Increasing Positive Support with Relationship FIT-ness

Relationships matter. A lot! “Ugh, every time I see my brother, I feel so stressed/undervalued/ mad/ alone  (and want to go get a drink)!”  Sound familiar?  Substitute mother/father/classmate/ boss/friend and we are certain that you have significant people in your life with whom your relationship could be described as “difficult.”  Then, there are those people […]

Practicing Collaboration – A Critical Parenting Skill

One of the most important skills for parents to learn in trying to help a substance using child is how to work together! Over and above the issue of “what is our game plan?” (which takes collaboration also!), getting on the same page involves a lot of practice for parents. Typically, one parent is viewed […]

Collaboration helps you, your partner, and your child

Collaboration matters a lot. The collaboration (or lack of) you may be thinking about is collaboration with your child (which is important); we’re talking first about collaboration with your parent/partner. When your child is struggling with substances or other behavior problems, there is often a communication breakdown between the adults, and tension about how to […]

A is for Addict?

As a writer, I wish I could in good conscience use this word. It’s snappy and convenient. It would be so handy. But it is also toxic.

Word Choice and Positive Outcomes

Words matter. Our beliefs about substance abuse and compulsive behavior problems—and the potential for change—are built into the words we use to speak about them. Maybe more importantly in this case is that words are reflective of culture beliefs, and the conveyors of those beliefs and attitudes.

Slip, but don’t Fall!

To learn to play an instrument, sink a foul shot, be a doctor—to learn anything, we must be willing to sound awful, be awkward, miss shots, and not know much in the beginning. Quite simply, when we’re learning something new, we have days when we suck at it. To expect otherwise is a setup for […]

“Catch ‘Em Being Good”: The Magic of Positive Reinforcement

We are all very aware of how emotionally draining it can be dealing with a child involved in abusing substances. We’re all also aware of how much conflict this leads to in families. Today’s focus? Positive reinforcement as an antidote. As our colleague (and father of CRAFT, or Community Reinforcement and Family Training) Bob Meyers […]

A note on “enabling” vs. positive reinforcement

If you are a partner, parent, or child of someone struggling with substance problems, and you live in America, you’ve probably heard this word “enabling” (possibly many, many times). And you’ve probably heard this described as central to your interactions in helping your loved one. Mostly, you have heard “DON’T DO IT”!, and if you […]

Celebrity Rehab and the One-Size-Fits-All Approach

What we often see in media portrayals of addiction treatment is a one-size-fits-all approach: people struggling with substance abuse all have the same “disease,” and all need to follow the same (typically 12-step) path in order to recover from it. Although 12-step “disease” concepts can be a terrific path for many people, research over the […]

“Celebrity Rehab” Perpetuates Addiction Myths

Another place to look at addiction portrayal in the media is Celebrity Rehab on VH1, the popular show about addiction treatment, currently in its third season. Dr. Drew Pinsky gathers eight drug-abusing celebrities together in a Southern California rehabilitation facility. According to Dr. Drew, the goal of the program is to show audiences the promise of […]