Family & Parenting

Why and How to Detach With Love

Posted on December 12th, 2014

When you love an alcoholic or addict, you probably experience a lot of unpredictability and pain in your life, including both extreme highs and extreme lows. You get caught up in frequent drama and are obsessed with trying to change situations you can’t control and you may spend time, money and energy trying to fix someone else’s problems. The worst part of all is the addict doesn’t want to be saved or changed. He or she barely seems to notice your efforts. The addict or alcoholic that you love is driving you crazy.

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Learning to Trust Your Adult Child in Recovery

Posted on December 2nd, 2014

By Heather Rolland, LCSW

Can you imagine applying to become a parent as if it were a competitive job? Imagine the job description: physical care, emotional care, financial support … and then all the potential contingencies. Navigating the first 18 or so years is hard enough, but for some parents, the next few steps—the letting go and releasing your child, now a young adult, into the world—may be the hardest. For a parent who has been through the wrenching process of helping a child identify and treat an addiction and enter recovery, this next step may feel like the hardest one of all.

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Wives Have More Influence Over Husbands’ Drinking Than Vice Versa

Posted on September 12th, 2014

In the U.S. and throughout much of the world, significant numbers of both married and unmarried people consume alcohol regularly. Most of these individuals drink in light or moderate amounts that don’t generally lead to problems; however, some individuals increase their risks for a range of problems by drinking heavily. In a study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham assessed the level of impact that a husband or wife has on his or her spouse’s habitual level of alcohol intake.

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How to Help Your Kids Understand Addiction

Posted on August 26th, 2014

For children, the concept of addiction as a disease is a tough one. In fact, it’s not always easy for adults to understand either. As a parent it is your job to talk to your kids about addiction if someone in their lives has a substance abuse problem. Whether it is a parent, a sibling or a more distant relative, you have to help your kids try to make sense of what seems so difficult to understand. Start a discussion about addiction at a level that is age-appropriate and then make sure your kids have the necessary coping strategies to deal with having an addict in the family.

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Have You Let a Child Down With Your Addiction? She’ll Be Watching Your Every Move

Posted on May 20th, 2013

Have You Let a Child Down With Your Addiction? She’ll Be Watching Your Every MoveRecovery from addiction is a difficult road to travel. Not only do you need to resist temptation and stop yourself from relapsing, but you also have to learn how to live all over again. Living as a sober person and as an addict are two very different things and, once in recovery, you have to learn what it means to be sober.

Along with your personal and internal battles, life after recovery also means dealing with the people around you and their perceptions of you, feelings toward you, and their trust or lack of trust in you. At work, people may now be looking at you differently. Your sober friends may tiptoe around you.  Most importantly, however, are the feelings and attitudes of your family.

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A Diagnosis is Devastating for Teens Struggling to Be Cool

Posted on May 18th, 2013

A Diagnosis is Devastating for Teens Struggling to Be CoolThe diagnosis of a mental illness in a teenager is often the result of a long process. As a family, you may have endured school meetings, testing by the school psychologist, appointments with your family doctor, referrals to a specialist, and then multiple visits with a therapist before actually seeing a doctor. Phone calls to an insurance company, notes home from teachers, and perhaps even suspensions for behavioral issues may have prefaced the diagnosis. As a parent, as difficult and upsetting as hearing the diagnosis may be, relief and a sense of handling things often accompany the label. With a label can come a plan.

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Teens, Drugs, and Pressure

Posted on January 24th, 2013

Teens, Drugs, and PressureWhen we think of teens, drugs, and pressure, the word “peer” tends to add itself to the list. Peer pressure can determine the clothes teens wear (or covet), where they go in their free time, and what they do there. Peer pressure, along with curiosity and other influences, contributes to first drug use-alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana (in that order)-most often occurring at ages 12 to 14. This stage is also identified as the prime years for peer pressure susceptibility.

Peer pressure also works in the opposite direction. About half of teens have no friends who are regular drinkers, and about seven out of ten don’t have smokers or “druggies” in their circles. Recent data shows those ever-variable numbers rising-in the case of cigarettes, a dramatic rise. Even when friend choice is not deliberately based on those criteria, such social dynamics tend to reinforce themselves. It’s one of many good reasons for parents to know their children’s friends.

While likelihood of drug use increases through the teen years, along with the likelihood of knowing drug users, those choices are less likely to be based on peer pressure as older teens grow into more self-assurance and self-directedness.

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Battling the Frustration of Addiction

Posted on July 23rd, 2012

As human beings we experience a wealth of emotions from love and hate to despair and elation. It is one of the many things that make us human. Of course, while some emotions are great and wonderful and embraced, others are no fun at all. One of the most frustrating emotions we all have to deal with at times is frustration itself. No one likes to feel this way. It comes upon us when things just aren’t going our way. For the addict trying to come clean and for the loved ones waiting for the addict’s behaviors to finally change, frustration can be a daily burden.

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Forgiveness May Improve Health for People Hurt by Addiction

Posted on September 24th, 2010

The consequences of addiction far exceed the emotional and physical effects for the user. People suffering from addiction may continue to make choices that separate them from friends and family and other social relationships. Extreme mood swings and irritability can also destroy lives; the addict may also take advantage of friends and family to try to feed their addiction. Forgiving an addict, though difficult, may be necessary for a loved one to improve their health and maintain positive levels of self-esteem.

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When Your Dad (or Mom) Drinks

Posted on February 17th, 2010

When you are a child, you look up to your parents. They are supposed to be there to protect you, to keep you from harm, to look out for you at all times. But when one of your parents, let’s say your Daddy, drinks alcohol, sometimes things just don’t go right at all at home. The more your Daddy drinks, the worse it can get. You feel lost, confused, and alone and you don’t know what to do. First of all, you need help. And there is help available.

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