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Author Ricki Townsend is a Registered Interventionist, Drug/Alcohol Counselor, Ncac1, CADC-CAS, Bri-1, Chaplain and Grief Recovery Specialist. Find her at A Path to Recovery.com

Offering an ultimatum can be a powerful tool in prompting a beloved child (of any age) to seek help. And I try to avoid the language of “kicking your kid out of your home” because that sets them up as victims, with the parent calling all the shots.  It is disrespectful to them. The truth is you aren’t kicking your son or daughter out; you are giving them a CHOICE to get treatment for a potentially deadly brain disease that drives their deceitful, dangerous and manipulative behavior. You are also giving them the choice to live somewhere else, wherever that might be.

Tags: Ricki Townsend A Path to Recovery healthy boundaries

Read more: Why you shouldn't kick your kid out of your home: the professional's perspective

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Which college students are at risk for prescription opioid abuse? Where do they live, how are their grades, and how do they behave? And what other risky behaviors go along with opioid abuse? (Hint: Who wants to be a grandparent?) Discover the answers from a recent and revealing study.

The American Journal on Addictions just released a study based on survey results from more than 3,500 students at a public university in the Midwest. Overall, 2.2% reported misusing prescription opioids in the last 12 months and another 5.3% reported misusing prescription opioids previously (but not in the past year). For many, the inappropriate use of prescription opioids can be the first step towards pain pill or even heroin addiction.

Read more: Opioids on the college campus....who is at risk??

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The New York Times reports on the stunning cost of overdose in the workplace:

Seventy percent of employers reported that their businesses had been affected by prescription drug abuse, including absenteeism, positive drug tests, injuries, accidents and overdoses.

  • Who has the highest rate of pain med and opioid misuse? It’s the entertainment, recreation and food business, followed by the construction industry.
  • About 1.3 percent of construction workers are thought to be addicted to opioids. That's almost twice the addiction rate of all working adults.
  • Interviews with over 500 managers at businesses with 50 or more employees found that fewer than one in five companies felt extremely well-prepared to combat the opioid crisis.
  • Large employers treating opioid abuse and overdoses spent $2.6 billion in 2016, up from $300 million 12 years earlier. Those numbers do not include the cost of lost productivity.
  • Workers who misuse pain medication miss almost three times as many days of work a year (29 days a year, compared with 10.5 days for other employees.)
  • An increasing number of union contractors now provide the opioid overdose antidote Narcan on job sites.
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By John Perry, Co-Founder, Clean & Sober Recovery Services

Clean & Sober Recovery Services offers a FREE and confidential family group meeting every Sunday as a resource for the entire community. One out of every four families experiences the misuse of drugs or alcohol, so the room should be packed. People should be streaming in to get support or information about dealing with a loved one’s Substance Use Disorder. But we always have some empty seats.

Why don’t more people come to the meetings? They’re led by a board-registered interventionist, who is also a family coach, grief counselor and retired chaplain. There is tremendous wisdom in the room amidst the presence of many “legacy” family members who have survived (or are surviving) the storm of a loved one’s addiction or alcoholism. The meetings don’t require an RSVP. The “price of admission” is simply that you are concerned about someone’s drug or alcohol misuse.

But still, Substance Use Disorder is such a shameful disease that people hide it in the dark corner of their lives. Parents think they “caused it.” People who vow every night to change their ways wake up every morning and reach for the drink or drug. And they blame themselves for not being “strong enough” or “good enough” to say "No." If only we could turn off diseases like cancer or diabetes or addiction with good intentions or willpower....

When families don’t understand this brain disease, they relinquish their power. They mistakenly believe that the addict/alcoholic can change without the family changing, too. Or, with crossed fingers and wishful prayers, people make excuses about why someone shouldn’t get treatment or doesn’t need treatment. That’s magical thinking, at its best and worst. It keeps people sick, it isn’t realistic, and it fails to treat Substance Use Disorder as a brain disease that can be kept in remission – but only if we call it by its name, learn about it and treat it appropriately.

Want to come to one of those Sunday meetings? Call us (916) 990-0190 to learn more.

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It’s hard for the substance abuser to stop drinking or using drugs. It’s often as hard – or harder – for the family. Yet it seems so simple: Why don’t they just stop drinking or using drugs? People who aren’t familiar with the complexity of Substance Use Disorder seek a quick solution, just as the addict or alcoholic seeks a quick fix for whatever ails them: social isolation, woundedness, depression or other mental health issues, and more.

And hope springs eternal.

Read more: You keep hoping, they keep drinking. It's time for a new dance

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