Welcome to Love Recovery, we have been overwhelmed with the response to Septembers edition, from everyone at ECR we would like to say thank you. In this edition we wanted to discuss how addiction affects the loved ones off of the individual suffering, we will also be hearing from Matt Coe our Therapeutic & Interventions Manager who will be discussing how we can help support families through this challenging & rewarding time.
East Coast Recovery are pleased to announce that we have secured a further contract and will be providing residential treatment for Bexley Borough Council. This is recognition of the 1st class care our clients receive, and we look forward to providing continuous treatment for both existing and new clients.
Are you thinking of funding treatment for a loved one?
Here at East Coast Recovery, we believe that the treatment we provide is cutting edge, and we know that clients go on to live an abstinent life. We appreciate that treatment costs may not necessarily be budgeted for and this can present its self as an unexpected expense. It is important that we help you recognise that there is an end result and you’re provided with an understanding about the treatment we deliver, this will be facilitated by Lester, Matt, Sonja, and the team.
We allow our client’s voices to be heard and are able to tell their stories about their journey before and after their treatment, recovery isn’t easy and the individual who is suffering from this illness needs to accept change is needed. Below is a chat with Chrissy an ex-client who is now living a life of sobriety. If you listen to this you can hear how they recognise how their behavior affected them and the people around them. The key message in this is that people who come to ECR for treatment leave with the tools and support to stay abstinent. With hard work, you could have your loved one back.
Matt Coe discussing the importance of family support
Unfortunately, it is a well-known fact that whether it’s a parent, son or daughter, brother or sister, or any other family member with a drug or alcohol problem, their drug and/or alcohol problem can, and almost certainly will, have a negative impact on family members. You could say that the person with the problem is like someone stuck in a bog or quicksand. The other family members, in their efforts to help, often get pulled down into the bog or quicksand too. The first step in putting things right is when the others (family members), start to get their own feet on solid ground. Only after they have done this will they be able to help tackle the addiction problem.
At East Coast Recovery we are acutely aware of how important it is for the family to be well informed and supported. Since approximately 2008 we have been facilitating informational Family Presentations in order to educate family members and friends of alcoholics and addicts to the reality of what really happens to the brain of an alcoholic / addict. Virtually every time that we facilitate these presentations, we hear comments such as “This makes so much sense” and “Why haven’t we been told this before?” Whether or not alcoholism and addiction are classified as a disease or not, without a doubt it is ECR’s overwhelming experience that addiction is an issue that centers in the mind. It’s a mind (mental health issue), that has a very deep root. Some would go as far as to say that alcoholism and drug addiction is not only a mental issue but a spiritual issue also. If the family members are not educated about these facts, then they often continue to feel dis-empowered, frustrated and helpless.
ECR also carries out many different forms of interventions to assist the family, such as planned family meetings, structured intervention letter writing, and moving-forward contracts. ECR also encourages families to contact ECR as often as needed to receive confidential advice, guidance, and support.
Greetings from Lester
For this months edition of Love Recovery, we have chosen to focus on family. It doesn’t take long working within the addiction field to realise that for every “one” individual suffering there are at least ten people suffering around them. Loved ones who are desperate often say they feel like they are in a hostage situation, they feel that if they don’t help enable then their loved one’s addiction one will die. Unfortunately, this can often be the sad reality, the majority of people that die from addiction are people in employment, and have close relationships with friends and family. They’re not individuals that live on the streets.
There are statistics available that suggest that the death toll caused by drugs and alcohol is rising dramatically, this highlights the suffering being caused to children and family members by this terrible illness. My life experience has to lead me to believe that this problem can be treated and that recovery is always possible by using carefully thought out interventions and treatment plans. People that are suffering from addiction could improve their situation by engaging in the treatment we deliver.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel that society is doing a very good job in educating families on the best way to help and support loved ones. We know this is the case because this is the feedback we receive on a regular basis. We regularly meet a lot of desperate people who have been struggling for many years with a loved one who is suffering from addiction, when family members come to our free family groups they’re often shocked at how little they know and understand about addiction. If families were shown how to be a part of a good intervention programme I am confident that society would see the recovery rates increase.
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction please look for support in your local area. I can recommend Al-Anon who can be contacted on 0207 4030888. If you would like to register to come to one of our free family groups or workshops please contact Martin via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 7 yrs 3 months & 5 days & so very grateful to Lester & his fantastic team, I am now loving life & living my dream. Thank you so much xxx
- 5 years & 5 months sober, words don’t seem enough xxx
- Over 3 years and very happy. Thank you. Xx
- Thank you for helping me save my life love you guys so much xx
- The best decision I ever made and I am so very thankful I did!!
- The best decision I ever made so grateful to everyone who helped me on my journey x
We would like to thank everyone who sent their questions in to Lester in Septembers edition of Love Recovery, following this we have decided that we will aim to have a Facebook Live session weekly to discuss all that is recovery! Our first Facebook Live session took place in October and was a great success. You can watch the video below in case anybody missed it. Don’t forget to Like our social media pages for ECR updates we wouldn’t want you to miss out.!!
Recovery Evolution Podcast
A Mothers Raw Journey
Nineteen years ago my journey began, a journey so deep and dark that life at times seemed impossible and never-ending. My firstborn child, my beautiful, loving, caring, kind sweet daughter fell into the arms of the devil and began a life of lies, deceit, crime and in my view summed up "hell". I didn't see it coming and certainly didn't heed the warning signs, I was naive to the people and the places she would go and how her life revolved around them. The depths of this degrading life began immediately for me as soon as the word "heroin" was spat out of that beautiful mouth, a mouth that would soon continually gape open as her head would drop to her shoulders and she would leave the world to find another that she craved consistently. I remember when those very first needles pierced her skin she no longer cared for anyone or anything and I became a slave to her every movement, every breath and she took me down with her.
I can't remember or maybe I don't want to, the time when I realised our journey ahead was going to mean that so much would change. So much of me being a mother to my other children, so much of me being a wife to my husband, so much of me being a daughter and a sister. This was my reality now. Life was a constant battle daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. The years passed by before my eyes and my life became a battle of having to go to work, raise my family and trying vigilantly protect and care for my daughter knowing that any minute then I could get another call saying "She's naked in the street", "She's been arrested", "She's been evicted", "she's crashed her car or "she's in an ambulance". If I'm honest I hated that life and there were times I just wanted to give up and I would find myself wanting to say I love you but I don't like you on a daily basis. My daughter became a constant drain on my mind, body soul and heart and I remember at the time thinking that it would be better if the drugs would take her, if she died she couldn't destroy the lives of those around her. The guilt of these thoughts has never left me today. I didn't give up on her and over the space of two years, she became my crusade. I needed to heal her, make her the mother she needed to be for her children, help her regain the self-respect she had lost and given her the chance to rediscover that beautiful, kind sweet hearted child I brought n to the world. I was tested every day she didn't care if she was at home, on the street, in one of the numerous rehab centers we sent her to, hostels, police stations it didn't matter to her and I could see in her eyes she wasn't ready to accept that this was her fate. I could tell that deep down inside she didn't want this but she couldn't fight it alone and no matter how much support she had it would never be enough. Neither one of us could understand why she couldn't fight this daemon that consumed her. This for me was perhaps the darkest moment and time of all, what would what would she have to fight for? why would she want to remain in the world that she felt no longer needed. It could have been her easy way out of the hell shes desperately wanted to leave and I watched her.
Then that magical moment came, I received a call from East Coast Recovery and slowly Lester, Sonja, Matt, and all the team took over the role of keeping her safe and releasing me from the fear that overwhelmed me constantly. I can't remember how long it took for me to relax back in to the role of being a mother again, to be able to leave the house without my mobile and to be able to ask people to visit the house without the worry of answering questions and create a cover story for her but eventually I did. Though it was easier for me, on the whole, I still had the fear that she could give up yet again to that life and the nightmare we lived would be resumed. I don't think I ever gave up on her though and I encouraged her every step of the way, still sometimes to the detriment of my own life.
Four years ago my journey took another path and life took on another meaning for us both. Slowly that beautiful loving, kind, sweet child came back to me as a strong, confident and selfless woman. It was upsetting seeing how much we had missed, the warm hugs, loving conversations and teasing jibes between us that began so many years later than it should have. I began to want to hold her and not constantly push her away. I wanted to listen more knowing that what passed her lips was honest, our relationship as mother and daughter grew again. I saw a world other than hers and gripped it with both, hands a new way of life began for me and I believe it can only get stronger. The journey isn't over and I know that it continues openly and I crave more of this new life with her. I am positive and happy where we are right now and proud of surviving where we have both been. and perhaps because of her faith, I have new beliefs myself.
Lester answers your questions
Following September’s edition of Love Recovery, we have chosen three questions for Lester to answer. This is a snapshot of what he has been asked, you can hear the answers to other questions on Facebook Live. Keep an eye out on our social media pages to see updates.
Q1 How long will it take me to recover from addiction?
This is a difficult question that can be answered without clarification or discussion. One of the most common questions that are asked is what does “recover” mean?. This will be answered on Facebook live as this requires an in-depth answer.
Q2 Is it possible to leave treatment and drink in moderation?
If you’re an alcoholic or as we like to refer to it “an allergic type” (also known as an abnormal reaction to alcohol type), then it is impossible to safely use alcohol again in any form, Safety is the key phrase to consider. In general, the rule of thumb is; If you can’t stop or moderate when given sufficient reason to do so then you probably are an alcoholic, therefore you can never use alcohol n a safe manner again without triggering the allergy abnormal reaction to alcohol.
If we were to consider drug/substance misuse then there are varied opinions, some say yes whereas others say no. I would ask Why to take the risk, in my experience those who use alcohol or any mind-altering substances tend to fail and end up back on their “drug of choice”. This is certainly a subject that can cause controversy and divided opinion. Speaking on a personal level, in the view of having an abstinent life I think if you’re willing to risk so early in recovery, then one of two things will happen.
You will reach for a drink or take drugs and relapse
You will reach for a drink or take drugs and nothing much happens, you continue to drink and stop recovery and eventually you relapse back on to drugs. If this doesn’t happen to you then Brilliant.
Q3 How can East Coast Recovery help me when others in the past haven’t?
I can only answer this question be telling you what both past and current clients who have been to other rehabs tell me. The general feedback identifies that the main difference is that ECR provides an explanation of how they are feeling and they have never been told the reason why they have turned to addiction and the precise understanding of the brain of an addict. There is a misconception that people choose to be an addict when this is actually a mental health condition. When this understanding has been established clients have said the treatment process makes sense and the overall outcome has helped motivate them to work harder at their personal recovery. One of the most common responses we receive is that there are a deeper understanding and knowledge regarding the 12 step, and how it integrates with the latest neuroscience.
We have an outstanding amount of clients who extend their original treatment stay with us due to the life-changing experience they are receiving. Families also comment in a positive manner after they have attended our “Brain of Addiction” and “Enabling Behaviour” presentations we hear comments such as “this all makes sense now”, “Why haven’t we been told this before?”, “Thank you that blew me away”.
Enabling a loved one
When we use the word enabling in context of addiction, we refer to loved ones who provide a justification, ignore or try and smooth over how an individual is addicted to alcohol/drugs. In short, this allows the user to avoid facing consequences and continue to abuse their chosen substance. The most common enablers are partners, parents, siblings or friends. This could also be that the enabler joins in on a social level and is worried that the relationship may change if the user gets help, or it could be the case that they’re frightened of the individuals’ actions if withdrawal is present. The misconception is that enablers support these actions; however, on the whole, this is not the case. The enabler is the one most affected by the users’ actions and feels the anxiety about the consequences that they could face as the addict continues their path of self-destruction not being able to cope with their allergic reaction.
Do you ever ask yourself this?
If I help them cut down at least I can help them reduced their intake
If I ask them to leave they will be homeless and could die
Every time I try to rationalise with them they become violent or are too “spaced” out to have a conversation
If this is the case then this demonstrates that there is an awareness that the enabled needs help. It is important to try and understand how the enabler is in a toxic position filled with fear and anxiety, they feel like they’re in a lose-lose situation and unable to set boundaries that the enabled will follow. Enablers are desperate to try and resolve what is going on around them but unfortunately, as guilt consumes them they feel helpless, but remember help is out there so if you’re in a situation like this seek help from experienced professionals.