering the Lost Self


Effective Communication

Grief & Loss

For Family Program dates and information please contact: Mrs. Brenda Hotvedt Admissions, Family Program Thorpe Recovery Centre




Don’t Have to Do This

Alone! ADDICTION: A Family Disease by Serena Campbell-Barnes, MSc Family Program Coordinator, Addictions Counselor Thorpe Recovery Centre

“Any family, wife and children, who have had to live with an alcoholic a number of years are bound to be rather neurotic and distorted themselves. They can’t help it.” --Bill W., Cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous

Addiction obliterates families. It shakes

prepared for this, and it is difficult to


the very ground of all that we know

comprehend. Many family members

behavioral spectrum to the other, all

and trust, and whether it happens


too often characterized the addicted

quickly or over time, addiction will take

wondering where they went wrong;

family system.

its toll on all those who come in contact



can put family members under unusual

with it. Whether it is a spouse, parent,

begging, fixing, ignoring, trying only

stress. Normal routines are constantly

child, or sibling, addiction in the family

that much harder to stop the pain and

being interrupted by unexpected or

affects everyone. Every drug causes

save their loved one. For most, attempt

even frightening kinds of experiences.

different effects, but the family feels the

after attempt is repeatedly met with

What is being said often doesn’t

impact of the addiction regardless of

failure. Within this place of helplessness

match up with what family members

the addict’s drug of choice. For most

families experience profound grief,

sense, feel beneath the surface or see

family members who love an addict, it



right in front of their eyes. The addict

feels as though they are witnessing a

consequence of trying to protect the

as well as family members may bend,

slow suicide. Each day they lose a little

family member from the dangers and

manipulate and deny reality in their

bit more of the man, women, or child

harms associated with the substance

attempt to maintain a family order

they love until what remains is merely

and to limit the damage arising from

that is gradually slipping away.

a shadow of the person they knew. As

their behaviour towards the rest of the

entire system becomes absorbed by

addiction takes hold of the individual,


a problem that is slowly, sometimes










it becomes the main motivating factor




Living with addiction


quickly, spinning out of control. Within

in their life, most often at the cost of all



this process families have a remarkable

that was important to them including

addiction may become traumatized

ability to maintain what family therapists

to varying degrees by the experience.

call homeostasis, unfortunately it is


often at the cost of the individuals. The





and familial relationships.

No one is












family will generally reach as a unit

and ambivalence.

In their youth,

Because family members avoid sharing

to balance itself. In addicted family

children of addicted parents may feel

subjects that might lead to more pain,

systems, this becomes a dysfunctional

overwhelmed with powerful emotions

they often wind up avoiding genuine

sort of balance. Family members can

that they are developmentally ill-

connection with each other and

become consumed by the disease to

equipped to process and understand

are left with overwhelming amounts

such an extent they lose their sense

and often lack the family support

of emotional pain.

of normal. Their life becomes about

they need.

As a result, they may

painful feelings tend to build up and rise



resort to severe internal defenses,

to the surface in emotional eruptions

their children and the world around

such as shutting down their own

or get acted out through impulsive

them. Trust and faith in an orderly and

feelings, denying there is a problem,

behaviours, often at the expense of the

predictable world is challenged as their



individual and/or those close to them.

family life becomes chaotic, promises

controlling, withdrawing, acting out or

Within this context the guilt and shame

are broken and those they depend

self medicating, as a way to control

family members feel about the erratic

upon for support and stability behave

their inner experience of chaos.

behaviour within their walls often




in untrustworthy ways.


Both children

Ultimately these

keeps them isolated and from seeking

and adults in the family may lose their

The addiction devolves healthy family

outside support and unknowingly sets

sense of themselves and on whom and

functioning and the dominating family

up the addicted family to become a

what they can depend. Because the

rule: “Don’t talk, Don’t trust, Don’t feel”

closed system that both maintains the

disease of addiction is progressive,

extends to everyone in the system.

addiction and perpetuates trauma.

family members seamlessly slip into

This results in a kind of emotional and


patterns of relating that become



affects the internal world of each



family members do not feel free to

person, their relationships and their

Family members may withdraw into

express their authentic selves for fear


their own private worlds or compete

of triggering disaster; their genuine

together in a balanced, relaxed and

for the little love and attention that is



trusting manner. Unless the “elephant

available. In the absence of reliable

strategies for keeping safe, like pleasing

in the living room” is interrupted

adults, children in the system may

or withdrawing. The family becomes

and outside support is sought, it will



more and more organized around

continue to increase in size and force

provide the care and comfort that

trying to manage the unmanageable

and the family will be further squashed

is missing for each other.

disease of addiction.

under its weight.










They become








early childhood years, living in this


intense emotional environment can

eggshells, ready to run for emotional

For many family members this journey

set up a fear of feeling or patterns of

or physical shelter or to erect their

takes a tremendous toll; they are tired,

attachment that are filled with anxiety

defenses at the first sign of trouble.

angry, confused and at times hopeless.





Many desperately hang onto the hope that their loved one will sober

Broad swings, from one end of the emotional, psychological and behavioral spectrum to the other, all too often characterized the addicted family system.

up and put an end to their own and the addict’s suffering. For some, when their loved one enters treatment, it is the first time they are able to breathe in a very long time, and just maybe, believe it is safe to hope again. Hope that if the addict quits using, all will be OK. And although treatment for the addict is certainly a good first step, just like the addiction itself, the process of recovery is complex and progressive. Research shows that the emotional turbulence within a family produced




by addiction continues well into the first three to five years of recovery. Just like support for the addict is critical, so it is for the family. Family recovery begins with what are, in essence, individual recoveries of its members. The addict is only one piece of the puzzle. A family that has been deeply impacted and traumatized to some degree by living with addiction needs support.

Everyone in an addicted

family system deserves and needs to get help and the sooner they get it, the sooner the family can start to heal.

Everyone in an addicted family system deserves and needs to get help and the sooner they get it, the sooner the family can start to heal.

It is in this context that family members can play their most important role in the recovery of their loved one and the family as a whole. Family members who seek support for themselves, whether the support is independent from their addicted loved one or offered through a family program in their loved one’s treatment centre, become powerful weapons in the fight against the addiction. In fact, research suggests that family involvement can also foster better engagement of addicted individuals in treatment and improve treatment outcomes. Family interventions enable family members to heal the pain of the past, to take better care of themselves today and to contribute to a family environment that no longer fuels addiction, but rather supports healthy change. If






someone else’s addiction or would like to receive more information about addiction as a family disease contact the Thorpe Recovery Centre Family Program. We offer a four day monthly program where friends and family can enter into their own journey of healing from this devastating disease and begin to experience the hope of recovery.





STATISTICS 4 ● The number of times biological children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics compared to children of non-alcoholics.

ONE BILLION DOLLARS YEARLY. By Doug Lett Producer Global News

SASKATOON - Addictions cost Saskatchewan around one-billion dollars a year and for the country, the figure is closer to 40 billion dollars a year. That’s according to Dr. Colleen Anne Dell, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Substance Abuse at the University of Saskatchewan. “When you look at Canada, it’s $17-billion for tobacco, $15-billion for alcohol and $7-billion for illicit drugs,” she told Global News. “I don’t think people realize what an impact it does have,” she said. “That is things like lost productivity, health care costs, enforcement costs as well - it averages about $1,300 per

16 ● The percentage of men exposed to addiction in childhood.

20 ● The percentage of women exposed to addiction in childhood.

34 ● The percentage of physicians who reported taking a family substance abuse history on their pediatric patients.

The children of addicted parents are more likely to become addicted themselves.


They have poor coping skills

While alcohol is part of Canadian society, Dell says it can have a tremendous

and face depression at a higher

impact on a person’s life. “Obviously drunkenness can impact social relationships, for women breast cancer, we’re seeing more and more research on the linkage between alcohol intake and breast cancer, liver cirrhosis...there are impacts that we don’t really think through as a society.” And she added, they are seeing some distrubing trends in drinking patterns. “More young women are binge drinking now, to the equivalent level of males, so you’re seeing higher rates of impacts that way.” While society is learning more about the effects, she says rates of abuse do not appear to be changing much. Since 2012 several provinces have shown an increase in the sales of alcohol with the largest increases coming from Newfoundland and Labrador at 20% and Saskatchewan at 15.9%. (Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, Levels and Patterns of Alcohol in Canada.)


and more antisocial behaviours rate. --From the study “Trajectories of Psychological Distress among Canadian Adults who Experienced Parental Addiction in Childhood” by Kellie A. Langlois and Rochelle Garner, for Stats Canada.



Are You Empowering or Enabling? The desire to help others, especially those who mean the most to us, is one of the noblest of human instincts.

Parents want to help their children succeed in school.

It can be a fine line between helping and enabling. Letting

Spouses want to help each other solve the problems that

a teenager ignore chores while studying for finals may

life throws at them. Friends want to help each other at work

be helpful. Dismissing that teenager’s drug use, drinking,

or in their personal relationships.

bullying, defiance or violence as “just part of being that

Unfortunately, though,

this well-meaning impulse can backfire tragically when

age” is not helping.

addiction is part of the occasion. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering In one sense, “enabling” has the same meaning of

whether you are an enabler:

“empowering”. It means lending a hand to help people accomplish things they could not do by themselves.

Do you often ignore unacceptable behaviour?

meaning of offering help that perpetuates rather than

Do you find yourself resenting the responsibilities you take on?

solves a problem. A parent who allows a child to stay home

Do you consistently put your own needs and desires aside in

More recently, however, it has developed the specialized

from school because he hasn’t studied for a test is enabling irresponsibility. The spouse who makes excuses for his hung-

order to help someone else?

over partner is enabling alcohol use. The friend who lends

money to a drug addict so he won’t be forced to steal is

enabling that addiction.

Do you ever feel fearful that not doing something will cause a blowup, make the person leave you, or even result in violence?

Those who habitually enable dysfunctional behaviour are often referred to as co-dependent.

It’s a telling word,

Do you ever lie to cover for someone else’s mistakes?

Do you consistently assign blame for problems to other people

because an enabler’s self-esteem is often dependent on his or her ability and willingness to “help” in inappropriate ways. This “help” allows the enabler to feel in control of an unmanageable situation.

Do you have trouble expressing your own emotions?

The reality, though, is that

enabling not only doesn’t help, but it actively causes harm and makes the situation worse. By stepping in to “solve” the addicts problems, the enabler takes away any motivation for the addict to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Without that motivation, there is little reason for the addict to change. Enablers help addicts dig themselves deeper into trouble.

rather than the one who is really responsible? •

Do you continue to offer help when it is never appreciated or acknowledged?

If these questions make you think you might be an enabler, it is important that you take action. If the addict you are enabling is in treatment, then you, too, should take part in the process. If the addict is not in treatment, you should explore your own issues, either with a personal counselor, through an organization such as Al-Anon, or by taking part in Thorpe Recovery Centre’s Family Program.




“My Dad’s an addict.” “My Mom’s going to rehab.” BY DAVID SACK, MD HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

These are not easy conversations addicted homes. Lack of consistent

These are not easy conversations

spiraling out of control. The conflicting

to have with a child, even one that

discipline can produce deficits in self-

feelings continue as children get a

has long been aware that there’s a

control and personal responsibility,

glimmer of hope when their parent


More than 35% of North

or conversely, over-control or hyper-

promises to quit even though they’ve

Americans are children of alcoholics,


been disappointed repeatedly.

yet addiction isn’t being talked about

that their parent’s drug problem and

in most homes. Instead, children grow

subsequent breakup of the family or

In this impossible situation what can

up facing a lifetime of issues other kids

removal of the child from the home

parents, caretakers or other adults

don’t need to manage.

that sometimes ensues is their fault.

say to their children?

They tend

Children may even feel

to have more emotional behaviour

How do they

explain the wreckage of addiction to

and academic problems than other

Their emotions run a confusing gamut.

someone who, as a young age, has

kids and are four times more likely to

At once resentful of and loyal to

already been overexposed to some of

become addicted themselves.


their addicted parent, children are

the darkest potentialities of life?

are also at greater risk of abuse and

reluctant to open up and share

neglect, witnessing domestic violence

long-held family secrets, even if they

Time the Conversation

later in life.

desperately want the support.


A conversation about a parent’s

may have a strong self-preservation

addiction is best had when there are


instinct, but at the same time, they’re

no distractions and the situation is

themselves to survive, unpredictability

not sure if they deserve to take care of

relatively calm. If possible, bring it up

and chaos become the norm in

their own needs when their parent is

when there is a plan in place to get









help for the addicted parent. Explain

Release the Shame

that there’s a problem and you’re

One of the most important things for

taking steps to improve the situation.

children to understand is the addiction

Talk about what will change (e.g.,

is not their fault. They didn’t cause their

Mom or Dad will go to rehab, or one

parent to abuse drugs or alcohol and

parent may move out if separating or

they cannot cure or control it. This can

divorcing). Repeat the conversation

be hard for children to understand

as often as needed so that the child

especially if the addicted parent

feels comfortable having an ongoing

blamed their drug abuse on a child’s


behaviour (e.g., “I wouldn’t need

Keep It Age Appropriate

to drink if you’d do your chores.”). Children need help to understand that

The language you use and the level

what the addict says and does under

of detail you provide depend on the

the influence isn’t really who they are

age and maturity of the child. Break

or how they feel. Addiction hijacks the

the issues down as simply and directly

brain and just as the child is powerless

as possible and finish with a message

to stop it, the parent is out of control

of hope.

as well.

Tell the Truth

Put things into Perspective

Although you’ll need to use different

Children from addicted homes tend to

terms depending on the age of the

idealize other families without realizing

child, you should always be honest

they have struggles of their own. Help

about the problem.

Children have

them understand that they are not

an innate ability to read when adults

alone; in fact, millions of children are

are lying. Explain that addiction is a

in the same situations. They are normal

disease caused by a number of factors,

kids thrust into an unhealthy home

including genetics, environment and

environment who are doing their best

past trauma.

to cope with an extremely stressful

Similar to people with

diabetes and heart disease, their

Get Educated


I can Care for myself by Communicating my feelings, making healthy Choices, and by Celebrating myself.

Find Additional Sources of Support Just as the addicted parent needs treatment and support to get well, children need to know there are resources available to help them process their emotions. If they don’t feel comfortable talking with a parent or relative, they can reach out to a

as Al-Ateen. The toughest topics are often the most important to approach with children. For each day that a child lives with an addict, damage is being done. And while not every child will fall prey to addiction or other emotional or behavioural




honest discussion and support in order

Invite Dialogue After




themselves and others, it may take practice for the child of an addict to be able to identify and process their

answer any questions the child may

emotions. To combat the secretiveness,

have. If you don’t know the answer,

fear and loneliness addiction brings,

work on finding one together.

encourage them to talk about their feelings without criticism or judgment.

Rather than skirt around the impact a

Teach the Seven C’s

parent’s addiction has had, validate

According to the National Association

the child’s experience. Apologize for

for Children of Alcoholics, children

the pain inflicted on the child and ask

need to know the “Seven C’s of

they’ve been feeling.

I can’t Control it.

to beat the odds.

addiction so you are in a position to

open-ended questions about how

religious leader or support group such

Educate yourself about the disease of

Acknowledge the Impact

I can’t Cure it.

teacher, counselor, family therapist,

parent is sick and needs treatment to feel better.

Addiction”: •

From the Thorpe Book Store My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease: A Childs view, Living with Addiction, (1997), 3rd Revised edition by Claudia Black. When Something Terrible Happens; Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief (1991), by Marge Heegaard

I didn’t Cause it.




Will my baby be an

addict? The Drew Family Alumni Thorpe Recovery Centre Family Program

When you hold your child in your arms for the very first time, you never envision an addict. We believe that if we simply love them we can save them from the evils of the world. Our family’s story is one of hope, love and healing and a belief that Angels do walk among us. They led us to Thorpe Recovery Centre.




We were introduced to (TRC) Thorpe

my son to drugs. He sat quietly and

seemed to click because over the next



allowed me to talk about my fears and

few days he was able to let go and

2013 after our young son Tayler was

my feelings before he said something

embrace the program and the people

hospitalized after reaching a critical

along the lines of, “Jessie, you really

who were a part of it.

state in his drug addiction. The details

don’t have any control over whether

conversations were different. He was

of how he got there are really not that

or not your son lives or dies. He may

expressing his feelings and I will never

important now as I look back over the

die yet. All you can do is get out of

ever forget the day he told me that he

months leading up to the climax. These

the way of the disease and allow it

wasn’t a bad person after all, and he

stories are often riddled with feelings

to unfold the way it needs to. That is

felt almost normal for the first time in a


how your son will have a chance at

very long time.






Our weekly

betrayal and an overwhelming feeling of isolation and lack of control. Hold that thought because by the end of it you will realize you really never had

He felt he’d been placed

any control anyway!

there against his will and

In the detox centre in Calgary, Tayler

couldn’t envision 6-8

was introduced to the tough reality of addiction.

He learned that he

was actually being sold a lethal drug (Fentanyl) used to treat patients who were in severe pain, laced with heroin. He also learned at detox that his road would be long and hard through

weeks of being there alone, without his family. He was flying solo for the first time in his life.

recovery. For a 20 year old man who should be out in the world making a mark for himself working hard and playing hard, this was not good news.

recovery”. I thought he was speaking

It was after a conversation with

But he was alive and that was a

a foreign language at the time. I was

Tayler’s counselor Tammy, that I made


used to fighting! As a parent, aren’t

the decision to attend an Al-anon

you supposed to do anything and

meeting. Tammy called me at work

everything to protect your child?

to check on me. We chatted for a

We arrived at Thorpe Recovery Centre on a very bright and cold day in

few minutes and at the end of the

December. They were expecting us,

Within 24 hours, Tayler was angry. He

call she quietly said, “Jessie, all we

and after Tayler mustered up enough

felt he’d been placed there against his

talked about today was how Tayler

courage to enter those doors we were

will and couldn’t envision 6-8 weeks of

was doing. Next time we talk, I’d like

met by a staff of professional and kind

being there alone, without his family.

to talk about you. What you are doing

human beings who knew how hard

He was flying solo for the first time in his

to get the help you need.?” I hadn’t

this was for all of us. They invited us to

life. Again, Todd was there to talk with

even considered that before.

come in and stay with him for a few

him, allowing him the space to process

suggested a number of books to read

moments. We noticed how warm and

his feelings and talk it out. You see, this

while Tayler was in treatment and told

inviting the facility was.

The people

young man was really good at hiding

me that Al-Anon was a great support

with whom we interacted seemed

his feelings. He could put on a bright

for families going through similar issues

to understand the emotions we were

cheery smile and make you believe

with their loved ones.





I promptly


everything was OK. But, it wasn’t. He

downloaded a number of the titles on

Supervisor) met with us before we left

had been spiraling downward into

my i-Pad, but it was slow going. I could

and I will never forget something he

depression since high school and using

only manage a few pages before

said. I told him how afraid I was to lose

drugs to self medicate.

the feelings overwhelmed me. I was





grieving. Tammy was a pretty smart

is a fact, I believe we were also saving

or 18, he stops growing up. You start to


ourselves and our family.

compensate for that, and they don’t

I read stories about families

who lost the battle and those who

have to face the hard consequences

found recovery. In every short story,

January 17 we arrived in Lloydminster

of their behaviour.

there seemed to be a common theme

at the Thorpe to participate in the four

making continues.

of finding serenity no matter what the

day program.

outcome. I needed some of that. I

healing started. We listened and cried

We left Thorpe at the end of that last

needed to start to find some serenity!

as each family shared their story that

day, a very bitter and cold day in

And the crazy

It was there that the

first day. A common thread through

January, with our son in the backseat

We spent Christmas Eve in a hotel

all stories was one of love.

We met

neatly buckled into his seat with his

room in Edmonton that year, for the

families a lot like our own. A little broken

very grateful and doting big sister. It

opportunity for 31/2 hours with Tayler

maybe, but not so broken we couldn’t

felt very similar to bringing a child

on Christmas Day. His doting big sister


We learned about addiction

home from the hospital after they were

came too, and I can honestly tell you

and what happens to your brain when

born. You don’t have a clue what to

that it was the BEST Christmas ever.

it is responding to drugs. We learned

expect and you are more afraid than

When we got to the doors and they

about the disease of addiction. That

you’ve ever been. You’ve been given

buzzed us in we were vibrating with

our loved ones weren’t bad and we

lots of tools and information, but when

emotion and excitement.

weren’t bad. We learned there was

you leave those protective arms of

help and there was hope.

the centre and their wonderful staff,

They call

him to tell him he had visitors and the vision I saw coming down the hall will be forever etched in my memory. My

My son was able to express to me in a loving way what he needed from me. He wanted a healthy relationship where he could be allowed to grow and become the man he needed to be.

son! He was HUGE! His cheeks were pink and full and his legs and arms and chest had filled out. The smile ... Oh that smile! That crease in his cheek, and those beautiful hazel eyes that sparkled. He hugged us tight and all I could do was stare at him. For hours I stared.

We talked, we cried, we

hugged (a lot). We chatted with some of the staff and they all seemed to have a kind word to say about our son.

The last day of the Family Program, our

you feel pretty vulnerable and alone!

I knew when I left there that afternoon

loved ones had a opportunity to meet

What you don’t realize is that it’s not up

we had a support system at Thorpe to

with us and tell us how the addiction

to you to keep the addict clean. It’s

help him through whatever he needed

had impacted them and what they

up to you to work your program so you

to go through. My son was back. He

needed from us.

can stay sane!

had a chance.

speak to do the same. As we sat in a

We were able to

circle, each client had an opportunity

I remember having a conversation with

Family Program was something Faye

to talk with his family member. It was

my Higher Power not long after Tayler

and Todd discussed with us at the time

very powerful.

returned home.

our son was admitted. They told us that

love from each family as it progressed

wasn’t home yet. My mind was going

when families were able to participate

through the day. My son was able to

places I knew it shouldn’t go. I was

in the program and learn about the

express to me in a loving way what

winding myself into a frenzy, pacing

disease, recovery rates went up. That

he needed from me.

He wanted a

the floor. I tried to use all of the tools I

was enough for us to eagerly agree to

healthy relationship where he could

had learned at Thorpe. I prayed. A lot.


We would do anything

be allowed to grow and become

A taxi slowed in front of our house and

to save our son. I laugh as I write this

the man he needed to be. You see,

my son sat in the car for a long time.

because although I truly believe that

when a child falls into addiction at 17

As he got out I could hear him through


We saw and felt the

It was late and he



the windows chatting happily with

an AA or NA meeting, or in the case of

the taxi driver.

When he came into

family, Al-Anon. They will receive you

the house he told me about having

with kindness. They won’t tell you what

Thank you Thorpe Recovery Centre

a long conversation with the women

to do. They will listen and love you.

and all of the compassionate and

driver about her son and his battle with

What they won’t do is lie to you. They

skilled souls who walk within those

addiction. He had been trying to help

won’t enable you. They won’t get out


her. I chuckled to myself after I had

in front of your problem and try and

much growth and healing and hope.

started to breath again.

manipulate an outcome.

His Higher

You’ve allowed our family so


Power has this. I really need to let go

you are the addict or family member,

and let him handle this!

there is hope.

It’s been quite a year and I won’t lie

I cannot say enough about the Thorpe

and tell you it’s been all roses.


Recovery Centre and its staff. I feel

been hard. But one thing I do know for

forever changed by their guidance

sure is this: There is hope. You didn’t

of our family through this process. The

cause your loved one to be an addict

Family Program is a must for anyone

and you sure as hell can’t control it.

who has somebody they love touched

There is no cure, but the upside of that

by this disease. Whether they are in

one is that you get to re-frame your life

recovery or not, you can benefit and

in a way that holds riches you never

through you, so will they.

thought possible before. You need to hold people capable to find their own

I sent a daily email to my son through

answers, in their own way, at their own

his program.


with me that Tayler stood at her door

His counselor shared

each morning waiting patiently for I spent many hours over the past three

that email. Every day. He said it got

or four years planning my son’s funeral:

him through and quite frankly it got me

Scanning photos to share at his service

through too. One morning I sent him

so people could remember the real

the verse “Love is Patient, Love is Kind.”

Tayler. The son I adored, a dear friend

He said it had been mistakenly placed

to many, the kind hearted kid who

in another client’s mail box, who really

would give you the shirt off his back,

needed to hear it. I think it’s kind of

the soccer star, the loving grandson,

ironic isn’t it? Angels among us...

the cherished brother. I can truly say I am grateful for the opportunity to

I will end with the verse because I

go through the darkness to receive

believe it might be what you needed

the riches of serenity.

to hear as well.

To have real will last forever!”

conversations for the very first time. To be truly honest and express those

Corinthians 13:4-8a


To not feel completely

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not

overwhelmed by the gravity of the

boastful or proud or rude. It does not

weight I felt on my shoulders to try and

demand its own way. It is not irritable,

save him. I can tell you I am grateful

and it keeps no record of being

for the disease.


HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FAMILY’S RESILIENCY 1. Practice Self-care. Don’t be tempted to put aside your own needs to preserve the family. The best thing you can do for your family is continue to work the program. 2. Have fun as a family. It isn’t always about big vacations, it can be as simple as walking the dog together, baking cookies or doing some other family oriented activity. 3. Focus on the positive. Catch your kids doing something right and praise them for it. This builds self-esteem and promotes positive behaviours. 4. Engage your community. Attend events and take advantage of community programming. You and your kids will feel connected to your community and enjoy a sense of belonging. 5. Accept and validate feelings. You don’t have to fix the problem or rescue your child. Having the ear of a caring and empathetic parent is the best support when a child is struggling with strong feelings.

My wish for anyone reading this article

truth wins out. Love never gives up,

6. Switch up your family roles. Are you the “caretaker” in your family? Try letting others step into that role for a while. In healthy families when one gets sick or is unable to do their regular function another steps in to help out. You can learn to shift in and out of family roles as the need arises.

is to reach out and ask for help. You

never loses faith, is always hopeful, and

don’t have to do this alone. Attend

endures through every circumstance...

By Lis Muise, Edgewood News, 2013

I does not rejoice about

injustice, but rejoices whenever the




The Cost of

ADDICTION on Families

“Addiction costs are insidious, often creeping into a person’s finances without notice...This makes people less likely to realize how damaging the financial impact of addiction is until it’s too late.”




Drug addiction and alcoholism are addictions that most people are familiar with, but there are many addictions families suffer from. The fact is that any addiction from drugs and cigarettes to shopping and gambling can have disastrous social and financial consequences. When the addict has a family, the cost of the addiction can wreck the home and have long-lasting effects on every person he or she touches.

Addictions and Poverty There’s a reason why addictions are often associated with poverty. Many addictive





method of escapism and pleasure seeking,





financially are often drawn to them as a means to avoid serious problems. Addictions provide instant gratification, which is something sorely lacking in most




struggle to survive from one paycheck to the next. The relationship between addiction and





however, and addictions can often lead to financial ruin or maintaining healthy finances impossible. put,






maintain and their cost increases the longer a person has them. Addictions never level out; as it becomes harder for a person to reach the same level of satisfaction, they will need to engage in addictive behaviours more and more often, resulting in higher expenses. Of course, secondary factors come into play as well.

Serious addictions

interrupt every facet of a person’s life.

I can lead to marital troubles

and divorce, loss of jobs and criminal


In addition, many people

on finances.

When people neglect

find themselves ill equipped to deal

household expenses to cover the cost

with life after quitting which leads them

of addictions, these strains can reach

back to their addictive behavours.

a breaking point.

As the addict becomes embroiled in deeper poverty and despair, they

Impact of Addiction on Families

often turn to the addiction for comfort, There is a strong correlation between

causing a vicious self-fulfilling cycle.

addiction, poverty and abuse. Eighty

The Costs of Addiction

percent (80%) of child abuse and neglect cases are associated with

Addiction costs are insidious, often

some form of substance abuse no

creeping into a person’s finances

matter the socioeconomic group. The

without notice.

People who may

children of addicted parents are more

have a difficult time paying off debt

likely to become addicted themselves.

or making regular rent payments

They have poorer coping skills and

somehow always find money to pay

more anti-social behaviours.

for addictions; this is usually because they are willing to make sacrifices to

It’s easy to brush off addiction as

feed the addiction. This makes people

something that other people suffer

less likely to realize how damaging the


financial impact of an addiction is until

addictions. The truth is that addictions

it’s too late.

are rarely as clear-cut and obviously

It’s harder to see our own

evil as after-school specials and drug Because addictions are cumulative,



they will cost more to maintain the

to believe.

For people in the midst

longer a person has them.




of addiction, it simply feels like a

example, if an addiction initially costs

lifestyle and it’s always easy to justify

$100 a month to maintain, it’s cost will


steadily climb to over $1,000 per month as the “need” to satisfy the addiction

People must ultimately make a choice

continues to grow. Estimates suggest

between the instant gratification of an

that hardcore drug addictions can

addiction or the long-lasting, healthy

cost easily half of a person’s income

rewards of good financial habits and

or more as the addiction steadily takes

planning for the future. Buy recognizing

over the addicts life.

and honestly assessing their habits, making a concentrated effort to stop,

Other Costs of Addiction

building a support group and seeking professional help, addicts can begin to

The cost of purchasing an addictive

regain control of their lives. Over time,

substance or engaging in addictive

this will enable them to take the first

behaviours isn’t the only price that

step toward financial freedom.

addicts and their families pay.


financial side effects of poverty itself begin to snowball the longer a person lives hand-to-mouth.

Bad credit,

missed payments, toxic debts and

_____________________________________ Jessica Bosari, Contributor 2014 FORBES on Line:

late fees can all put further strains






An addiction destroys families as much as it destroys individuals. Living

with an addict is both heartbreaking and exhausting. Family members are torn between how to help the addict and how to avoid being sucked


into the addicts world.

Things you can do for the Yourself. •

an addict is exhausting. You also

time for fun. People use alcohol

Things you can do for the Addict.

and drugs to relax, escape and as a reward. The addict needs to find

need time to recover. •

Behave exactly as you would

and as a reward otherwise they

if your loved one had a serious

will turn back to their addiction.

illness. What would you do if they were diagnosed with heart disease or cancer? •

Educate yourself on addiction and

• • •

consequences of their addiction. if they have suffered enough

name calling. This is a difficult time

negative consequences. •

Provide a sober environment that

Set boundaries that you all agree on. The goals of boundaries is to

reduces triggers for using.

improve the health of the family as

Allow the addict time to go to

a whole. Do not use boundaries to


punish or shame. •

back. Your old life to some extent

services the addict needs instead

is what got you here.

You both

of giving them money that they

need to create a new life where it is

might use to buy alcohol or drugs.

easier to not use alcohol or drugs .





Make sure that your both have

balance and self-care. •

Recognize and acknowledge the them.

Being a caretaker is not good for you or the addict.


that there is only so much you can do to change the other person. •

Ask for help. Talk to a professional. Go to a support group such as AlAnon. Do not argue or try to discuss things with the addict when they are under the influence. If won’t


potential the addict has within •

but instead to be an example of

If you want to provide financial support,

The best approach is

to not do things for the addict,

change. Do not wish for your old life

Do not work harder than the addict.

Do not shield the addict from the

Try not to accuse or judge. Avoid

Understand that your lives will

Do not provide

People are more likely to change

for both of you.

you can’t force them to change.

excuses or cover up for the addict.

recovery. •

Do not enable.

Avoid self-blame, you can’t control another person’s decisions, and

alternative ways to relax, escape •

Take care of yourself. Living with

get you anywhere. •

If at all possible, try not to be negative when dealing with the addict.

That may only increase

their feelings of guilt and push them further into using.




Ways To Reestablish Family Relationships After Rehab

The Three C’s of Dealing with an Addict •

You didn’t Cause the addiction.

You can’t Control the addiction.

You can’t Cure the addiction.

“You can’t stop drinking or using for another person.”


Helpful Links for Family and Friends of Addicts • For family members of

Examine Your “Old” Family Traditions It’s a good idea to take stock of your “old” family traditions and ask yourself why they existed and which ones are most important to you, your spouse/partner and the rest of the family. You may be surprised at the number of things you did because that’s the way it “should” be done. As you think about the way you used to celebrate the holidays and how they will be different from now on, it’s normal if part of you feels sad or angry. You are grieving for what was and the part of your past that is finished. Acknowledge it and accept that some things have to change as part of your journey to stay well. Usually, the things that you must forgo, aren’t worth it anyway.

Decide What You Want Your New Family Traditions to Look Like Here are some ideas to consider to help get you started. •

alcoholics. • For Family members of addicts. For Family members of Gamblers. For co-dependent individuals.

• • • • •

Find some festive non-alcoholic drink or punch recipes to serve to friends and family instead of offering wine or hard liquor at your home. Look for healthier cookie and treat recipes to try -- and involve the entire family in baking. Serve hot chocolate afterward. Decorate your home (inside and out) as a family. If going to the mall and going from store to store is too stressful, shop on-line and arrange for items to be delivered to your home or to a local store for pick-up. Get outside to enjoy the fresh air. Pop some popcorn and plan a movie night for the entire family. For adult children of alcoholics and addicts.

After rehab, it is possible to rebuild your relationships with your family. Spending time together is an important part of the process. Take time this year, spring summer, fall or winter, to establish new traditions so that all of you can move forward together.






Alcohol and drug abuse is the source of many problems for those who engage in this behaviour. One of the earliest casualties from substance abuse will be intimacy. It’s just not possible for people to abuse mind altering substances and maintain healthy relationships. As the individual falls deeper into addiction it will completely take over their life, and there will be no room for anyone else. The person falls into a delusion and self absorption and they will stay that way until they manage to escape their addiction. Once they enter recovery they will need to work hard in order to regain the ability to be intimate and enjoy healthy sexual relationships. Intimacy Defined: The word intimacy comes from a Latin word meaning inner. It can be defined as particularly close interpersonal relationships that usually involve both physical and emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy can vary in degree and it refers to the closeness that people feel for one another. Physical




intimacy most often refers to sexual

intimacy and it usually involves multiple


and romantic contact.

An intimate

partners. The addict may often wake

Sexual Issues in Recovery

relationship is said to include a number

up in bed with a stranger with no

The individual may still have problems

of elements such as:

memories of the night before. Deep

related to sex and intimacy in recovery.


down the individual may realize that

In order to overcome these problems it

Each individual will have extensive

this is a poor substitute for true intimacy

is recommended that:

knowledge about each other.

but it becomes a habit. When people

Will feel affection and care for

are inebriated they are liable to make

each other.

impulsive and poor decisions, and this

There will be an expectation that

often applies to the people they end

the relationship will continue long

up having sex with. Such behaviour

sober there will need to be a period


increases the risk of picking up a

of adjustment.

sexually transmitted disease.

expect this relationship to be as

• •





mean that those involved think in

• •


It can

people avoid beginning a new

When people who are married get It is unrealistic to

intimate as it once was and any lost trust will need to be worked

Impact of Addiction on the Sex Drive


There is an expectation that the

Alcohol and drug abuse can have

other partner will treat them fairly.

a devastating impact on a person’s



sexual health.

recovery from it.



recovery. •

also lead to unplanned pregnancy.

They are committed to each other.



relationship within the first year of

terms of “us” rather than “me”. •




Some drugs such as the


The fall into addiction does not overnight



It may take

experiences and opinions - this is



months or even years before

referred to as mutuality.

increasing sexual performance, but

the individual is fully able to be

such effects are short lived. Over any


Substance Abuse and Intimacy

length of times the abuse of these

being - this is particularly likely if

If people are abusing alcohol and

substances will lead to decreased

they had intimacy issues before

drugs it is almost impossible for them to

sexual functioning.

maintain intimate relationships. This is

falls further into addiction they may

because these substances will become

completely lose all interest in sex and

certain coping strategies to deal

their obsession and there will be no

intimacy. Males may find it difficult to

with the behaviour of the addict.

room for anyone else. As the individual

become aroused and so engaging

They may need to abandon these

falls further into addiction they may

in sexual activity becomes almost

coping strategies before intimacy

lose all interest in sex completely.

impossible. Women will also suffer from

Addiction drives the individual into a

decreased libido as a result of drug

world of delusion and selfish action. It


As the individual




they fell into addiction. •

The partner will have developed

can be resumed. •

If people have persistent problems with intimacy they may benefit

will not be possible for another human

from some type of counseling. A

to trust them fully, and this will prove to

Intimacy and Recovery

therapist will be able to help the

be a barrier to intimacy. The addict

Once people give up an addiction

individual dig deep to discover

is still likely to have people who love

they will be able to begin rebuilding

them, but there will be a sense of

their life. One of the areas that they

wariness mixed in with the affection.

will need to focus on will be intimacy

as an emotional roller-coaster.

The person who is abusing alcohol or

and sexual relationships.

Things tend to settle down once

drugs may feel almost incapable of

people this will prove to be the hardest


feeling true affection for other people

area of their life to fix, but things will

themselves in sobriety.

- they are too self obsessed to think

improve it they give it time and make

beyond their own needs.

a serious effort to improve things. In

For some

some situations the individual will benefit from some type of counseling

Substance Abuse and Promiscuity Many of those individuals who abuse

as they may have underlying issues


that prevent them from developing






promiscuous sex. This type of sex lacks

satisfying relationships.

any underlying issues. •

Early recovery is often described



established (2014)

Quick Facts: “82% of people surveyed think that there should be more services to help people with addictions.” -- The Dignity Project, Canada Speaks 2012, Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty




Parenting Younger Siblings of Addicted Teens As with any family-related drama, the person at the heart of the concern gets the most attention. When


it directly rather than assuming that the

therapists mustn’t forget that when


child “will understand”. Parents should


the siblings of the abuser may be

not neglect attending sports events,

abuser, the other children in the family

overlooked or neglected.

plays, concerts and other recognition

are also at risk. A study published by

events for siblings.

the University of Queensland and the








focus on the child with the drug addiction.


support for the parents.






University of Washington, in January


Opportunities should be provided for


family members become educated

expending physical energy. Whether

au), showed that younger siblings’






the activities help to minimize issues

use of alcohol and tobacco increases

communities are asked to pray for the

of possible depression, or provide

by three to five times when older

child involved with illegal substances.

an outlet for negative emotions, the

siblings are already involved.

It’s expected, or at least hoped, that

chance to run and play a sport, walk

suggest that prevention programs,

the siblings of the substance abuser will

or swim need to be easily available.

which usually focus on parent-child

maintain the “good” status and allow


interactions, need to shift the focus to

everyone to focus on the child with the

Provide positive feedback for the kids


who are not substance abusers.

sibling influences.


easy to emphasize the negative when

When struggling to parent a child with

This single-focused attention may put

under stress. Compliment the children

issues of addiction, don’t let the other

the siblings in stressful situations. They

when they are required to go above

children “fly under the radar”. Attempt

get less one on one time with mom or

and beyond their usual responsibilities.

to proved even-handed guidance

dad. They might take on additional

Create a schedule that allows siblings

to all of the children in the family,

household responsibilities.

to continue extra curricular, community

even when only one of them has the

be required to provide extra care-


addiction issue.

taking for younger siblings.



siblings themselves may become at risk


for various behavioural, mental health


or substance abuse issues.

emotionally charged home

They may





This involvement stability,







Even if all members of

As parents begin to create a plan to



address the issues of the adolescent


with substance abuse problems, they

may be beneficial for siblings

must also create a plan for the other

to have additional one on

children in the family. Siblings still need

one therapy. This might be

one on one time with mom and dad.


And, if the usual amount of time needs

or a completely different

to be reduced, parents need to address







attending sessions,







Make the Thorpe Recovery Centre A Part of Your Donation Plans For 2015 Who Are We? Thorpe Recovery Centre is a non profit organization dedicated to providing client-centered and community based addiction services. Our clients, both men and women come from across Canada. Each looking for that second chance at a sober life.

“It was great and an awesome environment to detox. Way better than white knuckling it on the streets.” - Thorpe Detox Client, 2014

Why Donate

Canadians Are Saying 82% of those surveyed think that there should be more services to help people with addictions. Mental illness and addictions personally touch the lives of four out of five Canadians with 80% reporting that they have either a friend or family member who has experienced mental illness and/ or addiction. Most Canadians recognize the linkage between mental health and addiction with 71% agreeing that “a lot of people with addictions have mental health problems.” Canadians estimated that 28% of the population is living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Source - The Dignity Project (2014),

Donating to Thorpe Recovery Centre isn’t just about keeping the lights on or adding a new piece of equipment. It is really about the people who walk through our doors and providing them with the best opportunity to change their lives and the lives of the people around them.

In Memoriam A donation to TRC in memory of a family member, friend or loved one is a meaningful way to express your sympathy. In Honour Donation gifts in recognition can be made to an individual who has worked hard in their recovery. Sobriety Birthday Celebrating your own sobriety by helping another begin the most important day of their life. An annual gift of $250 will go towards sponsoring treatment for someone unable to financially support the cost.

Items And Volunteers

There are many ways to make a donation to the Thorpe Recovery Centre. •

Access PayPal or Canada Helps on our website. Cash or Cheques Credit Card Appreciation Publicly Listed Stocks

Contact Us

Monthly Giving A monthly gift provides a continuous source of funds to support the mission of the Thorpe Recovery Centre. Monthly donations can be made simply through pre-authorized debit or credit card charges.

How to Donate

• • •

For more information please contact us: • Telephone: 780.875.8890 • Toll Free: 1.877.875.8890

Ways to Donate

• • • • • •

“Not only gave me the tools to keep my addiction under control, you made me healthy again. For the first time in a long time, I really like myself again. That, I could not have done alone! I’m so grateful.”

• • • • • • •

Milk and food items Office & Art supplies Personal Hygiene items Bath Towels Volunteers for yard work and building maintenance. Volunteers to lead yoga and meditation for our clients. Donated plants & trees Gym equipment Computers for the clients area Recovery related reading material Extension Cords DVD Movies (appropriate) Cleaning and laundry supplies

- Thorpe Detox Client, 2014




When It’s Time For Change When you or your family are in crisis due to substance or process addictions such as gambling or sex addiction, Thorpe Recovery Centre provides recovery services for both you and your family. With compassion and support, we treat all clients and their families according to their individual challenges...helping people gain insight into themselves and give them the tools for long term recovery.

“I walked in afraid, unsure and apprehensive. I left feeling filled with hope, peace and friends. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I am prepared.” - Thorpe Alumni, 2012

“ This program has exceeded my expectations. I now feel like I’m normal in how I was feeling and I have a clear plan on how to proceed.” - Thorpe Alumni, 2014

Medically Supported Detox

42 - 90 day residential programs • Chemical Dependency • Alcohol Addiction • Gambling Addiction • Sex Addiction • Concurrent Disorders

Family 4 Day Program

Thorpe Recovery Centre is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing clientcentred and community based addiction services.

RECOVERY CENTRE Overcoming Addictions to Improve Lives 780.875.8890 ● TOLL FREE 1.877.875.8890 ● 24