The Three Cs Of Al Anon
- I didnt CAUSE it.
- I cant CURE it.
- I cant CONTROL it.
These simple statements help addicts and their loved ones understand addiction and how to recover from it in a new light. Specifically, they work to help loved ones overcome their feelings of guilt and grief. Al-Anons three Cs are reminders to loved ones in family recovery that help them realize that they are not the cause of the addiction that their friend or family member is having difficulty with. Through this education, families will be better suited to help their loved ones in their journey to sobriety.
People who are close to addicts usually fall into one of three categories:
- Feeling guilty because they are the cause of the addiction
- Thinking if only they could do X, Y, and Z, they could help their loved one stop using
- Thinking if only they could completely separate their loved one from drugs and alcohol, they could get them to stop using
All of these beliefs are misconceptions and can hinder a persons ability to recover. There are proper actions to take to support someone going through addiction, but healing them or stopping their usage is not anyone elses responsibility but the addict themselves.
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Addiction To Remission: Recovery Terminology To Know About Drugs And Alcohol
When working on your substance use issues, youll encounter some recovery terminology you may not know yet. A lot of the terms sound similar but have quite different meanings. Read on to learn more about what industry professionals mean when they use them, and how they apply to your journey. The American Society of Addiction Medicine is one of the resources used to compile this list of terminology. It is an authority in the world of addiction medicine, and also acknowledges that terminology is always changing, so is a good current frame of reference.
ASAMs short definition of addiction is: Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Not everyone subscribes to the concept of addiction being a disease, however the physical impact on the brain is often very real. Our brains can be rewired many times over, and addiction is a very capable electrician. It is also important to note here that certain characteristics must be present to confirm a true addiction. A quick test is the Three Cs, compulsion, control, and consequences. Compulsion is the obsessive behaviour preceding using . Control is what happens after using . Consequences are what truly seals the addiction definition. Continuing to use even after being faced with negative consequences like losing a job, family, or having trouble with the police.
Managing The Disease Is Possible
Science has not yet figured out how to stop a person from becoming addicted or cure it once it begins. It is important to simply do your best to support them through their recovery. A comprehensive and individualized addiction treatment program is the only path to begin to manage the disease. At Footprints, our aftercare, outpatient program, virtual IOP, and relapse prevention programs are the best ways to remain addiction-free after rehab is complete. Once youre ready to take the next step, contact us to start the journey to recovery.
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The 3 Cs To Addiction Recovery
Addiction in the Family, Helpful Articles
After falling victim to heroin addiction, Beverlys 23-year-old daughter and her boyfriend, who was also struggling with addiction, were evicted from their apartment from failing to pay their rent. As a result, the couple now found themselves living out of their car with only some bedding and a few items of clothing.
Beverly was truly sickened about her daughters situation and confronted her many times about seeking drug rehab treatment for her addition but it wasnt until much later that she was able to make an important realizationher daughter inhabited a different mental state than her own. They no longer shared common ground and it became impossible for them to communicate as her daughter had lost touch with everyday reality.
Her daughter had essentially become a stranger, and Beverly was left wondering, What did I do wrong?
What Should You Do
While you may often feel helpless in this journey, being part of a strong support system for your loved one is the one major thing you can do to help. In order to be there for someone in addiction recovery, you need strength, as well.
- Dont be afraid to get help for yourself
- There is no shame in asking for support
- Attend a support group like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon
- Seek therapy for yourself so you have an outlet
- Attend the family therapy sessions the treatment facility offers
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Cognitive Therapy And Relapse Prevention
Cognitive therapy is one of the main tools for changing peoples negative thinking and developing healthy coping skills . The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in relapse prevention has been confirmed in numerous studies .
This is a short list of the types of negative thinking that are obstacles to recovery and are topics for cognitive therapy : 1) My problem is because of other people 2) I dont think I can handle life without using 3) Maybe I can just use occasionally 4) Life wont be fun I wont be fun without using 5) Im worried I will turn into someone I dont like 6) I cant make all the necessary changes I cant change my friends 7) I dont want to abandon my family 8) Recovery is too much work 9) My cravings will be overwhelming I wont be able to resist them 10) If I stop, Ill only start up again I have never finished anything 11) No one has to know if I relapse and 12) Im worried I have been so damaged by my addiction that I wont be able to recover.
The negative thinking that underlies addictive thinking is usually all-or-nothing thinking, disqualifying the positives, catastrophizing, and negatively self-labeling . These thoughts can lead to anxiety, resentments, stress, and depression, all of which can lead to relapse. Cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation help break old habits and retrain neural circuits to create new, healthier ways of thinking .
What Are The 3 Cs
Al-Anon Family Groups is a 12-step program and fellowship for friends and family members of alcoholics. Al-Anon members work their own program for their own good. The literature states the belief that changed attitudes can aid recovery. Many a person entered their first Al-Anon meeting in the hopes of finding a way to get the alcoholic in their life to stop drinking. Instead, many discover that their own peace and serenity is available independent of the alcoholic in their life. It is independent of anyone else, for that matter. They learn that happiness is possible when the focus changes from others to themselves. And this change can bring serenity and even happiness, regardless of whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. Not long after entering, new members are introduced to a novel concept that both exhilarates and terrifies them. They did not cause this behavior, they cannot cure it, and most importantly, they cannot control it.
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Drug Dependency Isnt Your Fault
Of course, its always easier to blame ourselves. What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? In the case of drug addiction, where addicts commonly pass blame to others, its even easier. But, focusing on what you did wrong is never the answerit places the focus of the addiction on yourself rather than on helping the person in need.
While watching your loved one struggle with drug or alcohol dependence is heartbreaking and stressful, being proactive is essential. The first step to helping any addict is accepting that you are not the cause of the addiction. Doing so will not only help you relieve the incredible amount of stress youve been holding onto, but oftentimes will help kick-start the recovery process for the addict. Once youve taken the blame off of yourself, you can start looking into treatment options for your friend or family member with greater clarity.
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What You Can Do To Help Your Loved One Recover
While there are so many variables out of your control, focus on these things that will help get you through the recovery process:
- Get educated learn about addiction and participate in family programs offered at their treatment center.
- Take care of yourself you cant control another person, but you can make healthy decisions for yourself. And you must remain healthy to give support and encouragement to your loved one.
- Talk about it talking about the problem can be healing for everyone the addiction has affected.
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Taking Care Of Yourself
Naturally, seeking care for your loved one is your top priority. But you also need to seek care for yourself. Whether youre struggling with guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration or any combination of difficult emotions, professional guidance can help you cope. It can also teach you how to offer support to your loved one during and after the treatment program. After all, studies show that recovering addicts who have strong support systems are more likely to maintain sobriety after their program has ended.
Make time. Be patient. And most of all, take care.
If someone you know is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, remember that you are not the cause! Contact The Raleigh House at to find a list of resources that will show you how to cope with this difficult situation and provide the support your loved one needs to get healthy again.
When Does Problematic Use Become A Substance Use Disorder
When someone regularly uses drugs or alcohol despite continued negative consequences, they may have substance use disorder.
It is a medical condition that requires treatment from health care providers. Substance use disorders can involve both psychological and physical dependence.
If someone you know has one or more of the following behaviors, they may be experiencing a substance use disorder:
- constant cravings for the drug
- compulsive drug seeking
- continuous use despite the harms that the drug is causing, such as:
- negative health effects
- lower grades or marks at school
- isolation from friends and family members
- extreme changes in behaviours and mood
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The Stages Of Relapse
The key to relapse prevention is to understand that relapse happens gradually . It begins weeks and sometime months before an individual picks up a drink or drug. The goal of treatment is to help individuals recognize the early warning signs of relapse and to develop coping skills to prevent relapse early in the process, when the chances of success are greatest. This has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of relapse . Gorski has broken relapse into 11 phases . This level of detail is helpful to clinicians but can sometimes be overwhelming to clients. I have found it helpful to think in terms of three stages of relapse: emotional, mental, and physical .
The Third C: I Cant Control It
You cant control an addicts behavior. Substance use heavily affect the chemistry of an individuals brain. Also, the people, places, and things associated with your loved ones addiction support his or her way of thinking. They enable and help to perpetuate the lifestyle. They support the mental mindset of the addict. Sometimes the only way to break free of the metaphysical mindset of them is to physically and mentally unplug and break open.
Thats where Free by the Sea comes in, to help you create a successful mental lifestyle for recovery, as the best way possible to ensure successful treatment outcomes. You can best help by acknowledging that you cant control it, and by removing your loved one from the people, places, and things associated with their addictions.
Once these distractions are gone, our patients can engage in the treatment process fully. They can start to develop the coping skills they will need to begin a new life free from addiction.
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Family Therapy Is Key To Recovery
Because addiction affects the entire family, everyone plays a major role in a successful treatment program. Family therapy sessions are an important part of the treatment process. Footprints offers counseling sessions and therapy for family members, so healing can begin for everyone involved. Look out for our next post on Cure, the second C of addiction recovery, and contact us today if your loved one is ready to start their recovery process.
The Five Rules Of Recovery
This section is based on my experience of working with patients for more than 30 years in treatment programs and in private practice. Experience has shown that most relapses can be explained in terms of a few basic rules . Teaching clients these simple rules helps them understand that recovery is not complicated or beyond their control. It is based on a few simple rules that are easy to remember: 1) change your life 2) be completely honest 3) ask for help 4) practice self-care and 5) dont bend the rules.
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Addiction Is Not A Choice
There is a common misconception that addiction is a choice and that people can stop using drugs when they want to. Addiction is complex. People develop addictions because of many reasons, including:
- events in life, especially trauma and chronic stress
- environmental factors
- mental well-being
- genetics and biology
Some people try drugs once or use them occasionally. Others use drugs more often, sometimes to try to cope with trauma or pain. No matter the reason, no one chooses to become addicted. Addiction and physical dependence make it hard to stop using drugs even when it’s hurting you or people in your life. Recovery is possible but it looks different for everyone.
Legal Vs Illegal Opioid
Legal opioids are prescribed by a health care professional most often to treat pain from conditions such as injuries, surgery, dental procedures, or long-term chronic pain.
Illegal opioids are any opioids that are made, shared or sold illegally. Illegal opioids include:
- street drugs from a drug dealer
- opioids given to you by someone who is not your health care provider
- opioids that are not prescribed to you but are taken from someone else
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The Stages Of Recovery
Recovery is a process of personal growth in which each stage has its own risks of relapse and its own developmental tasks to reach the next stage . The stages of recovery are not the same length for each person, but they are a useful way of looking at recovery and teaching recovery to clients. Broadly speaking, there are three stages of recovery. In the original developmental model, the stages were called transition, early recovery, and ongoing recovery . More descriptive names might be abstinence, repair, and growth.
What Are The 3 Cs Of Addiction Recovery
The 3 Cs of addiction recovery are tools that help the family members and friends of people with substance use disorders deal with their feelings of helplessness.
Watching someone you care about struggle with addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can face. Many people with addicted loved ones find themselves wondering if they are to blame. They might try to control the situation or force their loved ones to get treatment.
Unfortunately, these things only hinder the persons recovery.
The 3 Cs are a simple tool that remind loved ones of addicted individuals of their role.
The three Cs are as follows:
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What Are The Three Cs Of Al
Family members and friends close to an addict often go through their own traumas caused by their loved oneâs addiction. This is why there are many support groups to help loved ones of addicts talk about what they are going through and to help heal. One such group is Al-Anon, which is a 12-step program that provides a space for healing the traumas caused by a loved oneâs alcoholism. These 12 steps break up the healing process so it is less daunting, and the program has shown much success. A great feature of Al-Anon that helps loved ones realize they are not responsible for the addiction is the three Cs. Oftentimes, addiction can cause family members and friends to feel guilty as if they have caused it to happen. The three Cs help get rid of this fear by explaining addiction and how it is no oneâs fault.
What Is Al-Anon?
What Are the Three Cs?
Al-Anonâs three Cs are reminders in family recovery that help loved ones realize they are not the cause of the addiction that their friend or family member is struggling with. Al-Anon teaches these three Cs as well as how to apply them to everyday life.
Changing How You Talk About Drug Use
The language you use has a direct and deep impact on people around you. You can reduce stigma by changing the words you use to talk about drug use. Using kind words can make it easier for someone to speak up, to feel understood or to receive help.
- use person-first language, for example say ‘person who uses drugs’ instead of ‘drug user’
- use neutral, medically accurate words when describing drug use
- avoid slang such as “addict” and “junkie”
- use language that shows care and concern, rather than judgement
- speak up when you hear someone being treated or talked to in a disrespectful way
- use language that acknowledges and promotes the fact that recovery from addiction is possible, and looks different for everyone
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