THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
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.
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.
In Our Next Issue: Spring 2015 •
TRC - Celebrating 40 years of Recovery
The Stigma of Addiction & Mental Illness
Stories of Recovery
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thorperecoverycentre.org
Thorpe Recovery Centre
Overcoming Addiction to Improve Lives
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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:
Recovering the Lost Self
Grief & Loss
For Family Program dates and information please contact: Mrs. Brenda Hotvedt Admissions, Family Program Thorpe Recovery Centre
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;
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
family will generally reach as a unit
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
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.
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.
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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 oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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, mortality...law 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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
“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?
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
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.
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
to cope with an extremely stressful
Similar to people with
diabetes and heart disease, their
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.
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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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 familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.
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.
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.
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.
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
of finding serenity no matter what the
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.
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,
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
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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.
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
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
...love will last forever!”
conversations for the very first time. To be truly honest and express those
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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.”
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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.
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
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
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
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.
missed payments, toxic debts and
_____________________________________ Jessica Bosari, Contributor 2014 FORBES on Line: onforb.es
late fees can all put further strains
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
HELP FOR THE FAMILY
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.
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.
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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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 •
Al-anon.org 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. •
Nar-anon.org For Family members of addicts.
Gam-anon.org For Family members of Gamblers.
Coda.org 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.
Adultchildren.org 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.
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
ADDICTION ON INTIMACY
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. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
intimacy most often refers to sexual
intimacy and it usually involves multiple
and romantic contact.
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
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
sexually transmitted disease.
expect this relationship to be as
mean that those involved think in
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
recovery from it.
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
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
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
any underlying issues. •
Early recovery is often described
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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.
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,
to continue extra curricular, community
even when only one of them has the
be required to provide extra care-
taking for younger siblings.
siblings themselves may become at risk
for various behavioural, mental health
or substance abuse issues.
emotionally charged home
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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
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), SalvationArmy.ca/dignity
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
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
THORPE RECOVERY CENTRE
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 ● www.thorperecoverycentre.org 24