Articles for Families

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Don’t Take it Personally!

If you are a family member of someone with a substance problem, you have probably heard suggestions that include distancing yourself, using tough love, or detaching until your loved one bottoms out and decides to change. On one hand, given how awful you feel (e.g., constantly angry, tired, scared), these recommendations can make a lot

What to Look For in a Treatment Program

We currently live in a country where the attitude and swirl around substance use issues is very intense. Our country has long stigmatized the problem of addiction and most people develop their ideas about the struggle based on TV shows and anecdotal stories they hear in school, at work, and in the press. The recent

Falling Into Line in an Effort to Help Your Child

In the May edition of the newsletter we started a discussion about developing alignment with your partner/caregiver to achieve more of your goals in helping your child with their substance use choices. We outlined a list of questions about how you historically have collaborated with your co-parent. What have your patterns been in working together?

How to Talk When You Think They’re Lying

There’s are many common myths about people who struggle with substance use disorders. One of the oldest and well known is that all substance users have profound character flaws that results in chronic lying. In fact, if you google “addicts are liars” you find a list of 408,000 articles that discuss this very topic (

No, Really, It’s Not About the Nail

Have you ever had a conversation where you really just want to vent to someone, and they seem intent on solving your problem? Of course you have. Maybe you’ve even been the problem solver, and noticed the reaction of the person sitting across from you. In situations like these, the end result is frustration on

Finding Balance when Helping

Let's be honest: loving someone with an alcohol/drug problem can be brutal. Fear, anxiety, hope, disappointment, painful truths, even more painful lies. long as there's still love, there's a lot to keep fighting and hoping for. But what to do? How to respond? What does “keep fighting” or helping really look like? You may

How Do My Substance Use Choices Influence My Child’s Choices?

If your teenager or young adult is beginning to experiment or use drugs and/or alcohol, you may be wondering what you can do to help them make healthy choices. While there are a variety of ways you can reinforce certain behaviors over others (coming home after school clear-headed instead of high) and put consequences around

Putting a Face on Alcohol Abuse

We live in a country where the attitude about people who struggle with substance use issues is one of disdain, disbelief and disregard. When Jeff Foote and I opened CMC, one of our main goals was to change this. The negative stigma associated with substance use issues, the lack of information about effective treatment options,

My Resolution is to Suffer More

This year, I resolve to feel bad about myself. I am going to worry that I am not meeting my goals, and have negative thoughts about my weight, my job performance, and my parenting skills. I'm going to have anxiety about social situations. And, I'm not going to try and avoid these feelings, or try

Making Space for Quiet Reflection

Who wants to make a New Year's Resolution? Nobody! They can feel trite, forced, and pointless: Why now? Will it really last? With all the problems in the world, what behavior change would even make a dent? The articles we usually write are about how to take small steps toward change, be SMART about goals (Specific,