2 weeks ago ·

What effects can alcoholism have on a Jewish family?

Jewish father holding kiddish cup blesses family at ShabbatWhat effects can alcoholism have on a family who practices the Jewish faith? The answer to this question is complex. Drinking wine is described as “bringing joy to G‑d and man” (Judges 9:13). On the other hand, praying while drunk is forbidden, and priests are not permitted to bless the congregation while under the influence of any alcohol whatsoever. The way your family is affected depends entirely on how you deal with the problem.

Drinking wine is encouraged on special occasions because, in moderation, it relaxes the body and allows our spirit to shine through. However, getting drunk or trying to escape your feelings is strongly discouraged. This distaste for inebriation and focus on personal responsibility can make those who fall victim to the clutches of addiction feel guilty — sometimes to the extent that you feel you’ll be rejected by the community and take a step back, spiraling further into alcoholism.

This isn’t necessary or encouraged. Tailored, compassionate help is available for practicing Jews. Alcohol destroys families who don’t stick together, but with guidance and therapy from qualified practitioners who understand your unique needs, you can overcome this hurdle. First, you need to gain an understanding of the nature of alcoholism within the Jewish faith and accept that it’s time to make a change.

1. Many Jewish People Feel Afraid to Talk About Alcoholism

The shikur is often the subject of ridicule in our culture, and uncontrolled drunkenness is undoubtedly viewed as evil. As a Jewish person, you will be inclined to please your loved ones and weary of disgracing your family. These factors and the stigma of addiction can lead you to hide or deny your struggles from them due to shame. Facing up to the reality of your situation is imperative as the first step on your journey to recovery.

If your family finds out you are seeking help, they are likely to support you. The community will surround you and guide you as you demonstrate bravery in the face of adversity.

2. Conflict Resolution Is an Important Part of Recovery

Conflicting sentiments in scripture are often cited as a reason for people in the Jewish faith developing addictions. This is especially true concerning alcohol seemingly being revered and demonized at once. Occasionally, you might make excuses or blame your family for adhering to wine-drinking practices including Kiddush, the four cups at the Passover Seder and the importance of alcohol during a brit milah or chuppah.

Along your journey to recovery, you’ll learn the importance of finding the middle ground and avoiding extremes. Not everyone can adhere to the strict moderation required to enjoy alcohol. If you find yourself unable to control your intake, abstaining based on medical grounds is advised and permitted.

3. Reconnecting With Your Faith Will Help You to Recover

Alcoholism is lonely. The people who go through it regularly lose touch with loved ones, the wider community and their faith. There is increasing evidence that isolation is a major contributing factor in someone developing an addiction. Therapy within a Jewish faith-focused rehab program will help you to identify when and how you started going down the wrong path. With the help of nurturing, certified clinicians, you can learn to rebuild your inner strength and the connections you’ve lost.

If you’re the family member of someone who is going through active addiction, you probably feel hurt, disappointed and confused about how your loved one could end up in this position. Standing by them by helping them to get treatment for alcoholism will give you the much-needed support you deserve.

4. Addiction Can Affect Jewish People

There is a persistent myth that Jewish people aren’t impacted by addiction. Awareness surrounding alcoholism has increased significantly in recent years. There is truth in the myth; 20% of Jews possess a gene that makes developing alcohol addiction unlikely. Not only that, but the close family ties and strong moral code within our community make it less likely. Nonetheless, it is possible and it does happen. 

Feeling as if you are somehow “un-Jewish” because you’ve developed an addiction is counterproductive. Discussing what you’ve been through with a certified counselor who understands your unique needs helps you to prevail over these feelings. Recovery aims to regain control over your life and enrich your future experiences with healthy pastimes.

5. When Alcoholism and Family Collide, Therapy is Always Best

You may have been put off attending therapy sessions because you’ve heard that programs such as the 12-step method are for gentiles only. However, AA and NA are no longer affiliated with any religion. An alcohol rehab center, like Recovery at the Crossroads, provides targeted support groups that use these methods while incorporating Jewish principles. Once you’ve been taught how, you can attend nonspecific group meetings and apply what you’ve learned to any setting.

Family therapy is a key component of alcohol treatment at Recovery at the Crossroads, helping you and your loved ones to communicate better and understand each other’s situation. Call us at 888-342-3881 to find out about our admissions process or seek advice from one of our friendly experts.

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2 months ago ·

Getting Through Tough Times with a Reflection on Sukkot

Symbols of Sukkot Lulav Etrog Palm Myrtle Willow

For some, discovering new spirituality plays a part in recovering from addiction. Sukkot is a holiday that commemorates the many years the Jewish people spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. During this time, they struggled through an arduous journey and made innumerable sacrifices until they eventually came to a land where they could live in peace and prosperity.

As you begin your journey through substance abuse treatment, you’ll be much like those people who once struggled to find the Promised Land. Like them, you’re on a journey that will lead you to a place of continued sobriety. At Recovery at the Crossroads, we’re here to help you reach the goal of becoming an independent person with control over your life, so you can give back to your community while finding fulfillment through your faith.

How Can Recovery at the Crossroads Help with Your Recovery?

At Recovery at the Crossroads, we want to help you through all stages of recovery, from the moment you arrive until the moment you walk out as an empowered, sober individual. We know your path to sobriety won’t be simple, which is why we offer treatments that help you recover from the ground up. We’ll encourage you to reflect on trauma and past events that may have impacted your decisions. We’ll also help you avoid giving in to the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that may lead to relapse.

We believe that a stronger connection to your heritage, family and community will help you become a more independent person with healthy relationships you’ll need to stay sober once your treatment is complete. Sukkot encourages you to examine everything you and your loved ones have done to get to where you are today. During treatment, you’ll be asked to look back and reflect on your life and what brought you to the Recovery at the Crossroads program.

The Torah tells us how the Israelites depended on God for protection during their 40-year journey in the desert, and at Recovery at the Crossroads, we believe that you can turn to Him for support and know He will lead you to recovery and faith. By the end of your treatment, we hope you will be able to look back on the time you’ve spent with us as a positive movement forward and away from the grip of addiction.

We will encourage you to take part in Sukkot and to eat in the Sukkah, when possible. We’ll develop a kosher meal plan that protects your faith while you focus on commemorating this important tradition in our community. As you celebrate, you will build strong bonds and develop healthy relationships with others who can support you as you continue along your journey to sobriety.

Reflecting on Sukkot Helps You When Times Get Hard

On the hard days, it can be tempting to give up and fall back into addiction, but that won’t help you reach your goal. Although you may stumble on the path to sobriety, you can continue moving forward with the help of those who are surrounding you with love and guidance. The Sukkot holiday embraces the idea that hard work eventually pays off at the end of a difficult journey, and we believe this is true in substance abuse treatment as well. The efforts that you put in today will help transport you to a new place tomorrow, so you can look back on where you once were and be proud of how far you’ve moved forward.

If Rough Times Are Impacting Your Journey to Sobriety, We Can Help

At Recovery at the Crossroads, we are ready to help you as you begin your journey toward sobriety. Like your ancestors who traveled across the vast Sinai Desert, you also have a challenging task ahead of you. Our expertise and treatment programs will get you on track toward living the life you’ve been praying and hoping for. At Recovery at the Crossroads, we know that life isn’t easy, and recovery isn’t easy either. That’s why we’re always here to lend support. Contact us online or call us at 856-644-6969 to speak with one of our substance abuse counselors about how we can help you today.

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EMDR Treatment: A Complete Guide

2 months ago ·

EMDR Treatment: A Complete Guide

When substance abuse disorders occur due in part to unhealthy coping mechanisms that arise after a traumatic event, EMDR treatment may be helpful. Discover more about this option and whether it might be right for you. Then, fill out the Recovery at the Crossroads contact form to find out how our caring, licensed staff can work with you to integrate this interactive psychotherapy into a holistic rehab plan that works for you.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It’s a method used in psychotherapy to help someone process old memories and/or retrain the brain to deal more appropriately with triggers or stressors.

This form of therapy was originated by Francis Shapiro, who was a psychotherapist. During her work in the 1980s, Shapiro noticed that when patients considered disturbing memories and had lower emotional responses to them than other patients with similar thoughts, the less emotional patients also presented with a certain type of lateral eye movement. Shapiro started to experiment with this relationship between emotional response and eye movement, developing this psychotherapy treatment in the process.

Basically, during a treatment session, a therapist directs the patient to follow an object (or the therapist’s finger) with their eyes. At the same time, the person thinks or talks about specific aspects of stressful situations or previous traumas. The goal is to assist the person in processing old memories and reactions in new ways, which may lead to a reduced emotional response and the ability to approach stressors in a healthier manner.

This type of psychotherapy treatment can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, panic attacks, anxiety and addictions. It may also be useful in assisting in treatments for chronic pain, self-esteem issues, skin issues that are related to stress, and ADHD.

Because the treatment involves the therapist talking to someone while also waving their finger or another object in front of the person’s eyes, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is sometimes confused with hypnotism. However, this doesn’t involve lulling someone into a hypnotic state where they are more susceptible to the therapist’s suggestions.

How Does Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Work?

If the therapist isn’t hypnotizing you, what’s the purpose of the eye movement? According to Shapiro and subsequent practitioners of this technique, the type of eye movement created in this therapy session mimics the same natural movement Shapiro noted in patients who were able to cope better with stressful memories. By developing this same eye movement — called saccadic eye movement — individuals can better access certain memories and deal with them in a way that supports a more positive outcome.

What Is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Like?

According to the Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, this type of therapy is approached through eight phases, which are summarized below.

  • Phase 1. The therapist works with the client to understand the person’s history and what memories or events may be playing a role in current issues. They work together to plan for treatment and decide what memories and emotions will be targeted with therapy.
  • Phase 2. During this time, the treatment is fully explained, and the eye movement is practiced to help facilitate optimal success.
  • Phase 3. The therapist helps the person access and begin to assess the memory in question. This includes validating the facts of the memory and exploring the emotional response.
  • Phase 4. With the therapist’s assistance, the person focuses on the memory while engaging in eye movement, continuously unpacking emotional responses and developing new ways of responding until the memory is less distressing. This is known as desensitization.
  • Phase 5. The person works with the therapist to strengthen the healthier cognitive response.
  • Phase 6. Next, clients work on understanding how their bodies respond to the memory or trigger. If physical symptoms are associated with the memory, the therapist helps the client work through them.
  • Phase 7. The session comes to a close, and the therapist provides any instructions that the client might need to follow until the next session.
  • Phase 8. In the final phase, the therapist evaluates how the treatment went and works with the person to identify what should be targeted in a future session.

This news clip from NBC 26 shows a small glimpse of how EMDR Therapy Uses Eye Movements to Overcome Trauma, Anxiety, and Phobias.

What to Expect After EMDR Treatment

You should not expect immediate final results from a single session. Like any form of therapy, this is not a one-and-done proposition, and it can take many sessions to work sufficiently through root causes and traumatic memories.

This psychotherapy technique is also not something that works in a vacuum. That is to say, it works best when paired with other cognitive behavioral therapy methodologies. The EMDR Institute notes that Shapiro herself made this clear when introducing the treatment into the professional community. She said, “It must be emphasized that the EMD procedure, as presented here, serves to desensitize the anxiety related to traumatic memories, not to eliminate all PTSD-symptomology and complications, nor to provide coping strategies to victims.”

EMDR Therapy Side Effects

For the most part, doctors and the prevailing medical literature present this type of effective trauma therapy as safe and with few potentially negative side effects. And because the therapy involves developing healthier ways of approaching and coping with memories, it can be more effective for some cases in the long run than medication. Medication stops working when the person stops taking it, but some of the gains achieved from therapy can remain after the therapy is over.

However, the process is not completely without potential side effects. Here are some EMDR therapy side effects to be aware of.

Potential EMDR Side Effects

  • Because eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment forces you to confront certain distressing memories, albeit in a safe environment, it could temporarily increase how these memories interact with your daily life. Therapists typically prepare clients for this possibility and offer instruction for dealing with this issue between sessions. 
  • Opening these doors to memories you may have held tight reigns over out of fear or necessity in the past could also bring to light other traumatic memories that you didn’t previously remember.
  • In some cases, individuals report feeling light-headed or having especially vivid dreams as they go through therapy sessions.

In most cases, side effects resolve as you work through treatment, but you should always make your therapist aware of them so you can get the right professional support.

What is the EMDR Success Rate?

More than 20,000 therapists use this technique, and numerous studies have pointed to the efficacy of this treatment. Consider some of these stats and study outcomes.

  • One study that reviewed the outcomes of 61 clinical trials of various treatments for PTSD determined that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment were the top two most effective methodologies.
  • The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry conducted a similar review of 112 studies and found CBT, exposure therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to be effective.
  • In one randomized clinical trial, 88 people diagnosed with PTSD were assigned to various forms of treatment, including EMDR and a placebo. Results indicated that therapy initiatives, such as EMDR, were more effective than medication in creating long-term results after the treatment concluded. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy was especially successful in assisting with adult-onset traumas (as opposed to traumas that occurred during childhood).

From Addiction to PTSD, there’s reliable clinical evidence that conclusively answers the question, “Does Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment really work?” with a resounding, “Yes.”

How Much Does EMDR Therapy for Trauma and Addiction Cost?

As a form of trauma and addiction therapy that can be delivered in an individual therapist’s office, this is priced similarly to commonly known mental health therapy sessions. That means it can range by provider, but you might expect to pay between $80 and $150 per session, as you would for a regular therapy appointment. You may be able to make payment arrangements to make this type of treatment more affordable. Some therapists also provide some coaching for DIY therapy between sessions, which might reduce the number of sessions you need to attend and the overall cost of treatment.

As of late 2019, there’s not a code specifically for billing sessions to insurance companies, although some professional organizations are working toward this goal. However, if your insurance policy covers individual behavioral therapies, it will probably cover a session that includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy as part of the process. You can work with your individual therapy provider to understand whether they accept your insurance and what benefits are covered under your plan.

Finding Psychotherapy and Substance Abuse Treatment Near You

Individuals who are interested in incorporating EMDR therapy into their drug or alcohol recovery process can find therapists willing to provide this treatment in almost every city in the nation. For those in New Jersey, the rehab team at Recovery at the Crossroads can offer this effective approach and other custom solutions like intensive outpatient programs. Contact us today at 856-644-6929 to speak with one of our experts about this potential treatment and other options that can assist you in drug and alcohol treatment and recovery.

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3 months ago ·

Addiction Challenges a Parent’s Love

In my present life, I welcome the opportunity to write on the topic of addiction. But, this was not always the case. Life experiences, knowledge, and the healing of time has brought a clarity of thought and feelings to be shared. For some, this article may be new information and insight on the effect of addiction on families, an opportunity to experience an inside view on addiction, and how it challenges a parent’s love. For others, it may be an all too familiar page from the story of your life, a chronicle that validates personal experiences that happen when addiction comes to your home.

In today’s world, it is common to hear about addiction impacting a family.  It affects the young and old, men and women, good people in good homes. Families bear the shame that accompanies addiction. Parents grieve the loss of the dreams they had for their children. Their world turns inside out, and they start to doubt their worth as a parent.

Years ago, life seemed simpler.  You were taught right from wrong; you kept your family close and followed the teachings of the Torah.  That simpler way of living, built on sound principles, is challenged when the complexity of addiction and mental health enters your life. Marriage and family descend into a foreign way of life. You feel disconnected and disrespected by the once young child that came to you to kiss away their hurt. Darkness crosses the threshold into your home. Shame seeps into the fiber of the family. Answering questions about your child’s absence from a holiday or wedding celebration brings dread and inner turmoil. The simple question, “How is the family?” leaves your stomach tied in knots.  Do you tell the truth? Do you quickly change the subject or make an excuse?  How do you explain to them? More importantly, how do you explain to your other children about their brother or sister’s behavior, how they dress, how they talk, or the arguments they hear?  Your mind goes in a million directions all at one time.  You smile as you recall the happy anticipation of your wedding day, of having a family to love, teach traditions, and build sweet memories. The joy changes to grief as you search for an explanation.

Please know there is someone out there waiting to help you, waiting to help your child.  Start the journey, if they are not ready to join you, start anyway. Support systems for parents are becoming stronger, more visible. The veil of shame that has covered the road of recovery for so many families is lifting. Find people who understand the heartache. Look for supportive people who do not cast judgment.  Cry if you need to and laugh whenever you can.

If you have not had this personal experience but took the time to read this article, hold out your hand without judgment to someone who is in need, what greater mitzvah. There was a time – it seems very long ago – when I knew nothing of the world of addiction. My journey as a parent whose child faced addiction brought me to work in the field of substance use disorders and trauma. It has enriched my life beyond description. I am an international speaker on addiction and trauma.  In my work, I have seen the miracle of recovery happen over and over again.  Parents and their adolescents, young adults, and adult children turn the corner away from addiction and once more find their seats at the Shabbos table.

If you are a parent, a family member, a friend or a concerned person who recognizes there is much to be done to dispel myths, educate and support those on the journey to recovery. Please, extend your hand to them and join your heart with theirs for together we can do what no one should have to do alone. Addiction may challenge a parent’s love, but it does not have the power to stop it.

Alberta Montano-DiFabio is the Clinical Director of Recovery at the Crossroads in Turnersville, New Jersey, providing state of the art treatment while honoring the culture and traditions of Jewish heritage.

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The Benefits of Sober Living & Outpatient Treatment

4 months ago ·

The Benefits of Sober Living & Outpatient Treatment

Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for costs. Sober living environments are distinctly different from rehabilitation centers which typically administer more intensive recovery and less freedom.

The gap between inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment can be a broad one. Simply put, there are lots of people who spend 28 days in rehab only to go right back to their previous environment and fall right back into their old habits. That’s why sober living environments exist, to bridge that difficult gap between inpatient and outpatient treatment and give people someplace to go during the transition. There are several significant advantages of establishing sober living houses associated with outpatient treatment as opposed to traditional halfway houses. While the level of support is less intense than that offered in residential treatment, it is more intense than you may find in freestanding SLHs. There are usually rules and structure, as well as recovery meetings among all the residents at the facility. Sober living programs often help get individuals with reconnecting with work or school, as well as connecting with an outpatient recovery program.

Many people mistakenly believe they’re “cured” of addiction after the withdrawals and detox are over or do not have access to appropriate housing that supports sustained recovery. Recovery at The Crossroads is affiliated with a sober living house and offers transportation to and from the treatment facility.

If you feel like sober living with outpatient treatment is right for you, call now.
Recovery at the Crossroads – 888-466-5950

Recovery at The Crossroads, where you never walk alone.

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The Reality of the Opioid Epidemic!

10 months ago ·

The Reality of the Opioid Epidemic!

Just because you are not a suffering addict doesn’t mean another person’s actions during their addiction won’t affect you. The world we live in today has been taken over by an opioid epidemic. A real crisis throughout our nation and its consequences come in many different forms. One thing we can do to help is bring awareness to this issue, share information, educate ourselves, and provide options for ones who suffer from addiction. Our society is struggling, it’s almost as if you can’t wake up in the morning without hearing that someone overdosed, got arrested, was involved in a serious car accident or even died because of being intoxicated or high. You see it on the news, internet, and in the paper. Addiction is something we should not ignore, especially when the traumatic headlines are in our face everyday.

Newark, N.J. (February 20, 2019)

School bus driver high on drugs crashes bus with students onboard.

The bus driver was transporting students around 1 p.m. when the driver went off the road and hit a tree, suffering from a drug overdose. The bus driver was revived using Narcan.

RARITAN, N.J.  (February 8, 2019)

Driver sentenced in drug-related crash that killed infant. 

A driver who was high on heroin when he struck three people on a sidewalk, killing an infant and seriously injuring the child’s mother and 5-year-old brother, is headed to prison.

New Jersey (January 7, 2019)

Drug overdoses reach beyond 3,000 in N.J. for the first time.

People in New Jersey are still dying from overdoses in extraordinary numbers. While state officials recorded the largest year-end total yet. 

These are just some examples of what this epidemic has caused. We need to reach out and offer help to addicts who are struggling, so that their or someone else’s future isn’t destroyed or taken from them too soon.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out and ask for help.

TO GET HELP NOW! click the link below or call us directly. www.racnj.com/contact/

888.342.3881 (Option 2)

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10 months ago ·

Speaking out on Mental Health.

What does mental health mean? Simply defined mental health is a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.

In todays society the topic of one’s mental health is becoming more openly discussed, as it should. For some of us we go along in life never being extremely impacted by our own state of mental health, but that is not the case for everyone. Mental health problems can cover a broad range of disorders, but the common characteristic is that they all affect the affected person’s personality, thought process or social interactions. For example, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can cause someone to have impulsive behavior or difficulties remaining focused. Some more openly discussed are Anxiety and Depression, in serious cases these can be life threating if not treated properly.

There is not one single factor to cause a person to have a mental health disorder. Some may stem from a family history of mental health disorders. Others can be caused by changes in brain chemistry from substance abuse or a drastic change in one’s diet. Social exposure can also form the foundations for harmful thought patterns associated with mental health disorders.

What ever the cause, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. These issues effect many of us, even celebrities, Lady Gaga said it best during this year’s 2019 Grammy Awards.

“If I don’t get another chance to say this, I just want to say I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They’re so important,” she said at the mic. “A lot of artists deal with that and we gotta take care of each other. So, if you see somebody that’s hurting, don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.”

  • Lady Gaga

Fortunately, there are ways to treat a mental health disorder. One being prescription medication in conjunction with behavioral therapy or cognitive therapy So, if you or a loved one has signs of a mental health disorder, it’s important to seek help or treatment. Don’t feel like this is something you have to go through alone.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, we can help!

Recovery at the Crossroads – 888.342.3881

Contact

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Loving Someone In Active Addiction

1 year ago ·

Loving Someone In Active Addiction

There is a constant overwhelming feeling of fear and worry when you love someone in active addiction. Whether it be a friend, child, parent or spouse the nightmare is the same. I say nightmare because that’s what it feels like, and anyone who has been in this position I’m sure would say the same.

When you love someone, who is actively in addiction you tend to blame yourself. Was there something I could have done to prevent this? I should of know, why didn’t I see this coming? While they refuse to take responsibility, they will proceed to tell you, and everyone around them it’s their fault. We may or may not know this, but we must understand that there is no control over an actively addicted mind. As much as we want to shake that person and ask them why. The truth is they don’t know why they allow their lives to spiral so far out of control. Most of the time when they do realize the damage has already been done.

Every addict has their own rock bottom, and even though we think about all the destruction, broken promises, this “nightmare” has caused. If they do not see it as their rock bottom and are willing to get help as their loved ones we cannot fix them. I know this from experience. I have been on both sides, the addict and loving an addict. Through my experiences loving an addict can be far more painful than being in active addiction. I am not trying to minimize what an addict goes through but for the loved ones, we stay up all hours of the night wondering if their okay. Try to put on a fake smile and hold it together just to make it through our work day. Continuously waiting for the dreaded phone call that they were in an accident or worse dead. While they are out running around, all we can do is sit wait, and hope they are safe, and pray for this to end.

For anyone who has a loved one in active addiction please remember this is not your fault, and you are not alone. We may need to love them from a far but they are still loved, and when they are willing and ready to receive help the best thing we can do is be there.

 

Looking for Help

Contact Us

888-342-3881

https://www.racnj.com/contact/

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A Mark of Disgrace or Infamy

1 year ago ·

A Mark of Disgrace or Infamy

The stigma of addiction. Most of us have dealt with addiction in one form or another, and even with the severity of opioid addiction becoming more prevalent in the recent years, we still label addicts as junkies, crackheads, criminals, and fiends just to name a few. What most of us seem to forget is that junkie is someone’s mother, that criminal is someone’s child. We are all human and come in to and leave this world the same way.

I myself am an addict in recovery, and for so long struggled with the stigma around addiction. It made me feel different from everyone else, like I was beneath them. The simplest daily tasks I didn’t want to do, because I felt like anyone who looked at me saw me as a junkie. That all they had to do was take one look at me and could tell. This happened even after having some time in recovery.

My addiction started when I was 17 years old, 6 months after my 18th birthday I had managed to destroy my car, lost my job, got arrested, and while all my friends were preparing for collage I was trying to figure out how to get more drugs. I battled active addiction on and off for 8 years, I struggled with everyone’s perception of me, and as human beings do, I was so worried about what everyone else thought. One day I sat down and really thought about it. Why did I feel this way? Why was I so worried about what everyone thought? You know what the answer was I wasn’t okay with myself. I wasn’t proud of everything I had done in my recovery. I didn’t truly love myself. At this point I realized yes there is always going to be a stigma around addiction, but I am proud of myself, and we as recovering addicts need to change this stigma the powerful, negative perceptions commonly associated with substance abuse and addiction. In doing so we can change thoughts and ideas others may have about addiction. We can show them how powerful, recovery is, and if they just have compassion for the suffering addict, then maybe they won’t feel unwanted, different, embarrassed to ask for the help. I fight every day for another day sober. Let’s drop the stigma and help someone take the first step and get one day.

Looking for Help

If you or someone you know is looking for help Contact us 888-342-3881 or https://www.racnj.com/contact/

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