THROUGHOUT MY YEARS AS A THERAPIST, I have been asked to put
forth my views on specific areas of recovery. I am including a sampling of my
writings on this page to give you some insight into how I approach the recovery
WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL BENEFITS AND CONSEQUENCES
OF CONFRONTING AND NO LONGER ENABLING AN ADDICT ?
confront their loved one with the truth surrounding their addictions. Typically, we have enabled their
behaviors for a long time and the addict is unwilling to accept the reality of their situation. A perfect
example is the parent of a twenty-something year old who is not accomplishing anything in their life, i.e., not
attending school, not working, etc. While this is going on the parent continues to pay for their child’s rent,
car insurance, spending money. All of this continues to take place while the addict gets deeper and deeper
into their disease.
enable you in your disease, nor will I help you participate in your addictions!” As a result of confronting the
loved one about this behavior you are now in a position to state to what extent you are willing to support the
treatment and are ready to re-enter the world as a sober person.” A husband or wife might say to their
partner, “I cannot allow myself to watch you kill yourself with drugs and alcohol. I will agree to couples
counseling to help save our marriage, but only after you have successfully finished a treatment experience.”
2) We may have to face a divorce, or our child saying they would rather live in the street, or a sibling saying
they will never talk to us again. To any of these or other statements made by the person in need of help,
please refer back to consequence number one.
HOW RECOVERING ADDICTS CAN SAFELY PARTAKE
IN CELEBRATIONS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
One of the primary ways to enjoy the holiday without experiencing a relapse is environmental control. One
can control his/her environment in a variety of ways. For example, if the holidays mean visiting your
parents, which might upset you and cause you to want to drink - you don’t have to go. You can choose to
take yourself out of a hostile environment…Or the reverse. If you have a sober fellowship of friends with
whom you can enjoy the holidays with safely, then put yourself into that friendly environment.
Another way to safely enjoy the holidays is to anticipate how to handle difficult situations. If you go to an
office party where it’s probable that people will be pressing alcoholic drinks into your hand, and if you are
not yet ready to tell the world that you are sober, be prepared with some responses as to why you are not
drinking. For example: I am having some dental work done tomorrow and my dentist said not to drink
twenty-four hours before the appointment…Or, I am on cold medication that does not allow me to drink
Another little trick is to always have a drink in hand…club soda, ice tea, etc. This way when someone tries
to give you an alcoholic beverage you just hold up your drink and say, “no thanks, I already have one”.
In conclusion, to safely navigate the holidays without relapsing, it is important to take action that supports
your recovery. Surround yourself with loving, supportive family and friends who want you to realize success.
Have well defined plans prepared on how you will handle specific issues that may arise. Finally, have a list
of people in the program that you can call upon to help get you through the tough times.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF
SEGREGATING POPULATIONS DURING TREATMENT
(Re: Age, Religion, Substance Abuse)
treat only women or only men. Some religious based recovery rehabs only take clients of the same religion.
These types of segregated populations can produce benefits as well as drawbacks.
When younger clients enter into a rehab that caters to their specific age demographic it can help when they
are welcomed by others who share the same taste in music, clothing, etc. This new client can appreciate how
other young people who are not much different than him/herself are willing and able to enter into a life of
sobriety. However, for younger clients who struggle with their interpersonal relationships with older
generations, they do not have the opportunity to learn how to successfully interact.
Another example is gender specific treatment centers. There are clearly benefits for women who had been
abused or sexually molested, to feel the safety of a rehab with no men present. Likewise, for a man with an
addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well as a sexual addiction, he might find it easier to be treated without the
distractions of female clients. The drawback here is that it becomes a lost opportunity for the recovery of
the client. If these issues are not allowed to come forward in treatment, the staff loses the opportunity to
address the client with the process of recovery.
Finally, the idea of putting people into treatment centers that deal exclusively with only one substance, like
heroine, crack cocaine, alcohol, etc., allows the client to feel the support from similarly addicted clients. For
example, in a group that is held with heroine addicts only, they all share a common bond and can relate on
an easier plane. I find this to be limiting because an overwhelming number of clients are cross-addicted.
Furthermore, this type of a situation makes it more difficult to educate the client about the dangers of cross-
I CAN BE CONTACTED confidentially via:
Email: Larry Meltzer@addictiontherapist.net