Religious Families and Addiction
Written by Thomas Gagliano, MSW
In order to understand why religious families inadvertently and at times unintentionally create an environment where their children run to addictions rather than God as their coping mechanism, we must first begin by understanding the mindset of a child. When we look back on our childhood, we look back through adult lenses. Since then, we have grown by our maturity and life experiences, which may have distorted the truth of our childhood. Many of us carry messages that tell us we are bad children if we get mad at our parents or disagree with them. This message can have a profound impact on the way the person feels about himself or herself in adulthood. It is important to respect our parents but we can also have different opinions. A child needs to feel their opinion is important to their parents or the child may feel he or she isn’t important. Validating and acknowledging a child’s feelings is essential if they are to have self-worth. If children are afraid to share their true feelings and doubts in fear of reprisal then who can they trust? All of these messages set up the destructive entitlement that leads to addiction. It’s no coincidence that most addictions begin before the age of 18.
Couples who have struggled with the enormity of damage caused by sexual addiction often feel hopeless and helpless. When they think of the long road from discovery of the problem to recovery and reconnection, it can seem daunting and endless. However, many couples do find help and they find recovery and they reconnect in ways that are beyond what they ever allowed themselves to believe possible.
By Tian Dayton, Ph.D., TEP
there is a much larger story here. It’s the story of all of those mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins who care about and are concerned about this person who is abusing alcohol. And even closer to the bone it is about the partners and children of alcoholics and the day-to-day suffering that becomes their life.
So what happens to them?
During the past few decades, there have been a lot of changes in the way people perceive cannabis in the United States. Decriminalization, medical dispensaries and even legalization of marijuana in several states have resulted in a more relaxed view toward cannabis use. However, it’s very important to note that cannabis use has been shown to impair cognitive functions on a number of levels, leaving users with both acute and long-term effects.
Per the Tricare press release posted on their website:
TRICARE expanded mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services, adding intensive outpatient programs and expanding options for opioid treatment. In addition to other improvements, this expansion improves access to care and increases opportunities for mental health and SUD treatment. It also makes it easier for beneficiaries to access the right level of care for their health and wellness needs.
I have spent years teasing apart in my mind how humans can find true and sustained happiness in their lives. And, how does this happiness affect the whole community? This concern takes on new relevance as Americans engage in an intense political debate.
What I ultimately found was that there is a core part in all of us that I call the “essential self” that we typically turn away from in childhood, and have long forgotten by the time we are young adults. Some of the qualities of our essential self are peace, happiness, a sense of connectedness, a sense of freedom, and love.
Nelsan Ellis, who portrayed Lafayette Reynolds in all seven seasons of HBO’s hit series True Blood, recently died from heart failure due to alcohol withdrawal complications. The fan-favorite was only 39-years old. The circumstances of Ellis’ death were shared by his manager, who confirmed that his heart failure was a result of attempting to quit drinking on his own.
By: Tammy M. Bolles, MSW, LCSW
I once heard a client’s family member refer to their loved one’s inpatient addiction treatment as a sort of summer camp.
The family member made this pronouncement with what sounded like envy; they wished they too could have some “time away.”
By Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D., CSAT-S, Architect of The Meadows’ Discovery to Recovery Intensive Series
(Note: The following is a partial transcript of Dr. Adams’ IITAP Web Series video on “Crossing the Threshold of Vulnerability.”)