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How Alcoholism Affects the Entire Family

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How Alcoholism Affects the Entire Family

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015

~By Jail Chaplain Joe Herzanek, Family Addiction Counselor and Author of Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.”

This article is included in the current FREE magazine download:  Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015  (Page 21).

Alcoholism is devastating to all members of the family. Family members may have watched someone they love turn into a stranger. They ask, “How did this happen? Why didn’t we see it sooner? Are we somehow to blame? How do we make it stop? What if we can’t make it stop? Why won’t this person listen to us? Can’t they see what’s happening to them?” The list is long.

From the shared experiences of Al-Anon members at meetings and in Al-Anon literature, the family learns that alcoholism is not their fault. With that understanding, some of the pressure is lifted. By attending Al-Anon meetings, my clients gain clarity and peace of mind, so that they can take positive action.

“My family phone counseling clients who attend Al-Anon meetings come to understand that they can have peace, regardless of their loved one’s poor choices.”

Al-Anon supplements and reinforces the information I give my clients about alcoholism as a disease. My clients gain encouragement from attending Al-Anon meetings. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Doing what’s best (which sometimes means doing nothing—but allowing consequences to happen) is often extremely challenging. Al-Anon members help and play a special role because they are like-minded and share common experiences as a result of living with an alcoholic.

My phone counseling clients who attend Al-Anon meetings come to understand that they can have peace, regardless of their loved one’s poor choices. Family members learn that recovery is a process that takes time. But they learn that they are not alone, and that help is available from the Al-Anon program.

FAMILY PHONE COUNSELING:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members

Gain peace of mind, knowing that you are taking the steps necessary to begin healing and recovery—for your loved-one and your family.

MORE Al-ANON-RELATED ARTICLES:
> Why is Addiction Called A Family Disease?
> Twelve Signs of A Spiritual Awakening in Al-Anon
> The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Are AA, Nar-Anon or Al-Anon twelve-step meetings really important?

RESOURCES:
> Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek


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______________________________________________________________________________________
Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Family Alcoholism, Al-Anon,

 

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A Year Without

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REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES:

A Year Without

It wasn’t until she gave up something herself that she began to understand her son’s long struggle with addiction.
A Year Without.

~By Sharron K. Cosby, Riverview, Florida
Reprinted with permission: from the January, 2015 Guideposts Magazine.

I thought I could handle it. It had been a few months, and I thought I was strong enough. I walked into the break room, where someone had put out doughnuts for a coworker’s birthday. My mouth watered.

“Sharron, you came!” my coworker said. I hadn’t been going to lunch and breaks with everyone lately. It was easier to stay in my office and avoid temptation. Like that chocolate doughnut.

“I wanted to wish you a happy birthday,” I said. “I can’t stay. I quit eating sugar.”

And not for the reason she—and you—might think. I didn’t give up sweets for Lent. I wasn’t trying to lose weight or prevent diabetes. I was doing this for Josh.

Josh. The middle of my three children. My only son. How can I explain Josh? Our family hadn’t been able to for the past 18 years.

Not since he was 13, when he first used drugs. It started with marijuana. People told my husband, Danny, and me not to worry, that it was normal for a teenager to engage in risk-taking behavior, that it was a phase he’d grow out of.

That might be true for most kids. Josh was different. For him, marijuana opened a door to a whole new world. He moved on to Ecstasy, GHB, LSD.


I didn’t realize how bad things were until one Friday when he was 16, and his school called to say he’d missed four out of five days that week. He’d left the house each morning when I left for work, so I had no clue he’d been getting drunk and stoned instead of going to class.

Danny and I put him in a rehab. Going into treatment for drug and alcohol abuse at only 16! How did our son get to this place? How did we?

I searched and prayed for some explanation for Josh’s behavior. If I knew the root of the problem, I could solve it, right?

Maybe he was self-medicating for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. He’d been on Ritalin since first grade, and statistics show that children with ADHD are more likely to have substance-abuse issues as teens.

Then he discovered marijuana, which calmed his hyperactivity and gave him the munchies—perfect for a big boy who liked to eat.

Maybe Josh got into drugs because he craved approval. He wasn’t a good student, but he could drink and drug better than anyone. He became the goto guy in high school. Need something to get the party started? Call Josh. That was how he got attention from friends.

Maybe his dad and I weren’t around enough to give him the structure and supervision he needed. Danny was out of the country two weeks a month for his job. I worked full-time.

Why didn’t I ask more questions? Josh and his friends were getting high right in our house, and it was so far outside my experience—I grew up in the Bible Belt, and we didn’t even keep alcohol in our home—that I didn’t know what I was seeing. Like the crushed soda cans with holes poked in them; they were being used as dope pipes. How could I have been so naïve?

All these years later, I was no longer naïve. Not after everything Josh had put us through. An LSD overdose. Cocaine-and-downer binges. Opiate dependency. Lies. Manipulation. Denial.

Danny and I tried everything to help Josh. Treatment centers, counseling, support groups, kicking him out of the house, praying till we ran out of words. Nothing worked. Josh would maintain sobriety for a while only to relapse again.

Addiction is a disease of relapse, counselor after counselor told us. I heard it from other parents at Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings: “Relapse is part of recovery.”

I didn’t know if I believed that anymore. Josh was 31 now and no closer to recovery than that first time in rehab. The only thing he was closer to was death.


Josh was in a treatment center in the fall of 2009 when he was rushed to the hospital for gallbladder surgery. Afterward he was put on painkillers and relapsed.

The treatment center kicked him out, and his addiction went into overdrive. He was up to 40 pills a day. He did things he’d never done before to feed his habit, not just borrowing money from me but stealing.

I understood when his wife filed for divorce; she had to protect herself and their son. I understood when his sisters said they’d had enough. They needed to live their own lives, not try to keep Josh from destroying his.

Even I told him, “I will always love you, but I don’t have to like you. Right now, I don’t. And I don’t trust you.”

What I didn’t understand was why Josh couldn’t change. How could he choose to do what he knew was wrong? Was there more I could do to help him?

Just after the New Year, I got an urge: Give up sugar until Josh was clean and sober for 365 days in a row. An idea so weird it had to have come from God. I couldn’t have dreamed it up. But if it was what I needed to do to help my son, I would.

I started my sugar fast on January 13. I didn’t tell Josh. It was just between me and the Lord. On Valentine’s Day, the head of our office gave everyone chocolates. That little box on my desk drove me crazy until I gave it away.

Josh reentered treatment on February 18. I took that to mean God was honoring the commitment I’d made. I wrote Josh every day—a Scripture verse, something to let him know I was thinking about him.

My office turned out to be a minefield. I’d never thought about how often we had parties and sweets until I gave up sugar. No candy, no cookies, no cake, I had to remind myself.

Chocolate DonutOr doughnuts! I added now, turning my back on that chocolate temptation and hurrying out of the break room. I’d thought I was strong enough to be around sweets. Nope. Was this what it was like for Josh, going to a party and trying to stick to soda while everyone else was drinking beer?

I started bringing fresh fruit to work so I could go to celebrations and satisfy my sweet tooth. But the juiciest mangoes in the world couldn’t have saved me the day I went with my older daughter to her wedding-cake tasting.

Vanilla, lemon, chocolate…the scents were intoxicating! “Here’s the chocolate cake with almond buttercream icing,” the cake designer said.

My daughter took a bite. “Mom, try this! Come on, it’s a special occasion.” By now, she knew all about my fast.

“I can’t,” I said. “I made a promise.” But I had to clench my hands to keep from grabbing a fork and digging in. Finally I couldn’t stand it. “I need to know what we’re serving the guests,” I said. “A tiny bite this one time won’t hurt.”

“This one time…” I’d heard Josh use that justification. This slip didn’t hurt me, except my pride. But for an addict, one slip could lead to a full-blown relapse. And if I merely liked sugar and couldn’t resist a piece of cake, how hard must it be for Josh to turn down the substances he was addicted to?

That’s when I got an inkling of what my son went through on a daily basis. In my next letter, I told him about my sugar fast. How I’d broken it in a weak moment with the cake. How it had given me a peek into an addict’s life.

Josh called me from the treatment center. “Mom, you don’t know how much this means to me. Really, it’s unbelievable!”

“But I caved. I feel like a failure.”

“Mom, it’s okay. Addiction is a disease of relapse, remember?” he joked.

I thought God had urged me to give up sugar for my son. It was more for me, to help me understand his struggle. I came away with a deep respect for recovering addicts who every day choose to keep doing the next right thing.

Like my son. On February 18, 2011, Josh and I celebrated his one year of sobriety by sharing a piece of chocolate cake. A sweet victory. And even sweeter will be this February 18, when we celebrate five years.

 

Sharron K. CosbyAbout Author, Sharron K. Cosby
Sharron Cosby is married to Dan, a Certified Addiction Professional, and together they have three adult children and five grandchildren. She works for an international charity by day and writes by night. Her passion is to share God’s message of hope, strength, and encouragement with families living in the shadow of addiction.

Her first published title is Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90. The book is a 90-day devotional for families in recovery or those wanting to be. It is based on Sharron’s journey through 15 years of her son’s drug addiction and her discovery of God’s promise of restoration in Jeremiah 30 and 31.

Praying for your addicted loved one  To purchase: on Amazon

MORE REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES:
> Wife of Alcoholic. An Amazing Story.
> Daniel’s Story. A Mother’s Painful Lessons Learned.
> A Mother Reflects on Her Daughter’s Addiction.
> It gave him the courage to kick his 23-year old daughter out.
> Methamphetamine Hell: Facing the Dragon.

RESOURCES:
> Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

 

RETURN:
From “A Year Without
to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

____________________________________________________________________________________
A year without, understanding addiction,  A year without, understanding addiction

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Roger Ebert is an alcoholic

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After viewing CNN’s recent honest and powerful documentary of the late film critic Roger Ebert’s life, we decided it was only fitting to re-post this article from Roger’s blog: “My Name is Roger, and I’m an alcoholic ”
~by Roger Ebert (August 25, 2009)

In August 1979, I took my last drink. It was about four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn’t take it any more.

This is a fabulous post, stop everything and read it. (click here)

 

 

NEED HELP NOW?
Phone Counseling for Families Dealing with Substance Abuse

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

RESOURCES:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

____________________________________________
Roger Ebert alcoholic Roger Ebert  alcoholic

 

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Monthly Review: Yes!!! I am an Addict’s Mom, Utah’s Heroin Problem, Meth House

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Monthly Review: Fall, 2014
Yes!!! I am an Addict’s Mom, Utah’s Heroin Problem, Former Meth House? and “Ask Joe” Fiance needs to get drunk every night.

Yes! I am an Addict's Mom.

Some recent posts for you to enjoy: Yes!!! I am an Addict’s Mom, Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?, Is Your Home A Former Meth House? How to tell., Daily Drug Use in the USA, First-time Illicit Drug Users, plus a popular “Ask Joe” Fiance needs to get drunk every night.

Thanks for being part of Changing Lives Foundation.

Addict’s Mom
YES!!! I am an Addict’s Mom.

~ Written by one of the Moms online who has such wisdom to share with us all. Also posted to The Addict’s Mom website by TAM Blogger Judy Herzanek. Comments included: “Could have been written by me” “Beautifully written!” “I can totally relate.”

I am an addict’s mom
I stand before you able to state without hesitation that Yes, I am an addicts mom. I have learned to look past those judgmental stares, sensing what you are thinking, that I must be “one of those Moms.” That somewhere, somehow, I made some horrific choices that sent my child into the depths of hell. READ MORE
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________


Utah’s Heroin Problem
Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?

Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?

~Guest post by C. Zavala

Sixty percent of Utahns are members of The Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, which discourages its members from using alcohol or drugs at all. Many Mormons even eschew caffeine, due to their religion’s insistence on avoiding harmful substances. With those kinds of statistics, you might think that addiction in general – and heroin addiction specifically,  wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar in Utah. READ MORE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Former Meth House?
Is Your Home A Former Meth House? How to tell.

Is Your Home A Former Meth House? How to tell.


How to identify a Meth Lab before you move in.
Meth isn’t only dangerous to the consumer; it’s also dangerous to the future occupants of the home where it was consumed, or even more, where it was cooked. READ MORE

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ask Joe
“Fiance needs to get drunk every night”

Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek

Q: “I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in fiance’s need to get drunk every night”

Dear Joe,
I need help because I’m not able to deal with my live-in fiance’s need to get drunk every night. I’m not comfortable with it.

He says I need counseling to just deal with it because. . . READ MORE

____________________________________________________________

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. . . a Colorado Non-Profit Organization

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> FREE NEWSLETTER:
Please sign up for our Free Changing Lives E-Newsletter!

> JOIN OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP (now over 2,259 members):
This was sent to us recently by one of our wonderful Facebook Private Group members: “I feel I need the support of others that can relate to how I’m feeling. I’m unable to attend face to face meetings. Therefore groups, like Changing Lives has literally been a lifeline for me. Your group is the first I go to every day. I believe this was the first group I joined on Facebook. Thank you! My life has forever changed…for the better!” Please consider joining us. Ask to join and a group member will sign you in!

RESOURCES:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audio Book Download

RETURN:
From “Monthly Review: Yes!!! I am an Addict’s Mom, Utah’s Heroin Problem, Meth House”
to Changing Lives Foundation Blog Home

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Addict’s Mom, Utah’s Heroin Problem, Meth House

 

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Chaplaincy and Addiction

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Chaplaincy and Addiction

Wisconsin Chaplaincy Convention, Green Lake, Wisconsin

Chaplaincy and Addiction: What’s a Chaplain to do?

In October, 2014, Chaplain Joe Herzanek (Changing Lives Foundation, Loveland, CO) was a featured speaker at the annual Wisconsin Chaplaincy Conference in beautiful Green Lake, Wisconsin.

This year’s theme was “Drug/Alcohol Addiction” and we (Joe and Judy Herzanek) were honored to spend 3 days at the beautiful Heidel House Resort, on Green Lake, WI.

Speaker Chaplain Joe delivered three presentations during the conference:
Chaplaincy and Addiction
> Addiction: Disease or Moral Failing?
> Addict with a crime problem or a criminal with an addiction problem?
> What’s a Chaplain to do?

Over three days much ground was covered on the topic of substance abuse and how it impacts the work of a Chaplain. Joe delivered three one hour presentations plus a roundtable discussion for a group of over 60 Chaplains, both men and women, who serve at various facilities in Wisconsin (from hospitals to jails to treatment centers and more).

All sessions were well-received and were very interactive.

“There have been many great presenters over the years, but none that can really hold the folks and engage them in conversation the way Joe was able to do . . . The reviews were overwhelmingly positive.” 

~Ned Wicker, Director and Chairman of The 2014 Wisconsin Chaplaincy Conference,
Lead Chaplain at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, Oconomowoc, WI

We would like to thank our friend Ned Wicker (Host: Recovery Now! Radio) for hosting the 2014 Wisconsin Chaplaincy Conference this year. It was wonderful getting to know such an interesting and diverse group of Chaplains from the state of Wisconsin.

Judy Herzanek, Ned Wicker, Joe Herzanek at the 2014 Wisconsin Chaplaincy Conference

Judy Herzanek, Ned Wicker, Joe Herzanek at the 2014 Wisconsin Chaplaincy Conference

Author/Chaplain Joe HerzanekTo arrange a workshop or presentation at your organization
call: 303.775.6493 or email: Jherzanek@gmail.com

More info about Speaking Engagements with Author/Chaplain Joe Herzanek


CHANGING LIVES FOUNDATION FAMILY RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today with Chaplain Joe’s
award-winning book:.

Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audio Book (6 54 min.) Download


FREE NEWSLETTER:

RETURN:
 

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Chaplaincy and Addiction, Speaker Joe Herzanek, Chaplaincy and Addiction

 

 

 

 

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OxyContin vs. Heroin.

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OxyContin vs. Heroin:
“Substance abuse is like a balloon:
If you press in one spot, it bulges in another.”

OxyContin_Vs_Heroin

Changing Lives is sadly all-too-aware of the huge increase in our kids using, becoming addicted to and dying from Heroin use. This “once taboo” drug has become commonplace among suburban teens—your kids, neighbors and friends. Here’s one reason why.

This post reprinted from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
A new study finds that OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin, the researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

OxyContin vs. Heroin
The study included more than 2,500 people who were dependent on opioids, who were followed between July 2009 and March 2012. During that time, there was a 17 percent decrease in OxyContin abuse. In 2010, the company that makes OxyContin introduced a new version of the drug that is more difficult to inhale or inject.

During the same period, heroin abuse doubled, ABC News reports.

“I think the message we have to take away from this is that there are both anticipated consequences and unanticipated consequences to these new formulas,” lead researcher Theodore Cicero of Washington University in St. Louis said. “Substance abuse is like a balloon: If you press in one spot, it bulges in another.”

OxyContin users switching to Heroin
The study found almost one-fourth of participants were able to abuse OxyContin despite the reformulation, and 66 percent switched to heroin. The article notes that a small bag of heroin can cost as little as $5, compared with an 80-milligram dose of OxyContin, which can cost up to $80 on the street.

“Our data show that an abuse-deterrent formulation successfully reduced abuse of a specific drug but also generated an unanticipated outcome: replacement of the abuse-deterrent formulation with alternative opioid medications and heroin, a drug that may pose a much greater overall risk to public health than OxyContin,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, abuse-deterrent formulations may not be the ‘magic bullets’ that many hoped they would be in solving the growing problem of opioid abuse.”

RELATED:
> Suburban Teens Hooked on Drugs
> Addiction to Prescription Medications
> Monthly Review: Addicted Child, Suburban Teens Hooked on Drugs, Siblings
> Heroin Abuse and Addiction
> Addiction to Prescription Medications



RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery.
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 54 min.) Download


FREE NEWSLETTER:

RETURN:
______________________________________________________________________________________
Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts, Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts
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