June 2019 - Hader Clinic Queensland

Why Changing your Environment is More than just a Change of Scenery

In a bid to make a fresh start it’s common for those suffering from drug addiction to move away and start again.

However, without the backing of a proper rehabilitation program and adequate support systems in place, most attempts at moving location are not successful.

Often addicts who move from a familiar environment to a new one are ill equipped to deal with the pressures of loneliness, stress and isolation that may be encountered due to not knowing anyone and/or the challenges of new employment.

When a well-structured rehabilitation program that addresses the core reasons for addiction is undertaken, a change of location can be pivotal in maintaining ongoing success and be effective in preventing relapse.

Assuming rehabilitation is being addressed, here’s how changing your environment can help recovery from addiction.

Removal from prior negative influences

Often an addict who is attempting to recover, will be part of a community of users and dealers who may not share the ideals of recovery.

Often they will attempt to sabotage the addict’s recovery and pull them back into the bad habits that caused them to hit rock bottom in the first place.

When an addict is physically removed from the people who are pulling them down, it’s easier for them to make the changes that they need. 

Changing location gives them the opportunity to put recovery front and centre in their lives.

Understanding of what drives addiction

Attending rehabilitation in a different location helps give an addiction sufferer valuable space to learn and discover the factors that are driving their addiction.

Rehabilitation in a different geographical location takes away pressure to recover that others, such as family, may inadvertently apply and gives a sufferer a valuable space in which to learn, grow and recover at their own pace.

Opportunities to establish new relationships and a therapeutic community

Rehabilitation and relocation to a new environment also offers a recovering addict the opportunity to create new bonds, especially within a therapeutic community that supports abstinence from addictive substances as well as the recovery journey.

Additionally, further support can be accessed with mentors, who support recovering addicts through step work and meetings.

Insulation from misguided criticism

Unfortunately, unless personally confronted with addiction, many people do not realise that addiction is a health, rather than a criminal, issue.

Therefore, they can make unhelpful judgments about addiction and subsequent recovery. Rehabilitation in a different geographical location insulates the addict from the pressures of such judgments.

It also gives the addict the privacy and personal space they need to fully concentrate on themselves without any external pressures.

Transition back to living

As well as providing an extensive rehabilitation program, the Hader Clinic Queensland offers a transitional housing program that allows a recovering addict to take on old aspects of their lives in a controlled and supported manner.

The transition program also helps an addict decide whether a permanent geographical move is required all within the supportive arms of a therapeutic community and support from Hader Clinic staff.

The Hader Clinic Queensland caters for both interstate and international clients and provides a soothing sanctuary well away from the hustle and bustle of the city where you can reconnect with yourself and start the journey of recovery.

Addiction – How to Help, not Enable

Well-intentioned attempts to help a loved one struggling with addiction can actually plunge them deeper into the cycle of addiction. This is known as enabling. Here are some ways to help, not enable.

If you have a loved one that is struggling with addiction, you’ll be very familiar with experiencing the feelings of quiet desperation to sheer terror as they self-destruct with drugs and alcohol before your very eyes.

You’re scared that this behaviour will kill them and you’d give anything to make it stop.

Anything to help them clean up their lives and make a fresh start.

The hardest issues to face are, “how do I cope with this?” and “what can I do to help them?”

Some actions we take as loved ones, such as promoting rehabilitation to your addict are very helpful. 

But unfortunately other well-intentioned attempts to assist the addict can actually plunge them deeper into the cycle of addiction. These attempts are known as enabling.

It can look very altruistic from an outsiders’ point of view – for example, parents of an addict may pay their rent so they can “have a bit of breathing space and a chance to get ahead” or cover for their absenteeism from school or work.

Unfortunately, it’s the worst thing you can do as it shields the addict from accepting the consequences of their addiction and makes it easier for them to remain actively addicted to their substance of choice.

Therefore it’s important to know the steps you can take to actively help, rather than inadvertently enable them.

Here are seven ways you can help an addict, rather than enable them.

#1 Do the help/enable litmus test before doing anything for your loved one

If you are helping an addict you are doing something for them which they probably could not do for themselves, even if they were not using drugs.

Enabling on the other hand, means doing something an addict could normally do if they were unaffected by drugs.

#2 Don’t be the “Plan B”

Due to the unrelenting nature of addiction, addicts will often find themselves in trouble. 

It’s common for them to rely on the support of loved ones to bail them out of whatever predicament they find themselves in, be it being short on money to pay the rent, forgetting to meet work obligations or getting in trouble with the law.

As long as an addict knows that they have a “Plan B” backup to sort them out in times of trouble, they’re free to carry on practicing their addiction because, having a “Plan B” around removes the consequences of their addictive behaviours.

#3 Let them know why you’re no longer their “Plan B”

Addicts can be very manipulative and play on the emotions on those closest to them in order to maintain or perpetuate their addiction.

An addict may also blame you for their troubles.

You may already have experienced such cries, as “you don’t love me because you won’t help me,” or “you don’t support me” and the gold standard, “it’s all your fault”. 

Clearly let your addict loved one know that while you love and care about them, you cannot support them in active addiction with enabling behaviours.

#4 Employ a tough love strategy

While it may seem like we are helping as we extricate our addict loved ones from the messes that they make due to their addictions, we are in fact giving them more leeway to further indulge in addictive behaviours.

Although it is painful to watch, stepping out of the way of an addict’s behaviour, and allowing them to experience the fallout from it, is an act of love.

Yes, you will see them suffer, which is hard to cope with, but you’re paving a path that makes it harder for them to remain in active addiction.

Suffering provides a gateway for the addict to begin to realise that they need to change.

#5 Let the law work as is

While it’s easy to protect an addict by giving them money and shelter, it’s not as easy to protect them from the law and neither should you.

Often a criminal charge associated with drug use or dealing drugs can be enough to propel an addict into realising that they need to go to rehab.

Some addicts rack up several charges before they seek help. The Hader Clinic Queensland specialise in getting addicts into rehabilitation rather than jail.

#6 Seek the support of others

Fellowship groups that support addicts’ loved ones such as AL-ANON and Nar-ANON can provide support, comfort and fellowship for those families who are struggling to allow their addict members to fail.

Additionally, the groups provide valuable education around the disease of addiction and can provide tools to help you cope with an addict’s behaviour.

It is optimal if all family members can attend meetings – that way you can develop a strategy together that stops enabling the addict, but supports them, should they choose to commence recovery.

#7 Encourage them to seek treatment

At opportune moments, encourage an addict to seek treatment.

Help them to understand that while recovery can be hard work, it is possible to live a life free from the tyranny of drugs and alcohol.

Support the wobbly steps they may be taking in this direction.

How Rehab Saved my Son, and our Family

My name is Gary and I am the parent of a drug and alcohol addict, Daniel. Daniel has recently completed rehab at the Hader Clinic Queensland.

Daniel has completed the 90 day residential addiction treatment program, and is currently in the transitional housing program.

Daniel also shared his addiction recovery story.

These days, Daniel is doing exceptionally well. The entire family is extremely pleased about his progress.

Moreover, we are entirely satisfied with the Hader Clinic Queensland’s addiction rehabilitation program and how it has nurtured and facilitated his effective recovery through an aggressive form of alcohol and drug addiction.

Prior to undertaking the rehabilitation program, our collective lives were in turmoil.

As with other members of our family, our love for Daniel was and is unconditional and we have a close connection of love with every member of our family. So when they go down, we follow.

We were totally unaware that Daniel had a problem with alcohol and drug addiction until approximately three years ago, when his behaviour rapidly deteriorated.

Daniel is what my family described as an alpha male. He was totally reliable, hard-working, and able to do anything, competent in music, sport and work.

Whatever, you gave him to complete you always had confidence he would complete it to your total satisfaction.

Because of his drug and alcohol addiction, Daniel became a man we could no longer recognise.

At that time, Daniel was working as the assistant manager of our heavy vehicle trucking company. We had commercial tenants who were renting offices, shed accommodation and yard areas, which were allocated for the storage of containers and customer product.

It first became apparent that something was going on when the property of one of our commercial tenants was taken and our CCTV footage recorded an image of what appeared to be Daniel.

As the managing director of our family business and the primary representative of our commercial property partnership, I had accusations levelled at me by tenants that I was encouraging criminals.

Because of my close bond with Daniel, this time became extremely difficult for me and as he went down, I followed.

In our subsequent discussions with Daniel, we discovered that Daniel had been using drugs since he was 17.

His life appeared to be normal, up until the last three years or so, when our collective lives spun out of our control.

We were at a loss to know what to do.

Fortunately, through an internet search for local drug and alcohol addiction services, I discovered the Hader Clinic Queensland.

I sent the web page link to Daniel through an email and asked if he would be prepared to go.

To my surprise and extreme delight, his response was “Yes, if you pay”.

This has been a Godsend.

This whole episode has renewed my faith in God, our Father, Jesus, his son and the Holy Spirit.

It has also reinforced Daniel’s faith and his gratitude for this exceptional opportunity to turn his life around so that our alpha son would be returned to us.

Daniel was admitted immediately into the Hader Clinic Queensland.

My greatest fear was that, had we not admitted him to the Hader Clinic Queensland, he would have died or be jailed for an extensive and unbearable length of time.

He was in a bad way.

The police were targeting him and making life very difficult for him. When he went anywhere, the police would follow.

His life and our lives were extremely difficult and we were all struggling to cope.

From the first day of his 90 day residential program, Daniel applied himself as the “real Daniel” would, in what he would describe as “120 percent”.

He has never faulted during the entire program from residential to transitional and hopefully into the outpatient status.

From the level of his enthusiasm in the take-up of this rehabilitation process, it is clear that Daniel knew he would be completely lost without this assistance.

This programme has been an eye opener for me.

During the process, I also learnt that I was a typical enabler of his addiction.

In trying to help him, I would provide funds for him to buy groceries and other similar items. In hindsight, he probably just turned around and spent it on drugs.

He was living in our house with a dealer he was associating with at the time. We were providing him with accommodation free of charge and we were giving money to him to purchase items.

It really came to a head one day as I was driving him back home and he started blaming me for everything and the position that he was in.

According to Dan, it was “all my fault” and “I had neglected him”.

In a way, he was correct.

At the start of his drug and alcohol addiction, we were focusing all of our attention on another serious family matter, which was not clearly understood by us and as such unresolved and without a clear way forward for resolution.

So yes, in a way, I neglected him.

However, Dan’s blaming me really brought the whole thing to a head. It was the turning point.

Whilst Dan was being treated at the Hader Clinic Queensland, I have been attending the monthly family evenings to get a better understanding of addiction.

During these sessions, I have received extensive and extremely helpful guidance on the dos and don’ts in relation to the support of a loved one in addiction.

Because of Daniel’s progression in this rehabilitation process, some of the information received during these sessions has not been utilised.

Daniel continues to be extremely self-motivated. His rapid progress can be attributed to his “120 percent” effort.

For Daniel, this means attending meetings religiously without fail, doing step work and working effectively and cooperatively with his sponsor.

Daniel is currently coaching his son’s soccer team and all of the children in the team love him.

As a child, Daniel was an excellent soccer player, as he was with any other sport that he played as a child. In Grade 7, in primary school, Daniel was awarded sportsman of the year and received a trophy from the local council representative. It is most pleasing to watch him passing on his sporting skills to the younger generation.

But more importantly, Daniel continues to rebuild the relationship with his son and his ex-wife, who has been very supporting and encouraging throughout the entire rehabilitation process.

Previously his wife and son had experienced a very tumultuous relationship because of this serious alcohol and drug addiction.

Throughout the programme, his ex-wife has been completely supporting his rehabilitation which in turn is helping their son.

I would highly recommend to other parents, who have a loved one suffering from addiction, to immediately cease “enabling” and immediately admit their loved into the Hader Clinic Queensland’s rehabilitation program.

Enabling really exacerbates the problems associated with alcohol and drug addiction.

Moreover, during the program, totally support your loved one and provide extensive encouragement and incentive for them to continuously progress through the recovery process so that they can return to a better life.

Daniel realised that he needed to take at least twelve months out of work to ensure that he kept his recovery front and centre.

He is currently progressing towards the completion of his last three months in the Hader Clinic Queensland’s transition programme.

Our relationship has always been close, but I believe that it is even better now.

In the first week of rehabilitation, Daniel wrote me a beautiful and sincere letter.

In this letter, he apologised for blaming me for everything.

He wrote some wonderful words indicating that, if it weren’t for his mother and I supporting him, he did not know where he would be today.

Those words written were extremely helpful in resolving and healing the unkind and unfair words previously spoken in our final conversation prior to rehabilitation.

Our relationship continues to grow through the rehabilitation process.

Today Daniel and I are doing extremely well.

I must reiterate how worthwhile and effective the Hader Clinic’s addiction treatment program is.

Yes, it seemed expensive at the start, but this programme has saved my son’s life and I don’t think you could actually put a value on that.

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of the Hader Clinic Queensland for your continued support and assistance. It has been invaluable.

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