It’s no secret that explicit material is more easily accessible today than it has been at any other point in history. For most parents today, the situation is very different from their own experience; where older adults will have been first exposed to pornography through a misplaced magazine or late-night cable TV, the kids of today have vast libraries available to stream from their computer or smartphone. While you may have had a confusing experience when you first saw an explicit video or image, afraid to discuss it with your parents, all you have to do is have a slightly difficult conversation with your son (or daughter), but one that’s honest and realistic. Here are three things to cover when talking to your son about porn.
Tips to Help Someone in Recovery Better Weather Christmas and New Year’s Eve
As noted in recent blogs, the holidays are generally tough for someone recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. There are, however, some tried-and-true tips that loved ones can administer to help ensure that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are more parts celebration than trepidation. The website drugaddictiontreatment.com offers a checklist of effective pre-emptive moves anyone can make to help someone in recovery during this time of year. Here are some highlights:
• Lighten Up
First, it’s important to adopt a more lighthearted look at the entire holiday season in general. It needn’t be all that stressful if you take time to sift through all the types of demands and activities that tend to increase stress and tension around the house – and then get rid of some of them, at least temporarily.
When dealing with a loved one’s addiction illness, this question is inevitable: why did my loved one become addicted, when I didn’t? What made them become an addict, when their coworkers, spouse, or other family members haven’t succumbed to the same disease?
The answer is complex and multi-layered, as a variety of factors can come into play throughout someone’s life. These factors include genetics, upbringing, age of introduction to their addiction, social pressure, and overall mental state. There are millions of adults affected by the disease of addiction and each person’s situation is different.
The first of these factors, genetics, is the one that is under the least control, wildly unpredictable, and hard to pin down, especially because it usually overlaps with the issue of upbringing; the people from whom you get your genetics usually raise you. The son of an alcoholic may never touch a drop of liquor in his life, while the same alcoholic’s daughter may suffer the same illness as her father. This could stem from a genetic predisposition or the impact of their experiences in that environment (the son rebels against alcoholism, while the daughter incorporates it into her own life). More than likely, it’s both.
You can conquer others with power, but it takes true strength to conquer yourself.
– Lao Tzu, Philosopher
I asked Dr. Jason Powers, our Chief Medical Officer to help me write on this topic and here is what we came up with:
There are actually two types of sobriety: physical and emotional. Physical sobriety is the easy part. Anyone can quit a thousand times, but only the fortunate can stay quit. Emotional sobriety is not automatically rendered with physical sobriety. Emotional sobriety can be defined as resiliency, wisdom and balance. It is a metaphor of sorts for addicts who develop emotional intelligence over the course of their journeys in recovery.
In the last few weeks, two very famous and influential women passed: Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Center, and Amy Winehouse, an influential British singer known for her unique combination of soul, jazz, and R&B. These two women achieved fame and recognition in different arenas–Betty Ford for advocating women’s rights and Amy Winehouse for an incredible voice. Their shared connection, however, was the disease of addiction. Though they both battled this deadly disease, the outcome of their battles took decidedly different paths. Betty Ford traveled the path of sobriety while Amy Winehouse continued to struggle with addiction, reportedly, until the very end of her life.
Mike Starr, former bassist for Alice In Chains, passed away on March 8, 2011. Some media outlets reported that it related to his struggles with the disease of addiction. While the cause of death has not yet been determined, it is clear that Starr endured a long battle with the disease of addiction, attempting several times to get addiction treatment help. Despite appearances on the reality shows Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, Starr’s alleged struggles with addiction continued with an arrest in February 2011 for felony possession of a controlled substance. Our thoughts go out to Starr’s family during this time.
Below is a list of bands that have lost members due to complications related to struggles with the disease of addiction.
The Top Five Reasons to Never Touch Alcohol or Drugs
Everyone knows that living as a drug addict or an alcoholic is not a desirable, positive lifestyle. However, many people believe using drugs and drinking alcohol is fine as long as you don’t take it to the extreme.
Having a balanced view of life and all that is involved in it is an important part of living a healthy life. However, you might want to ask yourself whether or not you need to partake in drug use and whether or not it is in your best interest to drink alcohol at all.
If you don’t use drugs, you never have to worry about becoming addicted to drugs, you never have to deal with the consequences of drug use and you never have to disappoint yourself or any of your family and friends by behaving in ways that are inappropriate due to intoxication.
As incredible as it may seem, almost 400,000 Texans that will struggle with the disease of addiction this year and there are thousands more — family and friends — that will be directly affected. Here at The Right Step, we see first hand the devastating effects and the remarkable healings that come from providing compassionate treatment and ongoing support for our clients and their family members. To help us continue this mission, The Right Step has joined forces with the Betty Ford 5-Star Kids program at our Dallas / Fort Worth campus.
The 5 Star Kids program will be offering a Family Dynamics group for our adult and adolescent IOP clients, as well as weekly support services to our residential clients and their families. The program offers free workshops for children 7-12 that have an addicted family member, and will also be available to clients’ younger siblings. By using games and storytelling, children learn how to deal with the effects of addiction, identify feelings, and take care of themselves. We know that early intervention helps break the addictive cycle and also gives a voice to the youngest victims. We are excited about this opportunity and will keep all of you posted on our progress!
Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of their race, age, socioeconomic status, or religious affiliation. The problem of substance addiction is so prevalent in our society, yet some people still have a slight reluctance to call such addiction a “disease.” Substance addiction and abuse has been officially recognized as a disease for many years now, but the public as a whole can waver in their ability to fully comprehend how addiction can be classified in this manner. Only by understanding it in this way will society be able to properly deal with those addicted to drugs and alcohol.