Drug Problems and Sexual Abuse

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) problems as well as Criminal Thinking and Conduct (CTC) could have been rooted deep in the past. Way back in your lifetime or of someone else who is suffering with these ghosts of the past.

Family History.

You might wonder how far back? Trauma can be generational and learned. Ancient memories, thoughts and beliefs can be passed on.

On the other hand, if we are talking about working with a client in the here and now, these problematic patterns can be as far back as when the person was a baby or toddler. Imagine a small, fragile, beautiful little girl who had a babysitter at home; or maybe an aide, a teacher or coach at pre-school, Kindergarten or grade school. Maybe Sunday School or church.

It could be someone’s little princess who was just enjoying a Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street life. The Cookie Monster was amazing.

Offenders are usually known by the victim.

Never imagining this could happen, one day a real monster strikes. A person, probably known to the victim and family does the unimaginable. He or she rapes or otherwise sexually abuses this little angel.

Could this have lasting harmful and painful affects on the victim? Yes they can. They can be imprinted and continue to be hurtful and limiting unless they are reprocessed. You can learn more about that here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/sexual-abuse .

Family in denial.

Parents may want to deny or ignore that this could possibly be true. But they keep seeing and hearing things that don’t make sense. Check here for indications that this may have happened or is happening now to your little angel: boy or girl. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/practical-psychoanalysis/2018/04/11-common-symptoms-experienced-by-victims-of-childhood-sexual-abuse/.

Affects every area of life.

Maybe this is about you and you are searching for answers. If you need to talk with someone about this you can call me now at 808 385 4550. We can talk about ways to be free of the painful beliefs, thoughts and emotions associated with this. Free from the ways you perceive the past, that experience and yourself.

Trauma of being raped, beaten, verbally abused can follow a person for a lifetime. It can limit identity, school performance, education, careers, relationships and lifestyles.

It might be surprising to you to learn that trauma from sexual abuse is a common diagnosis for women in the criminal justice system. Yes – it can lead to substance use disorder (SUD), addiction and crime.

It’s best practices to discover these imprints and limiting beliefs as soon as possible in treatment. If these permission-granting AOD/CTC beliefs are not “reprocessed” many of these folks relapse or recidivate within the first year.

You can learn more about that here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5064859/ .

Learning how to use the Cognitive Behavior Transformer found at the end of the Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling piece could he helpful. You might need help with the process but it’s in the catalog on this site.

No Charge for Coaching.

If you do purchase this here I will give you two free coaching sessions to help you learn how to make it work for you. Call me anytime. 808 385 4550.

Other resources.

A great resource for you would be work done by Francine Shapiro, PhD., (1948-2019). She did a lot of work in this field. Shapiro explained how your interpretations of the painful events and memories of the past keep you stuck there – in pain.

Learning how to Float Back as she described it – to the painful events and experiences, then reprocess or ‘reframe’ those past events where you were the victim – can set you free. If you’d like to talk about this call me.

Too often, the victims blame themselves. You – may have been blaming yourself all this time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You were the victim of a criminal committing a crime against you. Francine’s book may help you too. https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Past-Your-Self-Help-Techniques/dp/1609619951

Discharge Against Medical Advice.

AMA is another notation. It means against medical advice. Some patients who are in an acute hospital or residential program may get the urge to leave thinking “I’ve got this.”

Famous last words. Although you may have the right to discharge yourself it may not be in your best interest or the best for public safety either. If you want more information about the pros and cons you’ll find this link of value. https://www.verywellhealth.com/right-to-leave-the-hospital-3969768 .

Our beliefs and values play a huge part making this decision. Permission-granting beliefs can be the undoing for a person with a drug problem or alcohol problem. You may be having cravings for your drug of choice.

When you follow these and urges leading to relapse, the outcome can be deadly. Leave too soon and you put yourself, your family and society at risk.

All the progress and work you did – all that you accomplished in treatment can be wiped out with just one bad decision. Relapse is similar to being re-infected in today’s Coronavirus environment.

Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States – historically. But this could change. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics.

Similarly, re-opening businesses to soon, AMA, and too many people out and about is potentially causing a resurgence of the disease. Just like a relapse. As of this writing 58,000 Americans have died out of the 1,000,000 cases. Nuff already!

Here’s more information about that. https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2020-03-25/who-warns-of-reopening-businesses-schools-too-soon-amid-coronavirus-pandemic .

Covid-19 has surpassed the number of deaths during the war in Viet Nam.

Quality Assurance regarding treatment for SUD, Substance Use Disorder, requires fidelity in the use of Evidence Based Best Practices. Coronavirus has set its own rules and time table. It does not treat people differently in different states. It wants us all. It wants us dead. And it wants us now!

Just as alcoholism is a deadly and progressive disease, C-19 is devastating.

Following the C-19 mitigation advice of science professionals like Dr. Fauci could be a wise decision for individuals and municipalities.

If you are in an outpatient treatment program or getting residential services, the same is true for you. Go with the science of Evidence Based Best Practices.

Be safe. Stay healthy. Stay alive.

Driving Without Insurance and Drunk Driving.

How do I know if I have a drinking problem? This is a frequently asked question. The question by itself is a clue that there may a problem.

A person once asked me that. In context considering the setting I thought it was unusual. The reason for the question presented perhaps a week later.

This person had been apprehended, tested for alcohol and charged with OUIA, leaving the scene of an accident that involved a personal injury “hit and run.” Testing showed him to be .12 BAC.

BAC is blood alcohol content. .08 is the legal limit in this state. Weight and sex have a lot to do with BAC. If you are a stubborn drinker you should know your BAC statistics and how long it takes for the liver to detoxify one ounce of alcohol.

This link can help you if you have questions like how do you know. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/personal-health-_b_5656653

Drunk driving is a very serious problem and offense. It’s deadly. It kills people and ruins families and lives. I could go on and on about this as I lost by brother involving driving under the influence. This link could help you. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

Then, there is driving without insurance. Really? We can actually rationalize this behavior? This is simply irresponsible and anti-social. You could at least by basic liability insurance covering the other people involved in an accident. You could benefit by knowing more about this. https://www.dmv.org/insurance/penalties-for-driving-without-insurance.php .

Anxiety, stress and other life problems can be parts of the drunk driving problem. Learning stress management coping skills can be helpful. Use the “Catch it. Check it. Change it” strategy previously addressed.

You can learn more about this in my Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling piece that can be found in the catalog. Free coaching comes with that document. So, if you are having these problems and want to get unstuck call me now at 808 385 4550.

The cost is $145.00. The Benefit far outweighs the cost. You spend more each week on alcohol or other drugs than this. For some it’s more than that per day.

Then, consider the fines, attorney’s fees and insurance premiums increases. The benefits far outweigh the cost.

Call me now at 808 385 4550.

Women, Men, Stress and Drug Problems.

Do women and men respond the same way to stress?

No, they don’t. Our bodies react differently to stress and how we deal with it.

Today, with the Coronavirus threatening our children and our lives we may need new and better ways to meet the challenge. The link just below has helpful tips: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/202003/new-research-stress-quarantine-and-5-ways-feel-better

What about gender specific drug problems? Do women use drugs for the same reasons? Are men and women introduced to drugs and use the same way?

“Research has shown that women often use drugs differently” as you will see by the highlighted area in this article: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use

Do men’s and women’s bodies react differently to stress? Being informed about how our bodies and brains react to stress and drugs can help us to respond differently. We can notice what we notice. “Hey! I’m tense. Angry. What is that about? They sure do react differently: https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/stress-gender#2.

Knowing this and having new skills such as “Catch it. Check it. Change it” mentioned in previous posts can help us cope better. Hopefully it will reduce domestic violence too.

Catch it.

Imagery and visualization can help. When you notice you are stressed out or angry you have done the first step: Catch it. Visualize the situation.

Check it.

Next you examine or check it for usefulness or harm. Is it positive or negative? Should you get rid of the thought or image? You decide “Yes. It needs to go.

Change it.

What do you do? Change it. Make a picture of the ideal you with a new positive coping skill that works for you. Visualize the new you, over there, about 10 feet away. It’s the you that makes you safe, proud and happy.

Notice if it’s in black and white or color. Let’s say it’s in color. Now – make it a little bigger, a little brighter and move it a little closer. Does it feel worse, the same or – better. Let’s say it feels better.

Visualize, Strategize, Actualize.

Okay then. Move it slowly a little closer. A little closer as it feels better and better. As it gets right up in front of you – wrap your arms around the new you with the new coping skill that can keep you, your kids and your partner better protected and avoiding domestic violence.

If you would like more information about this or would like to do an exercise on the phone, call me: 808 385 4550.

Also, if you like this, please forward it to friends, family and colleagues. You can do the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn thing too.

Drug Problems, Anxiety and Stress.

Anxiety and stress can create an imbalance leaving us vulnerable to alcohol and other drug problems, relapse and recidivism.

As you probably know, relapse is returning to thinking about or to using drugs of choice. Irrational thinking goes with substance use disorder.

The substances could be alcohol, other drugs or even food. Food is a substance.

Thinking that you can go back to binging, using or committing crime to feel better (self-medicate) is a classic example of the irrational thinking that goes with these challenges.

Irrational thinking goes with depression and other mental health issues such as ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. It can cause us to feel frustrated, angry, anxious, etc.

The thoughts seem to be true and real at time. They are justified. Justification, mollifying, etc., are characteristics of what is going on with the person. They are the ‘tip of the iceberg’ so to speak.

Taking Control.

The key is to understand that this happens and your brain is playing tricks on you. Nobody is broken as I’ve pointed out earlier. It’s just a matter of finding how they work and knowing there is a better way to react. So, when we notice that we don’t feel good or right about a person, place or thing we can be on guard to the fact that it is time to use a coping skill.

Information sources.

As I’ve mentioned before, “Catch it. Check it. Change it” is a great tool to have at your disposal. Imagery too is a great way to feel better – some say – in an instant. psychologytools.com is the source of the check it piece.

If you’d like more information about imagery helping you, call me at 808 385 4550. We can do an exercise on the phone. It’s also available in the Catalog section of my site – Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling.

Judith S. Beck has a whole chapter of her book dedicated to Imagery. The book is called Cognitive Behavior Theory.

Catch the problem, check and change it. When you change it, make a picture of a very satisfying situation about 10 feet in front of you. The way you see a happy, ideal outcome. It is a picture of a positive person, place or thing that makes you feel great – in charge.

Next, if it feels good to you, make it a little bigger, a little brighter and move it slowly closer to you. Experiment with that. You can try black and white vs in full rich color.

If it’s color that does it for you, experiment with different colors. Again, a little bigger, a little brighter, a little closer. Lock in that skill and you can turn a sad situation into a happy one – any time.

Understanding addiction as a choice or disease.

When someone is suffering with addiction to whatever substance it is very painful, scary and dangerous. Depression can be a part of the diagnosis.

Helpless, hopeless and worthless are how people feel. The irrational thoughts that go with these are not helpful either.

How did this happen to me? you might ask. The root word of addiction is addictus (addictio). It means to be taken over. Alcohol or other drugs have taken over you. Some drugs require professional help with detox.

A person could die trying to stop abruptly. Residential detox may be needed as well as MAT – medically assisted treatment.

Treatment is a choice that must be made by the sufferer or a person with the Power of Attorney or a guardian. I’m not a lawyer so you better check that before you act. The point is, it’s a choice that must be made – my someone.

Irrational thoughts too are a choice once you are aware and notice what you notice. You may feel hopeless, helpless and worthless now, being taken over.

You can control your limiting beliefs and statements with a method called “Catch it. Check it. Change it.” Catch the thought, stop it and check it for usefulness. If you find it useless, change it to a more empowering statement.

That could be going from “I’m so helpless; there is no hope for me; I’m stuck in addiction.” So you catch that statement or self-talk.

You check it for how useful it is or how painful. You say, or your self-talk now says “No. No more. I don’t like that.”

Now you check what you do not like. You play with it. Take the time – it’s your life. You decide it’s not useful.

Change it! “I can do this. I can stop. If Stan can, anyone can.” So there you go. You see that you have a choice.

At one time in your life, maybe when you were ten years old, you were happy and not addicted. This is just an example.

Then a friend or relative, maybe a schoolyard dealer talked you into “just try one. Try it once.” This could be peer pressure or fear of being not liked.

Then you make the choice to use it rather than maybe get beat up. You decide to use again. Then again. And finally – you are taken over. Addicted.

That was the result of a series of behavior choices you made. When you choose the behavior – you choose the outcome or consequences.

So you can see: addiction is both a choice and a disease.

So if you are ready for the choice that will set you free – call me now at 808 385 4550.

Get help with stress and anxiety. Learn to manage anxiety that can lead to relapse.

We are an interesting species. We miss goals, make mistakes and get different outcomes than we intended.

I meant to do this but I got that. What happened? I wasn’t even thinking about that. Really! What happened?

One answer could be – maybe it is ADD. Attention Deficit Disorder. Adders can be on the way to the pantry to get napkins but on the way something they saw distracted him or her. You see some ‘bright shiny object’ as one of my confidants says and there you go.

Two or three minutes later when everyone is waiting on you, you show up at the table empty handed wondering why are they looking at you that way. That’s the life of an Adder.

It can hurt and be very stressful. It does not do a lot for your self-esteem or self-image either.

So here is a chance to get over that. Just be happy knowing that it is one of your ‘parts’ acting up. Your ADD part. You had a positive intent of getting the napkins that would have got you favor with the family but the ‘ADD part’ took you somewhere else.

You are not alone. Four to 11 percent of children have ADD and live that experience everyday. Some outgrow it. I did not. I’m plagued with ADD even today.

The good news is that it is about being aware now about what has been different about me. Notice I said different, not wrong.

It’s the same for you. It’s a similar type of thing when alcohol and other drugs, relapse and recidivism (returning to thinking or committing crime) get you results other than what you intended.

You intended to remain abstinent. If just for today. But an Old You Part got in the way. You got distracted, forgot and drank. You didn’t intend to get drunk – but you did. Because that’s what we do. Yes. Me too. But not anymore.

So, know that you can control this by being aware of what is going on and that you can change it. Now you will notice the irrational thinking that goes along with the negative self-talk of people who have depression, Bi-polar Disorder, ADD or other diagnoses. I want you to notice what your notice.

“Catch it. Check it. Change it.” Catch the negative self-talk. Check it for how useful or hurtful it is. Then Change it to something more pleasant. I got that from Psychology Tools, com.

Now – see a picture of you over there about 10 feet away. It could be on your left, right or strait ahead. It’s a beautiful color picture of the successful and happy you. You are so happy that now you know why this has always happened. The riddle is solved. You are very proud of yourself.

You feel calm and self-satisfied. Ahh!

If this has been going on with you or someone you love and you want my help now, call me at 808 385 4550.

Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence.

Substance abuse and domestic violence are on the rise due to to the Coronavirus stay home, stay healthy and shelter in place rules.

There are more criminal complaints and calls for help due to violence at home. Public Safety officers fear these the most of all.

And there is good reason. If you’ve caught the news lately you’ve seen that police have died in the line of duty answering the calls.

Understanding that these are stressful times we must consider how it is influencing our behavior and substance use or abuse behavior.

When you know better you do better according to Oprah. Know this: when you use alcohol or other drugs it changes your brain chemistry and decision making skills.

Some people who have never had a problem with behavior, society or the law may be using substances more than usual to combat “cabin fever” and frustration.

Now is the time to be aware of this and to have coping skills at the ready. When you get angry, frustrated, don’t know what to do – realize that it is the times working on your brain.

In stressful times like these the irrational brain, or, your irrational part or parts could be gaining control. Just realizing this can help you cope.

Consider your self-talk: “I can’t take this any more. I don’t deserve this.” “Poor me” – you know. Recognize this is simply self-talk that goes with you and your diagnosis. Maybe you have depression. Times like this can aggravate you, your brain and which choices you make.

Recognize that it is just self-talk, it is normal for you and that you can change it to more positive language. You could realize that “this is only my negative part self-talk and knowing that I can change it.”

“I am in control of this situation and I choose to have a positive outcome.”

If you need help with this call me now at 808 385 4550.

Get help with recovery from alcoholism.

This Paschal Easter greeting – Christ is Risen is a rich source for CBT, Cognitive Behavior Theory exploration. The statement reflects beliefs and values of many who inhabit the earth. Additionally, it is a powerful and timely beating death metaphor for the Coronavirus challenge facing us all now.

Followers of other beliefs and faiths have different names for the same figurehead as well as different seasons and timelines.

Some strongly believe this person has not yet arrived. 

Each group left to their own does well. Only when we force our wills and beliefs on others’ we have conflict. These conflicts can lead to an imbalance creating a slippery slope for relapse.

Different strokes for different folks. In this time of need to fight this disease globally, ironically, the Christian, Jewish and Muslim calendars choose this month for great holy days. Ramadan, Passover and Easter are celebrated.

This disease does not recognize different strokes or folks.

It wants us all – Dead! How do we come together to fight the invader?

The framers of modern psych theory explained in a nutshell that, it’s our beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings that lead to our behavior. We have all the strengths and resources to resolve our own issues in a healthy environment. This is as true for recovery as it is for mitigating the C-19 threat.

Today with the Coronavirus Pandemic threatening our existence we need to pull together nationally and globally to create this healthy environment. Let’s find some common, sensible ground for agreement.

Our outcome or fate will be determined by our behavior choices. C-19 has been in charge so far. Do we want to rush it? Or do we extend our timeline with proper testing, prevention and treatment?

You cannot rush recovery from alcohol or other substance use disorders. It’s a day at a time. It’s the same with the virus: we beat death one day at a time.

Some believe it’s more important to reopen the economy knowing we will sacrifice human lives in doing so. Others say that opening too soon will lead to a resurgence of C-19. People are literally using a cost-benefit analysis with human lives and a rebounding economy as a barometer: e.g. beliefs and values

At this point logic, science and best practices are the strengths and resources we already have to resolve this issue. To mitigate the threat of this virus our differences must be put aside. Our survival calls for working together. We need scientific, smart goals that reflect our collective human life and survival values.

Do we want our civilization to be left to the crows? No!

Only unity will save the world. Now – as we put aside our historic differences – we can defeat the common enemy.

Christ is Risen!

Substance abuse counseling help includes… Cognitive Behavior Theory.

Cognitive Behavior Theory is the gold standard of treatment for drinkers and druggers. A useful behavior tool is avoiding slippery people. Social distancing is the only thing you and I can control. We cannot control other people or events like the Coronavirus Pandemic occurring.

Some reports say that “the curve” is flattening. Why is it flattening?

It could be because of your (our) beliefs about this event and what we can do about it.

Flattening of the curve could reflect fewer admissions. Yet – deaths continue to rise.

It just makes good sense to wear face masks and avoid grouping. I will not be out dining at restaurants no matter who tells me it’s safe. No sports gatherings either.

My health is more important to me than getting my money back into the economy. Choice is better than no choice. It’s pure CBT. Which do you choose?

Knowing you have done the right thing to control your environment will help you to be more calm, relieve stress. You do know that we create our own stress – right?

Yes. We choose how to feel about any situation.

Times like this are perfect situations for relapse: going back to thinking about or using alcohol or other drugs. This is how we dealt with our stressors, feelings and emotions in the past. Drinking is an example of self-medicating. So are drugging and overeating.

Social distancing from our old using slippery people, places and things is a good idea too.

Good luck everyone. Stay home, Stay safe. Social distancing is working to our advantages. Or you wouldn’t be reading this. Give yourself credit for doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. 4/17/20